One sibling photo a week throughout the year. 47/52
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
I referenced a few entries back that while on the Abide Writer’s Retreat in October, I happened upon some personal revelations that I’ve been chewing on ever since. I kind of love the revelations that are so meaty, so personal, I can’t just be like, “Yep. Great! Moving on.” It takes some time of really sitting with them to begin to understand what they really mean for me. So here I am, two months later, sorting them out.
During the Saturday morning session, I spent some time sitting on a wooden bridge that stretched over a wide river, listening to God in the relative quiet. The river was actually rather noisy, which I found comforting since there are only rare times at my house that are truly quiet and I don’t know what to do with myself in total silence. I started across the bridge with great intention of finding the very middle and sitting down to take in the beauty of the foggy fall morning from the center of the river, not realizing that once I sat, I would not be able to see anything except the solid metal safety rail that lined either side of the bridge unless I really strained to see through the cracks in the boards beneath me or stood up again. I just laughed to myself at my gross oversight of my intended viewpoint, and decided to close my eyes instead.
I didn’t mean to write a lot during those next 30 minutes, but I did. I only had my notebook open to jot a note or two down of what I heard in my spirit while listening. Our workshop leader had given us a few questions to think about, one of which involved identifying one source of pain we currently hold.
Mine relates largely to the peculiar loneliness and odd solitude that comes in the life season I am in as a mother of many children. Yes, I am surrounded by little people at all times (which is a great and deep blessing), but I am also tucked away from the world ‘out there’ and in a way, drawn out of the many deep and beautiful relationships I’ve had with friends over the years where I have enjoyed easy/frequent communication and get-togethers. Friendships don’t (and maybe can’t) happen like they once did. I’ve struggled with that.
I realized that through all my lowest years, it was those connections that helped carry me through tough times. I can name friends from literally every season of my life that have been there, holding me together, fielding my many thoughts and feelings, journeying, praying, and bringing about a companionship that literally saved my life at times. I still have (great) friends, but I have found that I can’t seem to make peace with the distance/space I’ve found in nearly every one of my dearest relationships. It’s one of those tender places that just keeps feeling raw and uncomfortable no matter what I do.
I write on the page, “Light shines through the water running over rocks.”
And then, “A crutch to help through a time of injury can no longer be a crutch through the last stage of recovery. Restoration cannot happen if you do not regain strength in your limbs, and leaning does not help you grow strong.”
Bam. Where in the world did that come from?
I read it over again and only barely understood it. Months later, I’m still chewing, but I understand a bit more.
I am pretty sure I have felt ‘broken’ for most of my life, and I have not known how to deal with the brokenness part of my identity now that a new season is upon me. I am no longer broken, having experienced a tremendous amount of inner-healing in recent years, but I have been terrified of walking in total faith because walking in faith has implications…If I walk as if I am broken, I excuse myself from having to live into the power, authority, and responsibility God has given me to do all things to the glory of God (Col. 3:17). If I walk as if I am broken, always leaning, it makes my voice small, and makes it easier for me to skirt around things that God has called me to. It allows me to always give an excuse for why I can’t choose the brave things.
If I recognize that I am no longer broken, but healed, and begin to live like it – going to God in prayer for everything and seeking Him to renew my strength at every turn – how can the aches that have weighed on me for so long keep me from the abundant life He intends for me? The riches of heaven are so different from the riches of earth. I find myself mining, searching, scouring for the heavenly ones wherever I can. Sometimes it takes removing comforts to find the gumption to dig in the right places for those gems, but I’m starting to get it.
I write on the page, “All colors, both of light and shadow, have something to say. Some speak out with strength, and some hide in darkness, unable to feel the light. There is beauty in the movement of the sun as it moves to touch as many sides of a tree as possible throughout the day.”
It dawns on me that don’t have to see the sun to see the light it produces, but it isn’t until I see the sun (where the light originates) that I can recognize why it is spectacular…how it has traveled from millions of miles away to find this place, at this time, to fall on me. I am struck by how light moves stealthily around shadows to reach every side of an object. I am reminded that I must always be looking for the light, no matter how desperate, dark, and discouraging things seem around me, and that I should always take every action I can to position myself where the light will touch me. I can hide. I can crawl back in the shadows, or I can stand up tall, like a fire-golden tree, stretching up and stretching wide to catch the sun’s rays with deep gratitude for the ways they warm and grow me, even if that process is very uncomfortable at times.
Update on run/walk goal for week 47 (the goal is to complete at least 10 miles per week): 12.5 Run/Walk miles traveled, 561mi in 2015
1121. little one talking more and more, 1122. mama here for thanksgiving, 1123. new tablecloth & holiday decorations, 1124. tree cut & set up by dad, lit by me, and decorated by kids, 1125. small victories in the storage room junk war, 1126. weekend walks in the sun with friends, 1127. december parties planned, 1128. five new ‘hap birt-day to you’s’ (candles), 1129. lesson plan charts for each child, 1130. new math curriculum + kids’ excitement over it