"Good morning, Baby Girl. It's over. I need you to wake up today and soak in the Sonshine. The clouds moved out last night. It's spring, and it's time to stop circling the mountain and move." That was Saturday...almost five months since my last post.
It's been easy to hide here in my shell...hidden in a dark place all by myself. Months of being quiet with only two blog posts and a few glimpses as to what is under the shell here with me. It's been a year since I've been consistent with blogging. It's been a year of trial and tragedy. A year of joy mixed with pain. A year when it was almost too dangerous to even dare let the words flow from my heart to the page. A year when the pain was too close to write about...so much to tell from a heart that was too broken to speak it.
But there comes a time when the story must be told...when the ashes become beauty...when the mourning is met with the oil of joy...when the spirit of heaviness must be exchanged for the garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). He's been patient with me. He has heard each and every time that I told Him that I didn't know how I could bear to lose her...how much I loved her...how much I needed her in my life. I was so careful to praise Him and be grateful for every time He allowed her to stay longer because I knew one day He would say that she had to come Home. I didn't want to let her go. I was selfish and I wanted her to stay here. I wanted to be able to call her every night and listen to her voice. I wanted her to mentor me in the faith...to teach me more about what it means to truly follow Him...to let me sit at her feet and marvel at her love for Him. But she was ready to go Home. She had been ready for a long time, and He was calling her Home.
And I didn't fall apart when she left because I couldn't. My kids needed me and my daddy was sick and we didn't know what was wrong. By the time Mammaw left, Daddy was in a wheelchair a lot of the time if he was out of the house. When around the house he relied on a walker. We didn't have answers until the first of September, and the answers were the worst ones we could have. We spent the next four months watching his body decline with each passing day, and then on Christmas Eve he was invited Home and healed perfectly just in time for Christmas.
There were other things in the middle...things that brought pain...disappointment...anger. By the time I got to January I felt so defeated. I spent a lot of time in Isaiah. I went there to find my favorite verse, Isaiah 41:10, but He invited to hand out there and look around. There in Isaiah I would find other verses for dark days...for days when I felt alone...for days when I had given up on anything to do with a calling...and He met me there in Isaiah. Gently waiting in the lines of individual verses of scripture...slowly...patiently healing me piece by piece. He reminded me that I am inscribed in the palm of His hand and that nothing can ever change that. No loss in spiritual warfare...no struggle with anger...no failure to follow His calling could remove my name from His palm. When it looked like opposition was stacked against me, He reminded me in amazing ways that no weapon can prosper if I am in His will.
Sometimes I felt like the dark would never end. Sometimes it felt like I was drowning in an ocean of pain and I couldn't get loose from the entanglement of the seaweed around me...not that I was trying all that hard really to get loose because it was easier just to give in to it and let it drown me. I tried to tell myself that the water and the fiery trial was just to make me stronger, for I knew that was His way of strengthening me...but this time I wasn't sure that I wanted to be stronger. It felt darker and lonelier than it had before. And there He was reminding me that I was His and that He would be with me when I passed through the waters, and that the fire might be hot, but I would not be burned. Every wave...every flame...He was there.
And here I am in April... a girl so tempted to remain quiet and slowly let people forget what it was I once told them eagerly that I felt called to do. I wanted to just say that I tried and walk away. Most people find it a little hard to believe anyway, and let's face it...what's so different about me? Why would God pick me for anything? I probably just imagined it, right? I mean, what in the world does God need with a 45 year old woman?
Apparently He has something in mind because He sure does wait for me to get myself together for Him. He took me through Isaiah and reminded me that His word does not return to Him void and that He can make it prosper and accomplish whatever He wants...even through me. I don't understand it either...but then He reminds me that His thoughts are not like mine. He is going to do a new thing...and for some reason He wants me to be part of it. That to me is amazing.
So it's time for me to pull myself up, dust myself off, and figure out that it's April. I have stories to share with you...stories of love and hope...stories of daring and trust...stories that go against the odds....stories of loss and heartbreak...stories of joy and redemption. I have pictures that you have never seen that I want to share...dreams that make my heart sing...and brokenness that leaks the warmest of all light.
It's time for a new thing...and I am so excited to see what He has in mind.