Everyone felt it in some way, shape, or form.
The Middle East.
The stigma of mental illness being catapulted through every online magazine, blog, and news program.
And the reason it matters, every bit of it, is because each of us carries round with us our own story. Our own familial wars, religious wars, mental wars, and they are tucked away in a little place we call the subconscious, influencing us day-in and day-out. We may be unaware but each of us have several story-lines playing in the background that make it to the forefront of our consciousness during weeks like these.
It's like the world is forced to take a collective p a u s e.
But rather than go all ginormous on you and "out there" I'm gonna bring it back in to right here, right now, right in my little life.
This week felt BIG, perhaps because the collective circumstances of our world collided with some tender places and important s p a c e s in my story. It's like God lifted up the rug of my life and dust and debris flung everywhere but are settling on good places, holy places, places reserved for the remnant of God.
My heart went back to His words replanted earlier this year:
You sought and inquired of Me and required Me on the necessity and authority of My Word, and I heard you, and I delivered you from all your fears. You looked to me and were radiant. your face shall never blush for shame of be confused.
My poor daughter cried, and I heard you, and saved you out of all your troubles.
I, the Angel of the Lord, the incarnate One, encamp around you who revere and worship me with awe and deliver you.
Oh Beloved, taste and see that I am good! (Psalm 34: 1-9, personalized from Amplified Bible)
Then His words spoken just weeks ago:
I will keep and protect you, Beloved, for you have found r e f u g e in Me, you put your trust and are hidden in Me.
You say, "He is my LORD, I have no good, beside or beyond Him..."
I am your chosen and assigned portion, your cup. I hold and maintain your lot.
The lines have fallen for you in pleasant places, sweetheart, YES! You have a g o o d heritage.
You will bless Me! I have given you good counsel, yes, I even instruct you in the night seasons.
You have set Me continually before you, because I am at your right hand, you will not be moved!
Therefore, let your h e a r t be g l a d and let your g l o r y rejoice; your body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety.
For I shall not abandon you to death, neither will I suffer you to see corruption.
I will show you the path of l i f e; in My presence is fullness of j o y, at My right hand there are p l e a s u r e s forevermore. (Psalm 16, personalized from Amplified Bible)
You see when it's all said and done His words and His l i f e are what carry me, hold me, settle me during weeks like this. Drawing upon my memorial stones of His faithfulness, pursuit, correction, and guidance are what breathe true h o p e and g l o r y!
These Scriptures remind me of the bigger story of my life and the intimate ways Jesus has come for me. They take me back to heartbreak, anxiety and depression, friendship tensions and fallouts, ministry disappointments, family hurts, and all those little subplots my life holds.
In a week we were all tempted to hide in the dark or be coerced back there, God gave us a collective opportunity to tenderly hold grief, confusion, bewilderment, mysteries, and dark places we don't like to go up against His l i g h t. And that, that friends, changes things. Changes everything.
Was it hard?
Will it be hard or even get harder?
Does He care?
Yes, deeply. The cross at the forefront.
Can change happen?
Yes, absolutely. The resurrection--new life!
In the midst of all we are holding this week, try to step away from the blogs, articles, and feeds and take a deep b r e a t h e. Ask the Lord to help you wander through the storyboard of your life and bring to mind recollections of His care and l i g h t in the darkest of times. If you can't imagine where he was, just ask Him, and wait. You may want to do this with a trusted friend or mentor.
He is God with us--Emmanuel!
Happy Friday friends and may His l i g h t ever shine....