The tone of tension and inter connectedness as we are all part of the same instrument and all of us are family and can’t help that as much as we try. As much as sometimes, it’s easier to not interact with some, favour others, and struggle to know what to do with the in between. Interconnected stories that can’t help but be spoken and versed all together is what it’s supposed to end up and look like, melded together in the love and sacrifice of our LORD and Saviour. But we can barely look each other in the eye without seeing hurt or guardedness in the eyes of the other, or feeling it well up in our own hearts. So many barriers to connection and no one, it seems, to break them all down again. No freshness and things rotting that were never addressed. But what does it look like for us to love in such a way that we can have peace together instead of being fragmented pieces and fractured stories? It’s too much. Too much for us to bear on our own the generations of baggage and brokenness that have wreaked havoc and still need to be dealt with. Too much navel gazing preventing us from looking each other in the eyes. Why can’t we look each other in the eyes? We need to be able to look each other in the face and behold the person on the other end of our gaze or we won’t stand together. And we need to. Instruments need tension to play music, and this generation is ripe with many kinds of tension. As His instruments of mercy, He uses us to sing the song over our generation that needs to be sung in order to set us all free and call all the wandering home. To resurrect in us all the things that had been mortaly wounded and left to die. To be able to see beauty we need to let down our guards again, knowing there’s real potential to get hurt again, but knowing it’s the only way to love again. And we can’t do that without His help. Come LORD Jesus and make sense of our fragments. Make our minds and hearts whole again and sing over us Your lullabies of war that will wreak havoc on the brokenness that daily tries to enslaves us.
She walks down the candle lit Victorian-styled corridor to where the Main Hall is, her hard heels meeting dark hard wood, sending an echo of her passing through neighbouring rooms and chambers. It seems strange, because she’s not sure how she came to this place, but now that she has been here for a time, it feels even more familiar than her family home she grew up in ever could. She’s not too sure what to call this place, but a Home seems fitting. Though it has the warmth of home and feels safe and charming, she feels a vast and mysterious quality to it. As she rounds the next pass, she sees that some others have already gathered and are pouring over manuscripts of every size – some quite large, others moderate, and a few small. The manuscripts – though not particularly eye catching – are quite fascinating upon further and more careful inspection. Though undoubtedly ancient, they show signs of aging but no disintegration or abuse. Though they are from ages past and have seen much use from the time of their creation, they are still sturdily bound as a book freshly printed. Before one knows it, they find something that is stronger than the curiosity that turns into inspection internally drawing themselves to the book and almost into it. Before one perceives it, inspection becomes a whole-hearted study in which one forgets time all together.
She was never previously taught the ancient languages that were inscribed in these manuscripts, and she doubts any of the others were either, and yet when she reads the foreign scripting on the page she can’t help but feel a sense of comprehending. She sits down in a desk nearby, and scoots the chair under, pulling the manuscript towards her as her focus is fully engulfed in its pages. As she continues to read as she has done before, the words become more familiar as if there were a form of teacher sitting with her, explaining and making known to her the purpose and meaning of the words. As she pours over their meanings and contexts, she feels in herself a sort of preparation and building up as if something were being manifested inside of her. She vaguely starts to become aware that though she reads this book, the book may be the first she’s ever read that’s reading her. A sense of readiness and self-awareness drapes itself back over her as she feels her attention being pulled away from the book. She looks up and sees that the others are also attentive and in wait.
And with that, her and the others rise and vacate the Main Hall and proceed to the armoury chambers below. As she walks silently with the others, her mind is filled with processing what she has just studied, and her mind and heart find their steady focus. She feels in her innermost being the power of the words she read and the meaning behind them like a warmth through her entire body. She is armed and prepared for war.
