Monday, February 27, 2017

It's All Grace

As I sit here at my desk, I find myself staring at this plant; this sweet little succulent that is perfectly placed in front of the window, with the sun casting it's rays to create these lovely shadows and pockets of light.  I love plants, especially these cute little guys.  But dang it, I keep coming into my newly remodeled creative space, sitting in this chair, and desperately wanting to create something. 

My soul needs it; this space of my own; this place of retreat in the chaos of life; the act of creating something.  Yet, this is the third time I have entered this room and sat at this desk to find myself simply staring at this plant.  It's all I can do.  I am emotionally exhausted and spiritually strained. 

You see, life has been hard lately.  There has been loss and pain, hurt and shame.  We've walked along and beside, sat in hospital rooms and funeral homes, cried with friends who are struggling, fought on our knees for our children's hearts......and the day to day has to.  People need to eat and learn and have clean clothes.

One more load of laundry.....push back the darkness....prepare dinner....push back the darkness....gather school supplies...push back the darkness....
.......and I just sit here staring at this plant. I'm tired. I don't want to push back anymore. It's too hard. 

No one prepared me for children growing older and it being harder.  We got past diapers and sleepless nights and all of my children can absolutely do most things on their own.  Isn't it supposed to be easier now?

No one prepared me for the war that is waging on their hearts.  Oh God, be near. 

No one prepared me for sweet friends losing their husbands far too early and far too young and losing our friend. Oh God, be near.

No one prepared me for how my heart would ache and break for the broken lives, the hurting, the hungry, the enslaved....

And just then, the Lord spoke back to my heart the very same sentence I had just spoken days ago to a sweet friend...
"The hurt is so very hard, but it is necessary."

I know He's right.  I have a story of pain and hurt and shame just like so many of us do.  I know that in my darkest of times, that my God made himself so very present.  The sweetest times with my Savior have always been in the darkest of times....always.
I know He's right. 

But my heart just wants to honestly kick and scream a little and say, NO.
The hurt is's painful.  BUT, it is absolutely necessary. 

If I believe what I say that I do; that Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins; that His death was enough to pay for the weight of my sin and yours; that my life is not my own; that I exist here now to share the love that He has shown me; that my sole purpose as His child is do just that unto His glory....then I have to keep pushing back the darkness to let the light shine through.  I have to. I get to.  I will.

But I don't always feel like it.  I feel weak and tired.

And then I open my bible in search of scripture to read over my son....
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9
I stop.  I read it again. And again. And again.

He always knows exactly what I need and when I need it.
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong."  2 Corinthians 12:9-10

So friends, I am weak.  I do not have this whole parenting, schooling, mentoring, homemaking, ministry, life stuff figured out.  By the incredible grace of God, I am learning every single day. By His mercy, I am still here and getting to live this life.
Because sprinkled about in the midst of the hard are so many beautiful pockets of light and beauty and growth and much joy to be had....
...but we must keep pushing back the dark in order to see.