It’s been quite a year, this 2015.
A hard one.
Hardest that’s come in my 33 years.
Funny looking back on seasons once deemed difficult, now paling by comparison. Perhaps that’s an encouragement though – those valleys deep seeming shallow in rear view, after their hidden lessons were learned and the Author’s crafting, carrying, through it all made evident. Perhaps those rifts felt foreboding then as these canyon-sized cracks do now. Perhaps it’s just reflection’s rose-colored glasses.
It’s been a year of dark storms and brilliant silver linings, a year of fears actualized and unknown strength rising. But let’s be honest – even that “strength” is simply weakness brought center stage, leading to greater dependence on the only One mighty. If in weakness one is strong, then I’m Miss Olympia.
When walking sorrow’s road, there comes a point when our mortal core cannot carry gratitude’s banner any further, when the silver linings don’t make up for the massive clouds within, when you’re simply, honestly NOT OK and too weary to convince yourself otherwise. ‘Tis the way of all fallen flesh. Whether abandonment of provision, people, or plans, human hope only goes so far.
We cannot save ourselves.
Another exhausted day gave way to sleepless night. As the last of my frayed rope’s end gave way, the guttural cries stored deep from this awful year came pouring out, silent cries giving way to sobs. My life’s foundational belief in Yahweh, the One True God, the Ever-Faithful, Ever-Listening, Ever-Sovereign, Perfect Author of life itself, met its crux. All the silver-linings and gratitude-fueled-hope could not sustain the weight crushing within. God, I “know” You hear me but I NEED to know You’re with me, FOR me, RIGHT NOW in this make it or I’ll break moment. Would my Cornerstone prove sure?
It all poured out with torrential force. Anger. Sorrow. Fear. Every awful emotion birthed from loss. Nothing polished. Raw. Laid out ugly before Holiness in the dark of night.
Here, He showed Himself near.
A middle-of-the-night message sent from a friend woken, prompted to pray for me, for my precious children. Slowly I heard His whispers. I’m here.
Whispered nudges to a spent soul, Open your Bible app. A book of 66 books. Out of all of that, where do I even start?! Just open it.
I love the Lord because He has heard my appeal for mercy. Because He has turned His ear to me, I will call out to Him as long as I live. The ropes of death were wrapped around me, and the torments of Sheol overcame me; I encountered trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of Yahweh: “Yahweh, save me!”
The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is compassionate. The Lord guards the inexperienced; I was helpless, and He saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. For You, Lord, rescued me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living. I believed, even when I said, “I am severely afflicted.” In my alarm I said, “Everyone is a liar.”
How can I repay the Lord for all the good He has done for me? I will take the cup of salvation and call on the name of Yahweh. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people. The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight. Lord, I am indeed Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your female servant. You have loosened my bonds. I will offer You a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of Yahweh. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people, in the courts of the Lord’s house—within you, Jerusalem. Hallelujah!
He heard me.
I read the psalm over and again, awed how the phrases contained spoke directly to my cries. It had just turned midnight. I opened the app again. A new day’s passage appeared.
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world. John 16:33
Comfort like rolling tides swept over as the One who holds all things together held me together by His Word, living and active. Colossians. SheReadsTruth.com was studying the book currently. Colossians. Well since it’s after midnight maybe the next day’s post will be up. Opening it read:
So if you have been raised with the Messiah, see what is above, where the Messiah is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on what is above, not what is on the earth. Colossians 3:1-2
Peace like lightening broke through my dark. He heard me. God was speaking to me – broken, battered, ugly-raw me, saving me from what I couldn’t save myself. And His Words spoke Grace. Grace greater than sin, ALL sin, mine, those against me and against those I love. Grace, My child.
And with it – Hope.
It’s now another day into this year, this year that can’t fade to memory soon enough. Perhaps one day those rose-colored glasses will find similar reflections on the valley of now. Much terrain remains to be traveled as my surrounding circumstances haven’t changed. But Ann Voskamp summed it best, “Every person needs hope planted at the bottom of their hole. Because this is the thing. Hope is what holds a breaking heart together. Hope in a Big God is what frees us from big fears. Hope is a thing with keys…”
At the blackest bottom of my hole, God gently placed mine. Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow. Beneath storm clouds still raging, He renewed truth’s song in me.
Great is His faithfulness.