My life tends to center around themes. Maybe it’s because I’m a writer-and that’s the analogy that forms in my head. But, maybe it’s more than that. I didn’t want to write today. To be very honest with you all, I just don’t feel like it. After a long, miserable few weeks fighting mono-my body is just plain exhausted. And despite the “rest” my mind is too.
I’ve tried to remain in Sabbath throughout this time. But sickness and Sabbath don’t exactly coincide. Not like you would think. Because though you would think days off work and cozy blankets would equal much needed rest, my body (and my heart rate) fought furiously against the virus that is still making it’s way throughout my system. Though physically I’ve remained in bed, I still just feel wore out.
I’ve had a lot of time to think throughout the last few weeks-but I haven’t felt compelled to write until today and then it was if, I just had to or I would bust. So bear with me if this post isn’t eloquently formed or tied together beautifully with a Godly analogy. I’m doing my best to put into words what is on my heart-and it’s a lot harder to do when your heart is beat up and wore out from fighting illness and the Enemy.
In a main session at She Speaks a few months ago, I stood and listened to a song by Elevation Worship called “There is a Cloud”. The words resonated with my dry, weary soul as I realized I was entering into a new season-one full of blessing after a really, really long season of hurt. As Erica and I made our way down the mountain, ironically, a giant cloud formed and rain poured over my windshield. I smiled as the torrential downpour soaked my car and watered the newly planted seed of hope in my heart. It was as if the same rain that marked-in my mind- a long, hard season-now meant something so special, so beautiful-so redemptive.
When I got home, I drove to the farm and saw where construction had started taking place on our new home. Lo and behold, a rainbow appeared above the construction site. I blared the song “There is a Cloud” as tears fell down my cheeks. “Thank you, Lord” I whispered through tears. I prayed for lots of rain.
This past Monday night, torrential rains tore through Middle Tennessee. Around 12 A.M. the ceiling in our rental fell through in the living room, kitchen and office. (Nothing that can’t be fixed, but difficult to process at the time just the same.) The next morning, we woke up to this…
Our culverts and driveway access- which roughly cost $10,000-washed 100 yards into our pasture. Our driveway was gone. Our newly installed high-tensile fence was ripped out of the ground. Our fences were washed down all over the farm. Our water line was broken. I stood in disbelief.
Those who have been through hurricanes, tornados or have suffered massive storm damage, etc would argue that we don’t have a case to be upset. Our house wasn’t touched, it can be fixed, and though we may have to pick cheaper appliances or give and take here and there, we already have much more than we need. And they would be right. But, staring at the damage, with a run down body, and soggy shoes was more than I could bear that day.
And do you know what massive force was behind all of the damage? The rain.
It’s interesting to me that the same exact force that watered and nourished our dreams a few months before- the one we sang in songs of praise and prayed for with fervent hearts- was the one that ripped them right out of the ground and flung them 100 yards into a pasture.
If you’re anything like me, your initial thought might be “God can’t be trusted, and this is exactly why. He uses what I pray for against me”. However, this time, unlike so many times before, I let that thought go as if it were tossed in the rushing waters before me.
Why? To be honest? I was tired.
And instead of fighting against God in that moment, or even screaming “Why?” to the top of my lungs, I just wanted to be held. So, I didn’t pray. I didn’t scream. I only cried for a few minutes. I came home, turned on worship music, and let Him just hold me.
It wasn’t a catastrophe. I didn’t lose another child. I’m going to recover from mono. Our house is still being built. The roofer came today to fix our ceiling in the rental. We could always have it worse. I know…but something about the rain, and the irony of it all, and the force within it still amazes me.
Was there a major lesson in this? Maybe, but I guess I missed it and I’m sorry I can’t provide it for you here. Like I said, you’ve got to bear with me with this post. But it did stir something within me, and hopefully it does you. The only word that comes to mind as I sit here and try to think of what I can gather from all of it is sovereignty.
God is God. When things are good, He is God. When bad things happen, He is God. My actions or lack thereof do not place me into a heavenly game of Russian roulette that determines what catastrophe is going to happen next. No matter what happens, He is God.
And maybe, that’s the greatest lesson to learn-even if we have to relearn it every day: God is still God.
Thank you all for the many prayers and love sent our way during this hard few weeks.