I haven’t written many real posts on here recently, and I don’t count book reviews as “real” posts. That’s because I am currently learning just how beautiful this life is, and exactly how messy this life is, and I am learning it all at the same time.
I have stated before that I want to be open and honest on this blog. I don’t want to give an aura of being perfect, because I am anything but perfect, as those who know me best will attest too. But being open and honest means being vulnerable, and being vulnerable is a scary place to be.
But I miss writing. I miss sharing with all of you who are crazy enough to read this. So, here goes nothing.
Life has been tough, yet beautiful. Insanely crazy, but intensely peaceful. There has been chaos and love and tears and laughter. Adventure and exploring, and fears and praying. So much praying. And searching and studying Scripture, and crying out to the Lord, and just living life.
Guys, this life is so very beautiful, and at the same time, it is a very scary thing to face the unknown future and wonder what exactly is ahead. I am there, right now, and I honestly hate the change I see coming. I loathe it with a passion. I wish everything could go back to how it was in the late summer of last year, when everything was peaceful and fun and there was no stress, only excitement for whatever would happen in the next chapter of our family history.
But change can be beautiful, and messy, and exciting, and nerve-wracking, and every single change in my life has a purpose: that of teaching me to be a little more like Christ.
To extend grace.
To love unconditionally.
To let go of bitterness.
To trust the Lord to fight my battles for me.
I have shared with only a very, very few of you: there is an intense spiritual battle going on over here. And I hate it. It has revealed a lot of ugliness in myself, and I have realized how much I need to learn those lessons. How much I need to even want to learn those lessons.
But I know my God has it handled, and I can trust Him. Even when I want to fight against Him, or take the sword from His hands and swing it at certain people’s heads, just to knock some sense into them.
I know if I rely on Him, and not on myself, then He will give me His grace and enable me to want to offer forgiveness when it’s not wanted, to want to show love when it’s undeserved, to want to show His grace, as He has shown me.
It is hard. Painful. I cannot begin to tell you how many tears my family and I have cried, and I keep remembering that I serve the God who will heal the brokenhearted. Every time my younger siblings eyes fill with tears and they just need a hug, my heart breaks a little more for them because they are so young to have their hearts hurt like they do.
Yet in the midst of the tears, there has been an intense joy. We have had several adventures as a family, just enjoying being together and laughing together and exploring God’s wondrous creation together.
See? The beautiful and the messy, right there together. Co-existing as one, always teaching us.
We went exploring Nocolula Falls several weeks ago. We went with a friend and were able to climb down and hike under the waterfall. This has been something I have wanted to do for years, and we finally did it.
And it was a beautiful, breathtaking site. The mighty waters, rushing over the cave’s entrance, was a needed reminder of my God’s strength.
We enjoyed exploring the cave as the sunset, in indescribable, unknown colours, colours of majesty and intense beauty, faded into the dusky night.
A few weeks later, we woke up early to go hike through Desoto State Park. It was a beautiful drive and an even more beautiful hike. The littles had fun climbing on rocks, we all played in the spring-fed stream, walked several miles, and enjoyed a picnic lunch. Everything was blooming, and the native flora was beautiful to spy through the trees.
It had been a few years since our family went on a hike of this magnitude, and it was SO fun. Peaceful. We left feeling so refreshed, able to take on anything. It was a much-needed oasis in the midst of chaotic turbulence, and it was nice.
We all enjoyed it.
This week my whole family was able to get the garden planted. The emphasis this year is on peaceful beauty, so Mom and I mingled flowers and vegetables together. My brother and baby sister helped me get another flower bed in, and we filled it to the brim with flowering beauties. Or, I should say, as soon as the seeds decide to sprout, it’ll be filled with flowers.
My sister right under me at home has been busy with getting all the flower gardens in order, and we are using flowers to bring joy and coziness and comfort to our home. The welcoming flower gardens will, prayerfully, bring joy to all who visit our home. They will fill the house with fragrances that will remind us of our Creator.
And in the midst of all this, I am sitting in the hospital, with my grandfather. Dad woke me up before 5:30 yesterday morning, to let me know something was wrong, and he was driving Grandpa to the ER. Mom and I got there shortly after Dad and Grandma and Grandpa, and he was in so much pain. They couldn’t pinpoint it, and they kept trying different things.
We were in the ER for hours. The doctors ran several tests and then ran some more. They were checking and trying to rule out so many things: a dissection of the aorta, liver problems, heart issues, possible gallstones. They finally got a room and did more tests.
This afternoon they doctors figured it out. Gallstones. So they are plotting and planning and coordinating, trying to get it so they can remove the problematic stone and the gallbladder relatively quickly.
See? Messy. But at least we have answers. And I am back with my grandparents for now — and I am enjoying the time with them before they flee the humidity and heat of Dixie and head north to their childhood homes.
The beautiful is that the man teaching Sunday School at the church we are attending taught this Sunday on trials. And joy. And it was a precious hour spent studying God’s word, hearing him speak the truths of Scripture. My soul was thirsty for nourishment and drank it in, and that is a beautiful thing. A sweet lady requested a hymn that I am very familiar with during the evening service, and the truths contained in the chorus of the hymn were a beautiful thing: “I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able, to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him, against that day!” The happy, upbeat hymn spoke truth to my aching heart and for the first time ever singing that hymn, I cried. And I realized several somethings, very important somethings: 1. I must commit the issue to my God who knows all things and controls all things. Who has decreed all things for His glory; and 2. I must believe and trust that He has this. As a pastor I was listening to with Mom stated, “Fight hard, stand strong, shut up, and let God do the rest.”
I realized something Sunday. I don’t need to know the answers. Profound, huh? I don’t need to know why this happened, or when it will end, or what will happen next, or where it will lead . . . I just need to trust my Lord.
And learn how to learn. Learn how to forgive. Learn how to stop questioning and start praying.
It’s a long road to travel, my friends. A rough road, judging from the road behind me, and a painful one, filled with tears. But in my Saviours strength, I will learn these lessons. Eventually. Frustratingly slowly.
When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll,
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
“It is well, it is well, with my soul.”
When Satan should buffet and trials should come,
Let this blessed assurance control:
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate
And has shed His own blood for my soul!
I am a 23 year old young lady who is redeemed and saved from my sin only by the grace of God. A bibliophile at heart with a love of history who desires to see the Word of God practically applied to all aspects of our daily lives -- in our homes, in the grocery store, in the political realm. I strive to put my jumbled, chaotic thoughts down onto paper -- reducing them into black and white rows, letters, sentences. Into some semblance of sanity. And I share them here with all of you, where I can challenge you, make you think, and cause you to ask questions. I am the oldest of eleven children living the country life in the deep south.