Ducking under a ghastly ghoul’s arm, she hurls some of the energy from within her and Light explodes from her, sending the faceless dark form tumbling backwards over itself. Before it can hit the ground, it lets loose a silent scream that can only be felt and not heard, disintegrating into a cloud of smoke. She has no time before she must whip around and face the onslaught of the sickly thin demons that stand at least nine feet tall, a swarm of darkness shrouding and collecting in one vicinity as they group together, drawing towards her. With a few others, she let’s loose more white Light that sends a few of the hellish goons scampering, and sends others writhing and soon to be finished off as another burst of Light is released. She thinks it’s almost unfair how easily dispatched the demons are with the Light, but with aggressive focus, she fights on..
only to suddenly realize that she’s been almost completely surrounded by another group of demons that have been gathering behind her. Her heart drops to the floor as they are almost upon her and she can only see some of her comrades fighting off other demons through the swarm, too focused in their own battles to see she’s in deep, deep trouble. Frantically, she let’s off Light and tries to not lose focus on the source of the Light and the words she read in the manuscript. Already she can feel the dark shroud creeping towards her like a curtain falling between her and all those who can help her. She struggles hard for focus and struggles even harder to fight off the Hoard, but she is losing ground and losing hope. With one last attempt at self preservation, her Light sputters as her dread gets the best of her. She is engulfed in darkness as the demonic beings reach towards her and she falls to the ground and can’t see, her soul giving way to the despair that is collapsing in on her.
And behold, a Light brighter than the sun surged and exploded around her and the dark beings were scorched by it. She lay in a heap on the ground, all energy gone from her body. A man came towards her and rolled her over to see her face, but before she could see who had rescued her, she passed out.
She squinted her eyes tightly as a light too bright with even closed eye lids filtered through her bedroom curtains. In a panic, she suddenly remembered that she was being overcome by darkness and sat bolt upright in bed, drenched in sweat and tangled in her sheets. Panting, her eyes darted to and fro to assess her surroundings for any danger. In her distress, she started to come to and realize she was back in the Home. As the wave of adrenaline dissipated and her heart rate slowed, her whole body began to tremble with intense exhaustion. She sighed and collapsed backwards onto her pillow, sinking into a deep sleep.
She paced her room with her slippers making little swooshing sounds on the floor with each stride. She was waiting to have Counsel and demand why she was almost overrun by the Hoard and why the Light had failed her. She still felt inside her lingering distress that was manifesting into an enraged anxiety attack.
Because your heart was not where it should have been, and your understanding incomplete. And so this, you must know. The Light was given to you to defend what I have already won. The battle is not yours, but Mine.
And this word I have for you as a reminder: לָגוּר-Dei.
And all fear parted from her as the Counsel ended.
Recently I was given an interview for a job recommended to me by a family friend. For all the jobs I’ve had in the past, I’ve never really had a “formal” interview by the standards of others, and so this was the first. As I looked over the emails from my new employers I came across the schematic of what the interview was comprised of and felt my stomach jump into my mouth a little when I saw that I would be asked to do a talk for one minute on any topic of my choice. Naturally, a million questions popped into my head: what’s considered a professional but relatable topic, how the heck am I going to fit this into a minute, what’s heartfelt but not overwhelming…and so on.
And I felt Father give me a little tap on the shoulder. I was a bit nervous to listen to what He had in mind to be honest, because I’ve been job hunting for the past while and all the jobs I came across seemed fool proof… I recanted any claim that I had on the job, and sat a little while longer. Kindness.
When I first came to university they advertised that it would be the apex of my social life. Never would I again in my life be in a place with so much social opportunity, diversity, and community. I would make so many friends, and would make comrades for a lifetime.
But in second year, that’s not what I’d seen or known. University was just like any other place, and in my mind, just like any other school. There had been something I had noticed though, and that was that the things that were advertised to me seemed contrary. The following is not what I specifically said, mostly it’s the brain storming that I pulled from when creating my one minute blurt.
