First Quarter Of 2016

It is now the last day of March. Another month has come and gone, and here we are, a quarter of the way through 2016.

A year ago I posted a quarterly post. I’m pretty sure I didn’t end up doing one for the rest of the quarters, but that’s okay. These quarters are a good time to reevaluate how we’re doing on our goals and to look at where we stand.

woman-695454_1280This month has been pretty rough for me, but it’s amazing what strength and resiliency we find when we reach our lowest points. I’ve gotten back to the core of who I am. And although I’m not strictly feeling the best, that gives me hope. It feels so good to see that part of me that I’ve been missing for so long.

I’ve struggled for a long time with a feeling of a lost identity. But so far in 2016 my wrestling with it has become stronger. I’ve realized that being totally hollowed out to the point that I was can still be God’s blessing. He can redeem time. He can redeem and restore my brokenness, and I am renewed. The drought won’t last forever.

A couple years ago I reached my lowest point, the only reason I’m still here is because all that was left in me was a spark of God’s Spirit. I’ve learned (and will continue to learn) to cast my cares on God, to trust Him and His strength, to pray His word and to rely on Him to comfort my anxious heart. He is faithful.

hands-1281835_1280I stepped into this year with the goal to be intentional. And I have been to a degree, especially in my prayers and my relationship with God. He’s shown me who I am. I’m not whole or complete yet, but I do have hope for that healing.

I’ve seen a change in myself this year. The ground beneath me has been shifting, the change in me may be slow like a steady stream of water that will smooth out the rough edges of the rock around us, but I have faith now that we can rebuild and be stronger than we were before.

Darkness can’t survive in light, so I step into the light and let the darkness in me fade away.

What has your first quarter of 2016 looked like? Do you have a word for the year that you try to live by?

Happy Easter

PurpleFlowersEaster

Easter’s coming a bit early this year, but we’ve had such beautiful weather that it actually seems fitting. What a wonderful weekend we have to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. Have a safe and happy Easter! šŸ™‚

Somehow

We can run, but how long can we hide? What once was safe was rotting on the inside. What do you do when you see that much pain? Numb, yet so completely broken.

Sometimes I think there are things humans weren’t designed to know. It’s like our brains can’t handle it and they implode. Yet with eyes wide open we venture into that night, that darkness that overtakes us and makes us feel whole again.

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Change

purple-flowersSo many things are changing, yet it’s still so much the same. I love the springtime when everything comes back to life. It’s such a hopeful time of year. Then again, I say that about every changing season. Maybe I just find hope in change.

It’s exciting to have a new start, even with something simple. I recently got a new computer, and I’ve really enjoyed the process of editing down what files I want to transfer and which things I’m content just saving and leaving behind. (I always make sure to have backups saved somewhere though, I’m not quite ready to permanently delete anything.) It feels good to clean things out. It’s a blank page, a new start, and I’m excited for the possibilities.

More changes are coming in life, or are in the process. I feel like a little bud pushing through the surface of the ground and seeing the sun for the first time. But in emerging from our safe little place in the ground, we also feel rain. It can be beautiful and nurturing, yet sometimes scary. I don’t always know if my roots are strong enough to withstand the storm, yet one day turns to another and I’m still here.

Each day brings new growth, new changes, and it’s exciting to see who I’m going to be.

In The Rain

The rain whispers softly at my window. I’m drawn in and taken away to another world. Numb to my present reality.

Maybe this is how it feels to be guarded, safe, protected. I hear the storm, yet somehow fail to feel it.

Trust is one of the most difficult things for me, I want to just hold everything in and close to me to protect it and myself. I want to take control of the situation because I guess on some level I feel like I could do a better job than God. What an awful thing to think or believe!

It’s so easy to fall into that trap though. We just need to wait, to trust and believe that God is working through us to a greater purpose. He is the peace and safety. Without God, we have nothing, not even the rain.

My Sea

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Anxiety. Fear. Destruction. How long can this go on? I break and only partly mend before another wave hits. I cling to my life vest, but it doesn’t seem to do much good, it only prolongs my drowning.

I gasp before it hits, gulp a full breath of air then feel the water splash up my nose and trickle down my throat. I can’t open my eyes anymore. The water has blinded me, my own hair clings to my face for refuge.

I gasp for air, but choke on the wet strands that cover my face. Is it me or the ocean? I can hardly tell anymore. At what point does this life take? At what point will I bend far enough to break? I get weaker and weaker with every blow, yet inside a fire is lit. I’m ready to stand. If only there was solid ground. Somewhere. Anywhere. Not here. Nowhere to be found.

I wait and hope and wonder at the world. The dreams, the possibilities. Could this be all there is? Somehow, I know there must be so much more. With the waves come chills of anger, inside I kindle a fire, I go inward and find the strength to somehow survive. But is a life like that really worth living? To just barely survive. Nothing more.

How could there be meaning in the atrocity? How could there be better things? This is all there is, this is all I see. One wave, after another. They beat me as hard as they can, but in the end, they will not stand. They will fall back into the sea. And me? I’ll find my footing on solid land, even if that land is only somewhere in the fires of my heart.

Transform

I’ve noticed a change in myself. It’s slow and subtle like water over jagged stones, but I’m seeing it nonetheless.

God is faithful to smooth our rough edges and make something beautiful from our mess. I’m always amazed to see this become a reality.

We’re new. We don’t have to hide anymore. We don’t have to pretend. We don’t have to wear our masks and good intentions. We can be vulnerable and loved completely for who we are, and who we’re becoming.