This past week was tough. I don’t have a really good excuse as to why. It just simply was. I’ve been through hard things before. Things you can see. Things that you know are difficult to overcome. Loss, sickness in the family, prison sentences of those I love. I’ve lived through them. But the suffering this week was so different. There was nothing physical to attach to it. I didn’t have anything in particular to request prayers over or to even explain to my own husband. The only word I have for it is this: darkness.
I sat in the dark processing nearly every emotion I could imagine. Bitterness. Anger. Worry. Oh there was a whole buffet of worry, and I feasted and then snuck back in for seconds. I had moments of doubt. Fear. Struggle. But something so very, very strange occurred in that place:
My heart sang a new song.
Choosing to Stay in a Hard Place
I found my knees one night at revival. I had found them many times already that day, but I felt like every word of the sermon landed in my lap that night. As I reached the altar to lay it all down, the words that spilled out were new. Something I wouldn’t normally pray. Something I almost couldn’t believe was coming from my own lips.
“God you saw fit to put me here. So keep me here as long as You desire. I don’t need You to pull me out of where I am supposed to be. Just be with me here.”
What?! What am I saying?! No, take me out. Lead me out of the darkness. Carry me out of the fire. Pull back the waves. But something deep, deep inside of me was content to stay in a place I truly didn’t want to be.
Because I knew God had put me here.
I knew this was where He wanted me.
I didn’t know why. And I didn’t know for how long.
Will He part the sea? Or will He slay me here?
But for all the things I didn’t know- I knew this: I was not alone.
It was dark. But I still had a promise of light.
Be of Good Cheer
I went home. The next day came and darkness crowded in all the more. I still found joy in my little ones of course. But my days were overwhelming. I cried, prayed, struggled, mopped up the messes, and cried some more. (Perhaps I may have yelled a little too…)
I wept over those sweet babies in Texas; hugged my littles tighter.
And cried more.
On a normal day, I am overly optimistic. I love my life and I have more blessings than I can even start to count. But these days were dark.
And then God said, “Laugh.”
I’m sorry Lord, what was that? Are you paying attention? There are tears streaming down my cheeks and You want me to laugh? So I laughed. It was halfhearted, but I suppose it was still obedient.
Breaking New Ground
On Friday morning as I was singing “New Wine” by Hillsong alone in the bathroom. Still in the dark. I wanted to focus more on the words: when I trust you I don’t need to understand. But all I could hear was “You are breaking new ground.”
A few weeks back I walked our garden late one afternoon. It hadn’t been turned over and tilled up yet. It was still just a patch of green, but it didn’t look like the rest of our yard. We had used it before and we were preparing to use it again. So rather than it being a heap of green grass like the rest of our yard- it was covered in different things. Green onions, clover, dandelions, dead nettle, and small sprigs of grass. Weeds- though most of them beneficial. But we needed to break up the ground, not because what was growing wild wasn’t good, but because it was time to plant something better.
When I paused and thought: this darkness could be the start of new fruit. Then, I was suddenly truly okay with it. I can’t say it made it easier. I can’t say that I understand what all this is for at this point. But I can say: He was breaking new ground.
Promise of Light
When a new seed is planted do you know where it goes?
Yep.. that’s right. Into darkness.
Beneath the newly broken ground, into utter darkness, where it waits. Not knowing what will come of it but knowing good and well that God has already equipped it with everything it needs to grow into what He designed it to be.
Someday, I will emerge in to light once again.
Someday a soft summer rain will fall.
And someday I will look back on this time in my life and say “Oh, of course! That’s what He was doing!”
Until then I will wait. I will laugh and learn to rejoice for what is ahead. Because I know my God. He wastes nothing. Nothing is too hard for Him and what He starts He will finish.
There is light even in darkness. There is hope in every seed. In every season. There is a rainbow after every storm. New wine will flow.
There is a time to sow. And there will be a time to reap.
He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.John 15:2
Even here, even now, I know that there is light. The light shines in darkness and the darkness cannot comprehend it. I want to tell you that I am already on the other side of this. But at the moment I don’t think I am.. But I know where the light is. Through every minute of this week I have known where the light was. I have felt His presence. His reassurance.
I can be content. I can laugh. And I can rejoice in what I cannot yet see. Because I know my God.
He’s the same God who parts the sea.
He’s the same God who stands in the fire.
The same God who created light and life.
The very one who laid aside His glory, His honor, His riches- and put on flesh.
He exchanged His life for my freedom.
I often wonder what people who don’t know Jesus do when they have days or weeks like this. Where do you turn when you have nowhere to go? Who do you run to when you have nothing left?
That free gift of salvation is available to ALL!
I hope you will accept it if you haven’t already.
Mourning to Laughing
This is a new week mamas. New joys and new challenges. New highs and new lows. What will you do with it? Will you let God use it? Will you allow Him to prune the dead branches or to turn new ground? Are you willing to give Him this week?
The reality is it may be difficult.
It may feel like darkness.
You may struggle, weep, and worry.
But it will all be worth it.
Someday we will look back and say it was beautiful.
It was light.
It was creating in me something I needed!
I hope you all have a fruitful week. I hope you laugh in spite of your circumstances. And I hope you grow.
She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.Proverbs 31:25
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