My school is great at being involved in mental health awareness and throwing seminars and conferences and doing student appreciation. We support Bell Let’s Talk, and all those sorts of fundraisers external to our school. But forgive me, because I’m a bit baffled. I commute between campuses, and throughout my city where I also see other students, I can’t help but notice a few patterns. Unless you’re friends, you don’t talk to the people around you. Students who pass each other by on the street make every effort to not accidentally make eye contact. People would rather stand than sit in a seat directly beside someone on transit. People are flustered when addressed by someone who needs to get by them. Nearly always, youth have their headphones on.* People dart by the homeless as if they carry the plague. People don’t know how to properly introduce themselves anymore. I’m starting to feel like from what I’ve observed that people don’t really know how to interact with each other anymore. I mean, sure, I understand the whole stranger danger mantra and the natural caution (which is healthy) when talking to someone you don’t know. But come on guys, not everyone is a serial killer or rapist or con artist out to get you. If the old man needs a seat on the bus and accosts you and says thank you, it wouldn’t hurt to give a “you’re welcome, have a good day.” Or a smile. I can’t help but think of generations past when starting up a friendly conversation with a total stranger (or even just giving a smile and saying hi when you happen to pass someone in the street) was seen as totally normal. Now it’s a radicalized and even foolish idea. Instead of letting people prove their character, we trust no one.. which whether we like it or not holds hands with avoidance. And I agree, trust is earned, but we’re not asking you to spill your guts by smiling or saying hello or by exhibiting basic courtesy.
But even basic courtesy does not quite cut it. Not niceness either. Kindness. They’re not the same: Nice is all the things you make sure you don’t do to others, but Kindness is an active willingness to love and serve others and is an others-centred way of thinking. Now if you felt up till this point that kindness requires you to be talkative and outgoing, that’s simply not true or reasonable. Kindness is a facet of love cultivated in us by being redeemed in Jesus, our Saviour and Creator and thus is a way of action poured out from the heart He has given us a made uniquely. We don’t all show kindness the same way, but it’s important that we are willing to act and serve in our own way when the opportunity presents itself. In the fruit of the Spirit, there is no “Niceness” cultivated, but Kindness.
Now back to how this relates to mental health. Mental health is a very intimate and deeply rooted issue that can really devastate lives if not given the attention and care that it needs. But mental health isn’t external and easily spotted, it requires the vulnerability to talk about it. I don’t know about you, but I feel like we’re skipping a couple steps if we don’t want anything to do with the stranger on the street or in our classroom but we’re asking people to tell us what issues really rock the foundations of their lives.
People expect courtesy and for others to not be offensive, so being nice really is baseline. But if you want to connect with others and really watch God’s love on full display, be kind. Everybody wants things for free, but will rarely give what costs them nothing: a smile, an interaction, a small act of service, or some other kind gesture.
* I had to star this one, because I mostly definitely have done this in that past. Music is awesome, music is great. Love music. But I definitely miss things happening around me when I had my buds in. Slash, there’s most likely a statistic somewhere talking about how many people are so unaware of what’s going on around them that they get killed by things (sympathies and prayers for the families of such a tragedy, I really couldn’t imagine). So I would say, music has a context. I’ll let you use your discretion to figure out what that context is. All I have to say is that when I took out my headphones, I met some pretty cool people. I might get beamed by people who say I’m taking too big of a leap by inferring correlation equals causation (which it doesn’t), but whatever. Keep the buds in or out, that’s your prerogative, live long and prosper. The key idea you walk away with is that the opportunity for awesome things to happen follows you wherever you go, and if something is causing you to miss out, it might be good to reevaluate.
Bring your tired
Bring your shame
Bring your guilt
Bring your pain
Don’t you know that’s not your name
You will always be much more to me
Everyday I wrestle with the voices
That keep telling me I’m not right
But that’s alright
Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
Bring your doubts
Bring your fears
Bring your hurt
Bring your tears
There’ll be no condemnation here
You are holy, righteous and redeemed
Every time I fall
There’ll be those who will call me
Well that’s ok
Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
There’ll be days I lose the battle
Grace says that it doesn’t matter
Cause the cross already won the war
I am learning to run freely
Understanding just how He sees me
And it makes me love Him more and more
Cause I hear a voice and He calls me redeemed
When others say I’ll never be enough
And greater is the One living inside of me
Than he who is living in the world
It’s been really impressed on my heart lately the necessity of abiding with one another as women. I don’t know about you, but I sincerely cherish the women who I am blessed to be surrounded by. All of us are in a different stages of growth, and every one of us -though still in the process of sanctification- has a beauty that points towards our Redeemer and King. Masterpieces take time and hard work, deep thought and planning.
