What a difference a year makes.
This month has held far less tears, far fewer goodbyes, than one year ago. It hasn’t always been sunshiny and happy, but it has held countless unforgettable sunrises and sunsets and joy moments.
I celebrated the coming of this new year by putting puzzles together and falling asleep well before midnight. The very following week I moved into a new basement home with a family that has challenged my faith and pushed me toward digging deep and pressing in (thanks, God, for that Race reminder). It still only takes one good trip of two or three cars to move all my things, which I feel pretty good about, all things considered. Not accumulating a lot of stuff is grand.
God also called my bluff this month. I have this new day-in-day-out 5am wake up call job that I convinced myself was temporal and, therefore, deserved little of my depth and definitely no commitment to making friends. God laughed, I’m sure, and then shook His head at me saying, “Little daughter, I made you for so much more and you know it. You need these people. I’ve given them to you on purpose.”
Because I did.
I needed these people that are walking the same life season as me.
I needed these people who operate with the mindset that we are warriors in a spiritual battle first before any physical battle comes into play.
I needed prayer warriors to remind me to pray.
I needed sisters full of joy light and laughter-to-tears on every occasion.
I needed them so desperately and had no idea.
God’s used these folks to remind me what it feels like to be on fire, digging deep in scripture and writing in these journals of mine, and committing my way to the Lord.
It’s funny, that scripture – in Psalm 37 and in Proverbs 16 – because it’s talking about the way a camel gets rid of its load. It kneels down first, then leans to one side to allow its burden to drop. These verses say “commit your way” and “commit your work” – kneel down, humble yourself at the feet of Jesus, and lean in.
Breathe deep. Press in.
That’s what this season has become – a season of committing my way to the Lord and allowing Him to make the path, carry the burden, decide the future, dictate the details – whether that be moving to Uganda or simply what I’m supposed to do on a daily basis.
Breathe deep. Kneel down. Lean in. It is a season of rest.
It is also a season of allowing myself space and freedom to dream, rather than dismissing certain thoughts and ideas immediately, no matter how outlandish they may seem.
And it is a season of pursuit, which seems to contradict the whole idea of a season of rest, but I promise it’s not: Pursuit of that which sustains. I’m sure when camels get rid of their load after a long journey they rest and drink in all the water they can – a season of refilling – allowing the reservoirs within them to be restored.
Spring up, oh well.
I’m reminded a lot of the time I spent mapping the kings of Israel while sick in that Beijing hostel and the way I couldn’t soak up enough of Jeremiah in the Philippines because He called her virgin Israel after all she’d done and it was too much for me to take hold of that complete washing of sins and broken covenants. I couldn’t soak it up enough. I couldn’t wash myself with scripture enough.
My current obsession is Peter: outspoken, passionate, act-before-thinking Peter. Satan asks to sift him like wheat (Luke 22) and Jesus basically just said, “I’ll pray for you so you’ll be strong & make it through.” But what came next blew my mind. Jesus says, “and when you return, strengthen your brothers.”
No matter the hard seasons we face. No matter the rough patches or the times we’re drawn into the wilderness or after the harvest when we’re sifted like wheat or when we have to endure suffering, like 1 Peter 1 discusses, it’s always for the refinement of our faith and, inevitably, for us to strengthen those around us. Rarely is it just about us. Rarely is it only for our benefit. Our community is so important and our stories are so crucial because we’re called to minister to our brothers and sisters.
To me, what a lucky lot that is: to have the honor of speaking life over my sisters and brothers. To encourage. Even at the expense of comfort for a season. Even at the expense of having it a little easier for a season. What an honor to lift up and carry others to the feet of the cross.
So, that’s where you’ve found me: counting the times Peter opened his mouth too soon, laughing to tears over tacos, and touting tutus for the sake of celebration and dancing joy.