I wrote in November of 2012, a blog post that I had completely forgotten about until recently when I came across it looking for something else.
“The Trusty Ol Dishcloth”
You can read it. It is pretty raw and I obviously wrote it in the middle of the hardest 5 months of my life, to date. I wrote these words,
“There will come a day when I will realize that I have been picked up out of the sink. Then down the road I will be washed clean of this sorrow and bitterness, even anger and hurt. Later on then, I will be hung out to dry in the warmth of the Son and I will radiate and glow with gladness, and feel ready and useful for service again. What a glorious time that will be.”
Yes, the world is struggling, as it has since the beginning. My life isn’t perfect and what I wouldn’t give to have a little boy in our home these days, but the Lord continues this process with me of picking me up, washing me out, ringing me out, then letting me dry in the warmth of the Son. Over time he has given me the joy, the spark, the gladness and purpose to serve again. He has filled our home with that gladness, a bustle of life, the sound of laughter, silliness, and occasionally a deep sigh of relief.
Life still has hardship, frustration and rough patches, don’t get me wrong.
but, my soul.
My soul is so different. One of the biggest things I take away from going through my old writings is this; slow, but steady growth.
Today, I sense that I resemble this statement, more so than ever. This year brought with it an adventure (to say the least), that next to those 5 months in Ft Worth, has been most difficult. The last time I wrote, it was my story of mental health. The last year has been a big year of deep healing, learning, and growing (slow and steady growth that is) through a lot of what had built up over many years, plus undoing things I had picked up from grief and not handling it very well. All that to say, the cloth does dry in the warmth of the Son and is ready to be useful again and then it is rung out again and then it is ready again and then rung out again and so on. This, is what I’ve realized…I would rather continually be rung out, rinsed out, hung to dry and then the process begins again, than to be stuck in a cabinet, clean and dry, but not being used.
I want my life to be a continual rhythm of serving and health, sabbath and hard work.
Do you remember a time in your life when every decision was based on feelings? I think that is why the teenage and early twenties are so hard to navigate. We’re so driven by emotions and have yet to find tangible ways or even the desire to not live in the emotion. Honestly, it’s taken me so long to find ways to correct this in my own life. Our whole journey with Noah taught me so much, but I realize looking back that the journey truly opened up a whole new part of my soul, my walk with Christ, the way I react to opposition, hard times, dark seasons, disappointment.
My best friend and I were sitting down to coffee and a 3 hour long conversation over a Dream Guide by Jennie Allen at the end of December 2018. One of the questions was how have you grown in the last year. I had to think quite a bit because I had found many many ways I had grown in the last year, honestly, but I landed on this. I am learning to own my feelings, my emotions and frustrations, but not let them own me. Yes, I have terrible days, bad moods, frustrating reactions and often I fail at being patient or calm with certain issues.
Yet, I am learning how to see things for what they are, remove my crazy active emotions and see the situation from a larger perspective.
Perhaps I am learning to #findtheheart of the situations and see things from a different perspective. Early on after Noah died I was very sensitive to families, mothers, their behavior, their Facebook statuses, the things they complained about, whined about, was frustrated about. I’m sure I even wrote about that as well. I would see someone go on and on about a pet dying and want to scream “MY SON, A REAL HUMAN PERSON, DIED AND THAT IS MORE IMPORTANT AND HARDER THAN A SILLY DOG, DON’T YOU GET IT” I was truly offended and hurt. I hated and dreaded the Sundays that were “Baby Dedication” Sundays because all these families had healthy babies and were celebrating, while I would silently cry in my pastor’s office until I could gather myself and go out and finish the worship set. I was so driven by emotion in the first few years and it was expected, SO MUCH GRACE was given to me by those around me. I’m sure they wanted to scream back at me about how overly emotional and even irrational I was. BUT, they loved.
They gave me space and they helped me walk through it.
Isn’t that what we all need? People to extend grace and walk us through our seasons of hardship and darkness.
And then…we grow. There has to come a time in our grief journey, our life as a whole, where we stop operating out of our emotions and we start operating from a place of foundational truth, trust and testimony. We can’t always react to situations with every emotion we automatically feel. We need to mature enough in our life and in our faith that we pause. We need to allow ourselves time to really look at the situation, the person that hurt us, the directions things went, our own faults/ownership in it, etc.
So much of that growth in 2018 lead me into 2019 and slowly but steadily I have continued to grow in all of those things, but to even deeper depths. Counseling, vulnerability about my faults, sin and struggles, confession, learning and putting boundaries in place, etc have been instrumental in the deep changes, healing and continued growth.
I suppose you are either in a season of used up/rung out/drying in the Son…any of those at any given time…part of this journey we’re on with Christ is that, to be alive, in the game, a part of His will and plan; none of those places are bad. They are each useful, purpose filled, hard probably, but never wasted.
-Allow yourself to be rung out a bit, hurt as it may.
-Give yourself permission to rest in the Son and freshen up.
-Give of yourself in the places you know He’s called you to.
-Be whatever He is asking you to be, not what anyone else thinks or says you should.
-Be in a season of hard work, a season of rest/renewal, a season of hardship/refining
He’s using it all for His purpose and good. You will be so glad you didn’t quit trusting or quit allowing God’s hand to use, shape and mold you.
You will be forever grateful of the hard work you put in to growth and deep change. You’re not alone, friend! As you #findtheheart of whatever season you’re in, remember He is giving you a choice to trust. It’s always the right choice with him.