life, My Faith

In the quiet

It’s funny. I guess I’m ending this day a lot like it began. My heart is overwhelmed and so I stop and sit in the quiet.

Tuesday mornings twice a month I have a women’s bible study. I set up coffee and such and so I come early. This morning, thanks to the blessing of steroids, I was up early because steroids are not conducive to sleep and so I had extra time. Still processing my feelings about everything and fueled by lack of sleep, heart palpitations and extra emotions that are all gifts of quarterly steroid injections (don’t worry it’ll pass), I sat in the dark of the auditorium and listened to a podcast that has become a calming place where, as she says often, my “soul can breathe.”

This is The Next Right Thing podcast by Emily P Freeman. Her voice is soothing and her ideas are challenging. And all these things help sometimes. As I sat in the quiet, slightly cold, darkness I listened and heard. What we need in this season the most is peace, and that’s ever so true.

The rest of the day did not go as planned, but for that too I’m almost grateful. Instead of focusing on all the unknowns and scary possibilities of my own life, I was blessed with being able to show up for my person when she needed a person, much the way she’s always shown up for me.

As I drove back to my house tonight, God and I conversed. I’m thankful for his protection over my person tonight, but I am still unsettled by the news of yesterday. I don’t like unknowns, and the future seems so full of them. I wish there was a road map which would tell me if I do this, this will happen.

But in life 2+2 doesn’t always equal 4, and it was always in the variables that I got really lost in math. And it’s in the variables that I too tend to get lost in life. The variables take away my control. The variables are sometimes unpredictable.

Yesterday in the midst of all the things, someone’s response was “God’s got you” and I have to be honest my response (unsent and only in my head) was that doesn’t mean it’s going to end well. It feels terrible and sacrilegious to say, but sometimes where faith meets real life the path gets muddled. I know God is kind. I know he has a plan. But, I don’t always like the plan.

And people like to remind you too of what could go wrong. I know. I know what’s possibly at stake with either side of the decision. And I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do it again.

Today is just a day where everything feels too loud, too much. I know a lot of this is lack of sleep and steroids, but it’s just too much sometimes. It’s only Tuesday and I feel like we’ve been through the gauntlet of emotions in two days, and I’m exhausted.

But today, in the midst, I started a challenge I also heard on another episode of The Next Right Thing. As I sat for an extended period of time, I started looking back at the last 3 months of posts on Instagram, Facebook and here in the blog. Emily Freeman challenged us to “look for lessons learned”. She said, “in order to move toward the things we most want in our lives, we first must look back.”

I found some posts that made me smile, almost laugh a few times, and some that made my heart hurt again. But I see the lessons. I see the good and the not so good. I see where God has shown up for me by himself and through my people. I’m still looking through and going over this list, so probably anticipate that to come, but I challenge you to do the same.

She said it’s easiest to do it in seasons. December ushers in cold, so look at September through November and see what you learned in the fall. She also mentions keeping a daily list, a one liner, to help you look back when your evaluating your season.

And so I sit here in the dark, quiet again, with the sounds of the heater and the washing machine as my company and remember that whatever lies in front of me, God has already been there. And even though there is a possibility of hard times and heartache, He’s really equipped me with tools to make it through this last hardest season and so I have no reason to believe he won’t do it again.

I had great hope that this would be a season of blessings. But like Annie said in Remember God, sometimes the limp is the blessing. And so I limp forward, still very much literally as well as metaphorically limping, thankful for the people who show up for me and thankful for ability to show up for them. Thankful for the limp and the blessing. Very much seeking peace and courage in this season, whatever may fall.

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