Friday, December 6, 2013
Hope in the Hard places
Those who know my story of loss wonder how we got from there to here. How I moved from weeping brokenness spilling across the floor to this place, where I can look life in the face again- even on the hard days. It has been a journey, and I am still learning. What has been key has been connecting to the One who has become my everything.
The question that slices deepest is how to live Hope in the hard places. I think back to the days of darkest oppression and I remember telling myself over and over that there was Such Hope to be found; training my mind to grip tight to that hope helped me put one foot in front of the other. But what changed me was not the power of positive thinking. The moment that changed everything was when God met me with unconditional acceptance and gave me freedom to grieve.
I don't know what your heartache looks like- though I know there is much to grieve in this life. All I know is how my story was changed when I fell into the arms of the One who still is my comfort on the difficult days.
Some ask, "Where is God in the midst of suffering?" Some believe he's a capricious God, showing up only when it suits his fancy. Yet the one who walked the road of agony willingly, even with thanks, is not fickle or flighty. He is faithful. The closeness we have in every season has much more to do with me.
How deep will I let his love go? What, and Who do I choose to cling to? How open is my heart to intimacy? In this life, sometimes closeness sears. Man's love can leave me wounded, gaping, and sometimes I translate that into my relations with God.
He is not frivolous with my love, but I fear the pain that comes in confronting my wounds. There are jagged edges still in my life. Places where fear would like to rupture the tender membrane that protects my fragile places. Pain is a teacher, but what lessons will I walk out? What wisdom will I practice? Will my shrewdness keep God at arm's length, resigned live with tolerable pain, or will I make the choice to let Him open the infected wound so as to cleanse and heal? I fear the pain, yes, but I fear being trapped by my brokenness more.
So I choose to open up, to let Him have his way with my heart, my soul. For his way leads to life and healing. I know the process looks different for each wound, each indiviudal life, but my prayer is that I will not turn away from wellness, that I would consistently embrace deeper wholeness- in spirit, soul, and body.