Monday, February 06, 2012

Dreams for 2012

"We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be." ~C. S. Lewis

Lewis was so amazing at articulating the hidden places of the heart. This last year has been one of the most painful in my life, only topped by 2005. Have you seen or read the Harry Potter series? If so, you remember that the evil character was often not spoken by name, but simply referred to as "He Who Must Not Be Named". He was so horrific that people feared the sound of his name. Well, 2005 is like that for me. Death, loss, marital problems, painful family issues, all mixed together to make it really dark. And I am still learning from all that happened. I shouldn't forget it all, and I couldn't if I wanted to. But I wouldn't want to live through it all again either.
"My child, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves the one he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights."

Proverbs 3

Last year has been the rival of 2005. This move, the leaving behind and the trying to belong here, has been so difficult. Add in Mom's cancer and other extended family issues and it has been...full. Of trials. I expected it would be. But I never could have imagined the tears, loneliness, heart ache, heaviness, dark spiritual warfare, and variety of emotions and challenges that I would face. There has hardly been a day with out one or more of these. I am so thankful for this journal because it has forced me to seek the good and kind ways that Lord has blessed us and record them here. I have enjoyed the challenge of recording good things that have given me hope and joy. It has been a blessing to me. Because who can keep getting out of bed when only focusing on the hard stuff of life?

"Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it- the Lord is his name- Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." Jeremiah 33:2-3

I have been desperate in asking God to reveal himself to me and help me to settle in. Why am I here? Why did you take so much away from me? Why do I feel like such an outsider? Where do we belong? I have tried to just live day by day, when possible, striving to accomplish more than mere survival. Waiting is hard. And it can be excruciating when you know, as Lewis points out, that what the Lord knows is best for us is often really hard. Some days I feel overwhelmed with the joy of knowing Jesus, regardless of my circumstances. And other days I can not get my heart and mind to feel what I know to be true. I don't feel like God is at work in my life at all. Those days build my faith if I press through them (sometimes Andy drags me through them, actually), in hope that God will show Himself in His own time, and that He is always loving me. I hope if you are reading these words and really struggling through a difficult season that you have someone who will drag you towards Christ, or just literally out of bed, too.
Funny thing, on the topic of Andy dragging me through the tough days. One week recently I was really feeling hopeless. He went to the barn and grabbed this wood that Josh nailed together and put it in his wing-tip tuxedo shoes. He told me to try (and this is a stretch) to look at it as a cross. When I am really struggling, write down what makes me sad or anxious and put those prayers at the "foot of the cross" (in the shoe). He checks there several times a day and prays with me. And, as I am sure he intended, I often find myself laughing, at least a little, at the sight of this place in our room. It looks hilarious.
Right now we are waiting on some answers. I cannot be specific, but opportunities (2 of them) could be opening that would be a dream come true for me. We could experience gospel community, I could use my gifts/talents, and the children could be involved in ways that I would not have even dared to dream months ago. I am really hopeful and excited. If you think of us, could you pray with us, even beg God along with us, to align our hearts with His and fulfill our longings? Is it wrong that I find myself begging, "Please Jesus. Please Jesus."? I think not, because this is the crux of the whole book of Psalms. David is begging...and God is revealing himself.
The good thing about 2005 is that is was followed by 2006. God blessed us as we mourned, turned to him, and found so much comfort and love in our family and church body. We conceived and gave birth to our only daughter, and it felt like I was living a dream that I didn't deserve for years afterward, just waking up to two sweet boys and a GIRL. Our marriage was broken and put back together in the most beautiful way, never to be the same again. We learned how to pour ourselves out in service and experience deep, gospel community. It was, by far, the best year of my life! Remembering how God brought beauty out of those ashes, I have big dreams and great hope for 2012.

Psalm 22:8

"Commit your cause to the Lord; let him deliver- let him rescue the one in whom he delights!"


Abby Hutto said...

Hoping and praying along with y'all that 2012 will be a year of joy and respite!

I feel much the same way as you, when it comes to what I "know" and what I "feel" to be true. It is such a day in, day out love relationship we have with Jesus, isn't it? Glad that it all depends on His faithfulness, and not my own, as there are many days that I just stay in bed mentally and spiritually. Thanks for your honesty. It encourages me to know that I am not alone and that our loyal Saviour is more than capable.

Wendy said...

praying for you and your family today.

Wanting What I Have said...

Oh friend...this made me tear up. I know many of these same heartaches and pains...even the marriage thing. Wouldn't want to go through it ever, ever again, but I'm so thankful for the ways God put us back together...forever changed. Praying for you and your dreams for 2012!!!

Carrie Thompson said...

Praying.... for your steps to ordered by HIM and for Him to give you the desires of your heart that they may line up with HIM in accordance with His will...

and peace for the waiting.