These seasons of lent sneak up on me. Last year was a rough one, leaving Adam to ask me to NOT pray for him during Lent this year.
Can you feel it? The gray? I do.
It's been a stripping away. Each season removing more than the last. It's left me raw and broken. This Lent? This is no different. And as my understanding of this season grows, so does the hurt, the distance. It feels like the veil has been lowered and there is not light shining through.
Friday evening it all piled heavy on my chest - my lungs forcing each breath. And with each painful inhale and exhale I wiped away tears, shut my laptop, closed down Twitter, and stepped away.
This weekend, I almost stopped writing. I wanted to delete my blog and burn down the internet. Throw out the computer. All I needed was my family, some candles, and to bake bread.
This weekend I felt the bitter cold and it scared me. My heart was feeling all sorts of hurt. The kinds you know are irrational, really, but it all mounded up. Perceived slights tore at my already fragile heart and I just wanted to curl up and hide. The knowing, the feeling, the wondering if there is any point to sharing words....there are so many writers out there with bigger thoughts and more carefully crafted words. Maybe I should just go back to my journal and escape it all. At least there, I won't feel unworthy.....
But somewhere between there and here, I found a patch of peace. Here I have pitched my tent and laid out my altar, my ebeneezer. The land feels small and isolated. It is ravished with winds that threaten and rains that promise to wash me away. Yet this place remains my safety, my refuge.
On Sunday morning I peeked into the worship service and caught the end of the last song, Matt Redman's "10,000 Reasons." And the layers of ice around my heart began to melt. Peace began to seep in as a balm to my dry, cracked soul as I watched the church declare each word of the song with clapping and cheers, hands raised, voices soaring.
I've spent too many years not fully trusting God and I am exhausted. I am tired of my feelings being tied to my perception of God's movement in my life. When I don't see Him move, I sense displeasure.
Why is that my default?
I'm going to stay here, on my small island, but there is always room for you too.
Matt Redman with "10,000 Reasons"