But I can’t help but feel a heaviness, because everywhere I look I see girls and women holding themselves to impossible standards. I see them critiquing each other and themselves. Things that can only lead to self destruction or the destruction of others. I’ve been guilty of measuring myself to people I don’t even know and to those that I do. I have desires on my heart that I feel like aren’t getting fulfilled fast enough or that never will be fulfilled. I doubt at times if my prayer is doing anything at all. I forfeit dreaming for the fear that if I do, I will be dreaming to no end about things that will never come to be. I stare at myself in the mirror and find myself lacking in more ways than one. I wonder why I am not accepted by some, and long to be acknowledged by others. I am simultaneously a courageous fighter and a shameful coward. I am my own relentless critic.
We were given the gift of speaking life through our words. God created by speaking things into existence, and by being made in His image, we have the gift of speaking words that can create atmospheres of peace, safety, rest, and comfort, or words that can rip down and destroy.
I bring this up because it’s come to the point of being imperative that I do. The looks shot at each other to see how the girl sitting across from you on the transit to see how she measures up has to stop. The glare across the foyer because she’s wearing something that isn’t your style needs to be questioned. The shaming of each other’s appearances is deplorable; I’m sorry, but who put you in the judgement seat of what beauty is? Have you forgotten that beauty is not outward but internal and that you condemn yourself but making yourself judge and authority?
Or what if another woman is further along than you? What if she gets engaged sooner, has a stable job, is more accomplished in an area where you are lacking? I mean, we’re talking about desires here. Things you are constantly longing for to come to be, some of which obviously may not have been mentioned in that short sentence. And not only that, but desires that you have been waiting for, praying for, patient for, worked for, hoped for and seem to be so easily handed to someone else?
This year for me has been rough. I thrive off the people I’m surrounded by and I’ve been surrounded by people that.. make me feel like a ghost. I love God, but I want to love Him more. I’m so grateful that He’s as faithful as He is because quite unfortunately I’m not as faithful as I’d like to be. As much as I’ve had people encouraging me to stay in the Word, come to small group and the like, I’ve really been craving just someone to abide with me. I’ve just been longing for someone to just.. be with me. I don’t care if there’s talking, I don’t care what we’re doing. I just want to be around someone who is choosing to hang out just because, because I’m finally realizing the beauty of how much it means to have someone actively choose to be with you rather than leave you to fend for yourself.
And I can’t honestly say I’m alone in this feeling of loneliness. Time and time again I hear from girls that they too are lonely, and only the specifics differ. So what am I doing just sitting here?
I’m feeling the weight of utmost importance that I open up and also maintain my friendships. Now that sounds kind of obvious to the point of being silly and embarrassing. But what I mean is that I’m feeling an energy build that is driving me to actively seek out and pour into the lives of the girls and women around me. Though I’ve struggled hard, I’ve been wildly blessed in some ways, so why not share the blessing? I’m not someone who even kind of has it all together (though maybe you’ve been misled so let this be me doing away with the guise), and so I can openly acknowledge that I will fail at this sometimes. But please promise me you won’t let where you are and where you want to be prevent you from reaching out to a sister who’s somewhere you want to be… because she’s struggling too in a different way and may really need someone to reach out to her and that person very well may be you. The mindset of comparison is the mindset that destroys. I’ve watched it try and happen in my friendships. I thank God I was able to notice it was happening before if did any real damage and that He gave me the courage to step out and address it. I’ve had to swallow my pride and be humbled. I’ve had to beat down feelings of entitlement, step back, and as a beautiful friend of mine said just last night “realize that people are on a different path than the one I’m on.”
But it’s so worth it. Because when evil comes a-huntin’ it’s looking for the lost, lonesome, and broken to pick off which translates to any and all of us if we don’t come together and fight for our friendships.
