Something happened between then and now.
Between that last post and this one.
At the time, I didn't see it coming. But everything within me would be tested, shaken, and emptied.
Such seems to be the routine of things when a grand life shift is on the horizon.
I know for many people, the holidays are painful. There is a great loss in all of our hearts. We miss people or we are afraid to miss them. We struggle with what we hoped for and what is -- those things that have been established.
These last few days, I've simply wanted to slip into someone else's body, because my own thoughts were becoming too painful, too obsessive.
You know what I prayed about 6 months ago? I prayed that God would make me fearless.
In case you're wondering, it's just as dangerous as that "patience" prayer.
One cannot become fearless without encountering real fear.
Without going into too many details, I will say this, I had one of theee worst nightmares (in my sleep) of my life about 3 weeks ago fast forward to me being in urgent care on Christmas Day with a body that was acting out of the poor stress it had been suffocated with. The level of anxiety and fear were almost crippling. I mean, one day I was just fine and the next day I had to sleep with a stuffed animal to keep myself from losing it.
My trip to urgent care proved that I was absolutely healthy and fine, just simply getting over a bad cold and some indigestion. And in my heart I knew that this wasn't the Lord calling me home just yet. But fear is not often logical nor does it bring peace.
And as I write this brief recap, my heart goes out to the many guys and girls, fathers and mothers, daughters and sons who've had to embrace loss, face fear, and still hope for the best in the midst of it all.
We are thirsty for Hope.
In all my mess and insecurity I am sure of one thing. A world without Christ is a world with no Hope. The love that is offered through the mystery of this man Jesus is quite overwhelming and He alone gives me cause to be fearless.
I'm learning afresh what it means to be "delivered". As I am experiencing one now.
We often don't realize that we've been weighed down or are in need of deliverance until we are face to face with gut-wrenching disappointment or fear. The foundations of our hearts are exposed. And there we find out if we've been building on sand or stone.
This past Sunday, I taught my teens and preteens about Ruth from the Bible. A woman, who in the midst of great loss and disappointment, left her own country and culture and went into the unknown with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Whereas her mother-in-law felt completely abandoned by God, Ruth proclaims that she wants Naomi's God to be her God and displays this sense of hopefulness that doesn't quite make sense given the circumstance. I won't spoil the story for you, but let's just say Ruth's hope was not in vain...
And here we are.
It's about to be a new year.
And I know we all need a new beginning.
My prayer for you is that you would encounter Truth the destroys the lies, Peace over the anxiety, and Love that decimates all fear.
Your story is not over yet.
And though there may be pain in the night, joy will come for you--joy will come for you in the morning.
"See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up;
do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland."