Over the past few months, life has felt heavy.
In addition to taking one of the biggest leaps of faith I’ve ever taken, having no clue what the future holds for me, we’re walking through one of the most intense seasons of our marriage yet. Thankfully were on the assent from the valley and the peak of the mountain is in sight.
On top of that, this new stage of motherhood – moving from babyhood to toddlertown- has proved to reveal many of my weaknesses on a daily basis. Where joy once came easy in every moment, I’ve found myself having to fight for it and be intentional in choosing it throughout my days. I’ve needed far more help than I ever imagined and I’ve battled guilt and shame over failed expectations of what I’d be like as a mother.
And then there’s Thursdays, my favourite day of the week as I welcome some of the women closest to my heart into my home. Together we wrestle and grow and encourage and laugh. And while it’s beautiful and profound what happens each week, we’ve been working through the most intense study yet. It’s uncovered deep personal struggles in all of us and we’ll, lets just say that while the intensity isn’t anything I shy away from, it, added to my other realities, has felt back breaking some weeks.
Over all, my heart has hurt for all the brokenness and suffering in and around me. I’ve had to grieve losses for myself and for others. I’ve had to sit in the darkness of my emotions and not run from them, so that eventually, I could bury them and move on.
I’ve learnt that with every new beginning, there must first be a death. And this season has felt like many small deaths and the subsequent grief that must follow to properly heal.
This may all sound cryptic but the truth is, much of what I’m walking through is only privy to God and the people it involves and that’s ok.
I’ve had to remind myself that as people on the outside looking in have judged me and my circumstance.
I’ve had to remind myself of what they’re not seeing and of the hope that I cling to every day….
The hope and the promises that God has given me in this season: That he is doing something entirely new! That he is making streams in the wastelands of my life and building a road to a place I’ve only imagined.
And that I must properly let go and fully trust him, in order to move forward. He’s been gentle and so kind and his presence has never felt deeper.
But I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a test of my faith. It’s been a daily choice, a daily seeking and daily re-commitment to trust and believe. I’ve discovered what faith really is in this season: believing for what is unseen even when it doesn’t make sense.
And like the sun after a break in the rain, he’s turned my mourning into dancing.
How. How do we seek? How do we trust? How do we believe even when it feels ridiculous?
For me it’s been a process and many days a discipline:
- Learning his voice [which, like in any relationship, takes time together and learning about each other]
- Eliminating distractions [being intentional about regularly spending times in silence and in solitude to both pray and just listen]
- Being honest with God about what is going on in my heart each time I pray [I’ve found the more honest I am with God, no matter how ugly or messy it is, the more I experienced his presence and response]
Faith isn’t a one size fits all walk and I believe we all experience God differently. He speaks to each of us in different ways – ways that resonate with us as individuals.
I don’t claim to have all the answers or the only way, but I can promise this:
God delivers. He shows up. I don’t know how or in what ways he’ll do that for you but I know that when we seek him [not just for what he can do for us and to get answers to our prayers, but to known him: who he is and what he’s like] with our whole heart, he shows up. And many times, he shows off!
In my earnest pleas to know him- in crying out for him to show me how he feels for me, personally – God has made himself radically known to me in ways I cannot deny. And he wants to do the same for you.