So how do we fight for our friendships? I became actively involved in celebrating and abiding with my friends. And honestly it was hard, because they did indeed have things working out for them in ways that I wish they were working out for me. We have desires for a reason, but we need to actively wait for them to be fulfilled and be pouring into each other while we wait. We need to abide with each other in trials. Please listen. We need to abide with each other in trials. We need to have each other’s backs. And I’m not talking some superficial click, “we’re all sisters forever can’t you tell by our selfies” sort of stuff. I’m talking about the being on the phone till late hours because a sister needs to be heard out. I’m talking about not even “joking” about a woman being anything less than beautiful. I’m talking being there when we’ve been disappointed. I’m talking holding us accountable so we can be our best selves. I’m talking about being honestly loving and lovingly honest. I’m talking opening up our homes for her to find refuge from a world that’s hunting her down because these days women are getting poached like our bones are going to be the new ivory tusk accessory or inlay. I’m talking sharing the gospel with her because she’s never had someone truly love her in her whole life. I’m talking not shaming her because she’s longing to be cherished by someone, anyone. I’m talking about being an emotional shelter for each other, pulling up two chairs, pulling out the tea and talking it out, praying together, or not saying anything at all and resting in the quiet.
And you may say gee, that sounds like a whole lot of commitment. You know what? For as many women as there are out there.. yeah. That’s a huge ton of commitment because every woman is broken in her own way. But that’s why we all need to get up and get in the fight for one another. This is not a spectator sport; consider this you being called to the frontline.
So to the lonely, the hurting, the lost, the unloved or those who feel unlovely, I have not much, but I will share it with you. I am one person and an imperfect one at that. I cannot fix you, I cannot promise you what no human can – that I’ll always be able to be here for you, but please talk to me, let’s go for tea. Or a chat. Or something.
I was filled to be emptied. So let’s go.
Sister, I will abide with you.
To date, this is the most difficult blog post that I’ve ever written and felt the need to have to write. It grieves me deeply that a post like this is necessary. But it is, and so I will write.
For those who haven’t been to London, or have known London by just passing through, you’re probably familiar with all the awesome gourmet restaurants we have, Richmond strip, Western University and Fanshawe College, our infinite farmlands, and other cool things like that. But I’m here to let you know that like every other city, London has it’s issues and is in severe need of people who will actively care for those that call it home. If you go to wikipedia (yes, wikipedia, I know, I’m a university student and I’m talking about wikipedia because I know that’s where most of you will google anyways), you’ll find out that as of 2011, we have 366, 151 people here. You’ll know that London was the central hub for the military in the 20th century during the two World Wars. We’re the sixth largest city in Ontario, the eleventh largest urban area in Canada, and that were in the snow belt and get crap tons of snow (that last bit is personal experience, wikipedia: not necessary). But what wikipedia doesn’t have is stats like the fact that 16.7% of Londoners, or 61,147 are living below the low income measure. It doesn’t talk about all the store fronts that have been papered up and advertised “for lease” for the past three to four years with no bites. It doesn’t talk about how it has about 6-8 head shops on Richmond Strip alone. It doesn’t say don’t go past the bridge by the VIA and Greyhound stations that takes you to the broken side of town where you should never walk alone at night.
So how do those stats translate into real life and affect just one person who happens to be waiting outside of her best friend’s mom’s work?
It had been a tight squeeze because my best friend offered for me to come over to her place for a sleepover after our afternoon class so I could see and converse with some human beings who wanted to have me around for a change. I told her I’d meet her at her mom’s work so her dad wouldn’t have to drive all the way back to back track to pick me up. I lost track of time getting ready, made for the soonest bus, and still got there with plenty of time to spare. I was standing in the middle of the city’s biggest plaza which is always busy during the day… with people loitering and having no where to go and nothing to do because the majority of them are unemployed and homeless (do to an assortment and/or combination of things, some of which most likely have to do with the economy collapse and all the factories that have closed down and so on – see wikipedia). It’s been weighing on me the fact that I’m so useless, save to observe these people who mill about. Some are agitated, some are listless, some are paranoid and anxious, some are boisterous. Some dart this way and that after a bus, some kick the ground and check out the scuffs they left, some talk to themselves and tuck themselves away from prying eyes. And the classical music playing over the intercom doesn’t miss a beat, installed to discourage loitering, though for some it’s the only beautiful thing they’ll hear all day.
