Did you stop writing?
I have been asked this question countless times over the past several months. Aside from the surprise that anyone noticed, I silently cringe at these inquiries. Because I have no real answer. Yes? No? Maybe just for a little while?
The truth is, I’ve been in a really hard season. Over the past year or two, it seems as if many tangible and intangible aspects of my life were pried from my grasp with astounding momentum. I’ve died to a lot of what I thought was untouchable about my past, present and future. And the tears, though they have mercifully slowed, have yet to stop.
I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. My eyes grow weak with sorrow; they fail because of all my foes. Psalm 6:6-7
It’s hard to write when you are in a crucible. Words stumble out in a staccato march of fragmented sentences, snippets of sense and nonsense, wisdom and weariness, fear, failure, hope, healing and loss. I scramble to capture what I can in journals, hoping to cobble something of meaning together, for my sake at least. But much gets lost in translation.
So I’ve been quiet. And that is ok right now. Because though the world tells us otherwise, it is never wrong to err on the side of privacy when limping through a hard season.
It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:26
It feels as if my entire life has been stripped down to the studs. And even some of those burned. But as I sift through the ashes, wondering what my world will look at the end of this season and, if I am being completely honest, when this season will end, one thing has remained clear: Even when things don’t look good, God still is working for mine.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
I believe it in my bones that when God promises to work all things together for my good, He means it. All things means everything: good, bad and ugly. And just because there are circumstances and seasons where precious little looks good from my vantage point, it doesn’t make this promise less true.
Nobody likes pain. Physical, emotional or otherwise. And in a world obsessed with comfort, its easy to forget that pain in any form can be a gift. It tells you something is wrong and sends you searching for healing. We can try to anesthetize it all we want, but most of the time the only way to healing is straight through the pain. Though I might want healing to look a certain way and beg the Lord to let it come soon, I have to trust in the author and perfecter of my faith. And if my soon and His soon are defined differently, His is always the better soon.
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25
I know this because I’ve already experienced it. Each time I crawl into God’s arms broken, raw and honest, I find healing. Breathtaking, miraculous healing that pierces places in my spirit I didn’t even know were wounded. Healing that wouldn’t have happened were it not for the pain that sent me running to God in the first place. And I want more healing.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. Psalm 147:3
I’d be lying if I said I’m weathering my storm perfectly. Just like Peter, who was was walking on water towards Jesus, Himself, I lose faith, succumb to fear and holler for Jesus to save me. (As if Jesus should panic along with me.) But when I feel myself being sucked under, I reach for Him any way I can. I sing praises even as I weep. I pour my heart out in honest prayers. I confess and repent of sin that is holding me back. And I grab hold of God’s Word. Its there I find truth that transcends my experience and shatters the lies of an enemy hell-bent on enslaving me in despair and hopelessness.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
His Word is living and active, sharper than a two edge sword. Through His Word, God speaks life, encouragement and practical wisdom into my weary heart. From Genesis to Revelation, God promises that He is for me and will never leave me. He fights on my behalf. And He will not let this storm consume me.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” – Isaiah 43:2
If like me, you feel like your storm just won’t end, I urge you to lift your hands to the Lord. His arm is not too short to rescue you. If your knees buckle, rest in His embrace. Its there where your strength will be renewed. When despair threatens to suck you under, grab hold of the truth. Because God keeps His promises to a thousand generations. And when wave after wave of pain crashes around you, run to the Father. He will comfort you, breathe life into you and bind your wounds into something more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
I guess these were the words I was meant to offer you right now. A moment together where we can agree that life in a broken world is so very hard. An encouragement to let whatever pain you are experiencing send you to the Healer. A reminder that when it seems all is lost, Christ is everything you need. And a shared hope that our good, good Father is not finished with any of us yet.