I don’t like that I’m not doing okay. Well I’m okay, but I’ve been struggling. And the yucky part is that I am embarrassed to write this right now. The reality is, it’s just been a really hard year. I am grieving the loss of someone so special to me and I find myself fighting back ugly-tears at the most odd of times.
Grief is a weird thing isn’t it? It comes, and you expect its’ stay to be shorter than it ends up being. I have been wanting to email you for so long, but hurting has a way of making things a little harder because it just kind of lingers. But I trust that you are a safe place to show up, even if I am showing up with a heavy heart.
My intention of writing this, at the very root of it, is to sit here with you in the mess, because I know you have hurts of your own. Though our messes and hurts are most likely different, I want you to know that you are not alone in them.
I believe that grief and joy can coexist.
You know what I think is one of the most beautiful traits a person can have? They smile in the face of adversity because they trust the One True God is on their side, fighting this battle along with them.
I want to be a woman who knows her worth and knows in the deepest places of her heart that she is loved. No matter what circumstances she is facing. And in turn, I want my words and my actions to remind you that the same is true about you.
So I am here today, to stand tall in the face of this grief I am trudging through. I will hold my head high because I know the story doesn’t end here. I will continue to pray for peace, trusting that my God will continue to lavish His love on me. I can trust He will guide me to springs of living water, and then wipe my tears (Revelation 7:17). Because His love is just that great.
Revelation 7:17 says “For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
This verse is talking specifically of the end times, but I find hope for it even now. In the end, our tears will be wiped away and never will fall again. But in our lives now, we will face adversity. We will still have tears that fall and we will still feel pain. The hard things won’t go away on this side of Heaven. But I believe with all of my heart and regardless of the hurts we walk through now, God provides peace and joy. He doesn’t withhold peace and joy from His children. That I trust.
Now I know speaking life over darkness brings light. I know that speaking about what beautiful things God is doing in my life brings encouragement and can spread like a wildfire. I know that recognizing and speaking out loud the small victories, brings even greater victories. So here are some springs of living water I know God has placed me near on purpose:
- My sweet Caleb. Can I be a bit sappy for a moment? He covers me in prayer, understanding, and unconditional love. He listens to my hurts, does anything to make me laugh, and hugs me tight at just the right moments.
- Simple living. Though I have been busier than the last couple of years, I really am working to allow time to be still. I make it a priority to go on sunset runs, enjoy breakfast on the porch, cook meals that take a little longer than others, and enjoy time outside listening to the songbirds and soaking up the sun.
- Challenges. I know what you are thinking: “Challenges are springs of living water?”. Mmmhmm. It’s true. I am being challenged to be content in our 2 bedroom condo while I work out of our dining room. I am being challenged to become a more patient woman as we continue to save for a house. I am being challenged to always put God first in my thoughts, my day, and my heart. These are hard things, and to be honest I don’t always enjoy them in the moment. But I see the fruit they are bringing forth (another email for another time).
- New friendships. In the last few weeks I have crossed paths with some of the most lovely women. I have gotten to share pieces of my story and hear about pieces of theirs. They have offered wisdom and lots of laughter, which my heart needed. With each one of them I have seen glimpses of God’s love for me.
For all of these streams God has me camping near, I am forever grateful.
I was listening to a song as I wrote the earlier part of this email and the lyrics said:
“Bear your cross as you wait for the crown. Tell the world of the treasure you’ve found (O Come to the Altar by Elevation Worship).”
Those words are powerful, and I pray they settle in the crevices of your heart. Beauty from ashes my friend, beauty from ashes. Want to listen? Click here.