Almost every person I’m observing is wandering around with no where to go and all the time to get there. And as I’m standing there taking it all in I find myself faced with the question, Father, what can just one person like me do to help these people? I’m a student with no funds, short on time at this moment, not much at my disposal to offer up and they need more help than I can offer. London, you’re a small city, but I feel useless to you. And the man in the corner who’s tucked away by himself snaps his fingers as if to get someone’s attention and talks to himself and gives an arbitrary whistle. Just then I turned to see him, and he walked back out the front door he came in just minutes ago, leaving me to my thoughts and conundrum. I turned around to look through the glass doors behind me to see the McDonald’s customers enjoying their orders, and a little family of three (a dad and a boy and a girl) standing in the building’s entrance foyer. Just as I was glancing at the family, the little boy let out a cry as his dad took him and pulled/shoved him over to the opposite side of the entrance door to the room they were standing beside that had a “for lease” sign on it. The dad stood over him as the boy shrank against the glass with tears streaming down his face and with fear in his eyes protesting his dad, saying he hadn’t done something. His dad growled words I couldn’t make out back. The scene lasted maybe 30 seconds. Composing himself, he turned back around lifting his phone but saw me watching and realized I had seen the majority of what just happened. He quickly looked down and busied himself with something on the screen. But he knew I had seen him, and was still watching him.
Perhaps after reading that, you would like to hear what I suspected was going on. You’d like to hear what I think of that dad and the little boy who was afraid of him, or maybe you’ve already formed your own opinion. It’s tempting to say that there’s clearly more than meets the eye to this story, but in reality, all I have is what I saw. And what I saw I have said above.
So after about a minute, I composed myself and pushed open the glass door that separated me and that little family and walked up to the father. I could feel the tension rise as he felt me approach.
“Sir, what is your biggest worry in life right now? At this moment, what gives you the most stress? It doesn’t have to be specific – it can be general, but just tell me what it is if you don’t mind.”
He eyed me and then looked away. His mouth tightened as a thought popped into his mind, and his eyes darted back to mine and then away again as he said with an edge of uncertainty, “I just want to give my kids a good place to grow up.”
“Sir, do you mind if I pray for that right now?”
“Uh…. sure. Yea.”
And so I asked if I could put my hand on his shoulder, and I did. And as I prayed I broke down. After we finished praying, the tension was completely gone from his shoulder as I lifted my hand off. When I removed my hand, he went back to his phone.
“Sir, do you mind if I give you a hug?”
He said no, and so we hugged. Perceiving that I thought that a person wants to be let go after a certain amount of time, I loosened my hold, but he kept his.
“Thank you. I seriously needed that today.” And he let me go.
And I walked away because my best friend had just arrived to take me to her mom’s office.
I don’t know what that man’s story is. I don’t know if his boy did anything that needed disciplining, I don’t know if the father was abusive. I don’t know their financial circumstances, I don’t know if he was telling me the truth. I don’t know any of their history. I don’t even know their names.
I do know, that being a parent is super stressful and sacrificial from observing parents. If they’re economically troubled as I suspect they might be, I could not imagine the amount of stress that heaps on to an even more stressful task. One day, God willing and in the right context, I hope to be a parent myself. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs this side of heaven has to offer, so I’m told. I do know, that I had a little bit of time and not a whole lot of money. I do know that I, by myself, can’t build Rome in a day. I know that the places God puts me and with which people are not a coincidence. I know that every one is broken in their own way, that we need each other, and we need the love only a Father can give – everyone including fathers. I know that broken things require mending.
I know I can be opinionated. And that our society believes that if you feel strongly about something you’re opinionated about or feel offended by someone who disagrees with you, then dammit your opinion should be something that everyone else agrees with and dare not challenge… but, that’s not true or sound.
Regardless of if that was abuse or discipline – a piece of info that would have been a conclusion of my inferring things into what I saw – that man was still broken, which means he needed mending.
