Eleven. (Months).

IMG_9631

Not long after this time last year, I welcomed the rain, the thunder, the wind, the lightning. It echoed the storm, the chaos in my own soul. It reminded me that God was big and powerful and outside my control — and yet His storms could be breathtakingly beautiful.

This year, however, I fear the storm. I fear the return of the rains because they signal the passage of time. (I’ve noticed that sudden death tends to make one obsessed with time.)

This world is moving on, and June will come again with her storms, same as last year, same as all the years before. Last June was no different than this June; for the rain it was just like any other summer.

The world is moving on, am I moving with it? I cannot decide whether that is good or bad. But I know the storms scare me. They shake me.

They wrest me, and steal my joy… when I used to run and dance in their rain, I used to marvel at their power, I used to want to be consumed by the storms, taken into the clouds, carried away on the winds.

But today I dread the encroaching darkness. I dread the thought of a year without him.

And yet the storm calls to me; the winds beckon me on…

Advertisements

May

It’s been a dark winter.
It was a long and lonely fall.

DPP_0002

Yesterday, the only sunny morning of the week, I took a walk outside.
I breathed in the beauty of the Creator,
And I felt refreshed.
There was a sense of something bursting forth…
Something I know not what, yet.

DPP_0004

This is the season of the poets:
Something within our bones swells with joy
When we experience this renewal of the land
When the flowers bloom and the harsh ground turns green again.
Its a rush to see the luscious forrest once more, no longer the barren wasteland.

We say, ‘Yes, all can be well again–
After winter must come spring, it must.’
We need this grace, we cherish it.
As much as we need the sun to come up each day
and the rain to fall on the sinners and the saints.

DPP_0011

Rain, what beauty, what grace!
What transformation!
The showers, the storms, the drenching,
The power that causes the blossoms–
We need that grace too.

Drink deep, little earth, little heart,
And bloom, bloom, blossom little daughter.

Thoughts on Arriving

I honestly have no idea what to feel right now.

Since two Fridays ago, I have driven over 33 hours, stopped in two hotels by myself, visited the west and the east ends of Tennessee, found out my cat was sick, and moved in to a new place.

Right now, I’m sitting on the floor in my new room, watching my kitty cat, every so often checking to see that her chest keeps moving up and down. My stuff lies around me in piles, and I’m overwhelmed by how much I still have, even though I had tried so hard to get rid of what I didn’t need. After spending two months with only what I could fit in my car with all my dad’s belongings, all this stuff I have now just seems…extra.

I’m lonely. My body aches. And I start school on Thursday. Between now and then I need to see a man about a job, make sure my kitty is okay, go get some more of my stuff, and actually remember to go to shcool, because it’s kind of one of the last things on my mind at the moment.

I miss my friends in Tennessee. It was weird this morning to wake up and drink my coffee without them. It’s weird waking up and not hearing the ramblings of a four-year-old and an eighteen-month-old. I’ve called my dad so many times because it’s weird not being able to go into the next room and find him there.

Even so, I’ve been blown away and moved to tears by the generosity and compassion shown to me by friends and strangers alike.

I’ve had lots of beautiful, deep thoughts while driving, but I forget it all when I’ve finally gotten to my destination.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my mom. About how it’s been nine years since she died, and I’m still not sure I’m over it. About how odd it is that my cat seems to be wrestling with the similar struggle my mom faced to hold on to life. About the day my mom brought me home when I was eleven to see a black kitten sitting on our couch, and about how that kitty has stayed with me through two cross-country moves, seven new houses, and my mom’s passing. And now I’m not sure how much longer she has.

But I’ve also been thinking about my God and how good, perfect, and sovereign He is.

I’ve been thinking about altitude-sickness, about the fact that it can hit you when you go up into the mountains, but also when you come down into the valley. I’ve been thinking about droughts and famines, and promises and inheritance. Miracles.

It’s wet here, in Maryland. There’s thunder rolling through the sky. The rain is here.

Season of Rain?

I’ve been thinking about this concept for probably a month or so now, and I kept meaning to sit down and blog about it but I never have. So, I am going to attempt to do so now.

You all know about my Josh Garrels obsession and how I often blog about his lyrics speaking directly into the seasons of my life.

Well, another song on the album Jacaranda is called “Season of Rain,” and during this time in the desert I have been singing this song over and over, particularly clinging to these lines:

Season of rain will bring labor pains,
But it’s end will be the most wonderful
Joy.

Isn’t that so beautiful? The tough seasons, the storms, the rain, those are the times just before something wonderful will be birthed.

But wait a minute, haven’t I been telling you for six months that I’ve been feeling like I’m in a desert season? Aren’t deserts and rainstorms kind of opposite of each other?

I don’t know, but I do know that God has been laying those words on my heart, and I started thinking…

Perhaps, after one leaves the sands of the desert, the rain comes…

If the the rain is the labor pains, then wouldn’t the time in the desert be a time of formation? A time when what will be birthed begins to grow and take shape in the womb?

I don’t know. But I think that is in agreement with what God has already told me about this time, that it is a time of preparation.

It has been literally raining here in my area a lot lately, and I started to think that perhaps I am entering the season of rain — which would mean a time of intense pain just before the joy comes. And that terrifies me, because my life certainly feels tossed and jumbled by the storm right now.

But I still don’t know, because God keeps showing me deserts. I keep getting vivid flashbacks of my time in Israel when I would stay awake at night listening to the sound of the desert wind rattling the windows.

Did you know that the wind blows strong, wild, and unconstrained in the desert?

I want that. I need that. Especially if I’m going to enter a turbulent rainy season.

So once again I say, I don’t know. I don’t know what this is yet, but I know I want the Spirit to fill me because I can’t do this without Him.

I took a walk in the rain today…

Tonight, I dawned my sorely neglected red-tartan wellies and took a walk in this cold March rain.

And it was glorious.

I know, you’re going to think I’m crazy. While everyone else has been wildly excited about this freakishly warm end-of-winter-beginning-of-spring-time, I have been moping around, still bringing jackets everywhere and wearing tights out of protest. Because I’m not ready for warm weather. I’m still a bit whiny about not really getting to wear my snow-boots.

And so today, I thank God for the rain. I think there’s a little more to it than just a random change in the weather. I think He did it for me (and for a host of other reasons, because my God is big enough to make it rain for a million reasons at once, including to show me that He loves me.)

Because, you see, I’ve been feeling a bit…desert-y. I know I’ve already shared this in a couple of posts, and I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but this is my life right now, so I’m going to blog about it. This time in my life feels like a wasteland, but God has been showing me repeatedly in Scripture that He brings water to the wasteland, He shows up.

Just this week, I encountered Psalm 68:7-10:
When You went out before Your people, O God,
when You marched through the wasteland,
the earth shook,
the heavens poured down rain,
before God, the One of Sinai,
before God, the God of Israel.
You gave abundant showers, O God;
You refreshed Your weary inheritance.
Your people settled in it,
and from Your bounty, O God, You provided for the poor.

Last night, after a long discussion with friends, I was counseled to earnestly seek the Lord, to ask Him why He would do radical things for me like He did for Joshua when He stopped the earth and made the sun stand still because Joshua asked Him to (see Joshua 10). My question wasn’t could He stop the earth for me, it was why would He? So I asked Him. I went to bed telling Him I didn’t want to sleep without Him, and I didn’t want to wake up without Him.

And today He poured down abundant showers. He marched through my wasteland and brought a piece of the Scotland I was missing so much. He refreshed His weary inheritance.

So yeah, I took a walk in the rain today.

And I enjoyed every minute of it.