And not by me. Humans are infinitely complex (very much like their Creator who created them in His image.) By grace and love. Things that I can very imperfectly offer a portion of. And I can only offer it because I have known love and grace and It has known me and doesn’t shy away at the shameful things I’ve done when I myself have put others in line with my crosshairs in the past. I struggle with my own conundrums and vices, same as that man does, deferring only in specifics as to what with.
Trust me when I say that it’s worth it to ask,
Father, how can I serve London today?
“Any fool can survive a crisis. It’s the day to day living that wears you out. ” – Anton Checkov
This quote has always stuck in my head, but I’m really starting to feel it this year. For the past half of a year, nothing really substantial has occurred that is apart from the daily.
But this is one of those few times that I’ve struggled so hard to not be resentful of my present circumstance. Constantly biting at the bit, this dreamer is ravenous for adventure and to be anywhere but locked up in a room alone with stacks of homework to do but instead staring blankly at a wall or computer screen. I’m craving forests, mountains, the outdoors. I’m longing for loved ones, quality conversation and time.
And I could feel tension slowly grating away on my sanity.
Time. I once used to think of myself as a patient person. When I was going through this desert of a time, I knew that the trial would end eventually. I knew that I should take heart, for each season ends and brings to life a new one.
“My God, why? Why can’t we skip all these extraordinarily dull days so I can actually be out accomplishing things? I think I understand where you’re trying to take me (very, very vaguely) but why take so much time?”
Finally, a break. And I come to hear, like a small whisper in the wind, a voice say to my heart, “Life will move along regardless of you.” And then peace. If you’re reading this and going through “a time”, I really need you to listen. There are two things.
This time you’re going through will end, and bring forth a new time.
There is nothing you can do to make this time end any faster or slower.
And here I pull in a verse that people use all the time. Seriously all the time. They could have a shop full of merchandise with this verse plastered all over their stuff because that’s how much it gets used. I digress.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
Look carefully. Who knows the plans for your life? The LORD. So, now a question for you. Do you see your name in that verse beside the Lord? Does it say that you and the Lord know the Lord’s plans for you? Nope.
If God know the plans He has for you, and He is sovereign, does that mean that you have to be on the in for it to be a good plan or to bring about executing that plan by the best possible way necessary? No.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9
God holds the reins. There arises issues and conflict when we get control-hungry and try to take those reins away. We start to veer everywhere but “on course” it seems. This is either really good news or really bad. Really bad if it makes you overthink, “Well Delynn, I’m trying to do my best and do what God wills in this moment so He can do the most with me, but I just feel like I’m not where I’m supposed to be.” To which I have to say (and God please help me because I so desperately need to remind myself of this), “You are never in a place where God doesn’t need you to be in or can’t use you.” (Creds to my Love for this quote).
Time. It moves faster or slower for no man. There are no exceptions. We don’t have the full picture and sometimes are really prone to believe that God doesn’t know where the heck He’s driving. Please, He’s the best driver there is and He has the most comprehensive view than every man that has lived, is living, and will live combined. The only thing that makes for crazy driving is your rebellion of the action plan He’s trying to carry out.. And despite the maneuvers He’s doing or the actions you take that weren’t according to plan, He has the incredible knack for bringing the good out of any and every situation. How? Because He knows how all the roads and paths work out – He made them after all.
It would be like asking a total random stranger who has never been to a location before to workout an elaborate route through networks of roads and hi ways and byways they’ve never seen before in their lives. Are you going to ask the guy who made the roads and their systems to drive, or are you, the total stranger to such path ways going to try to make the best of it? Did I mention that your life is the cost if you don’t get to the end destination? But the guy who made the roads happens to love you more than you can fathom and has offered to drive for you. Don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to take up His offer.
If you feel like your life is one move away from a 5 car pile up or that you’re already in the scrap yard, He has the ability to make even the most unquestionable of lost causes newer and better than the original form they came in.
“There is a time for everything, and a time for every matter under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1
This season will end. Hold on to the hope that is yours in Christ with unrelenting hands, because this world will try everything to try and steal it from you and make all your days insignificant. They aren’t, so don’t fall for the lie that they are.