For the days when you want to be anywhere but here.

Mama said there would be days like this. But sometimes days turn into weeks and weeks into months and one day his or her comment will all but push you over the edge, and you'll walk in the front door a crying mess. You'll wonder what in the world you were thinking saying yes to something like this, and if you had only known, you would have politely said thank you, but no thank you. You dread the emails, the phone calls, the well meant inquiries from people who know you've struggled just to make it through the day, because let's be honest, you're still struggling just to make it through the day, and to even think about what tomorrow may hold is enough to make you want to walk out the door without so much as a goodbye or it was nice knowing you.

There will be days like this, my mama said, when it seems like nothing you do is good enough, but the world keeps tacking things onto your to do list like it's no big thing; like your whole life revolves around making them happy, no matter how thinly you've spread yourself. Never mind that you have a home and a family and its everything that you can do just to keep it together under the weight of all the responsibility.

Hot liquid salt will roll like tiny raging grief tsunamis, and the truth is, all you want is to just be better: a better wife, a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister, a better homemaker. Some days the should be's and the have to be's and the need to be's choke the life from the truth of who you were created to be.

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You were never meant to carry the weight of the world. The stanzas of a familiar old tune recall that He's got the whole world in His hand. And if He's got the whole world, He's got you, because last time I checked, no one has ever survived floating around in space without oxygen or food or warmth. You are not a martian.

You might be in the wilderness. 

There's an old adage -- something about whatever God leads you to, He will bring you through. He never leaves you where He found you. The wilderness is God's slow cooker, and perhaps the only way to reach the finish line is to come to the altar with our rawness, our readiness to be seasoned with what He is preparing to teach us on the journey.

The people who tell you that this life with Jesus is easy are lying. They're the ones who could never expose their broken parts. With or without Jesus, this life will break you. With or without Jesus, you will spend a night writhing in tears on the kitchen floor because everything has fallen apart and you don't know how you got here or how to put your life back together again. With or without Jesus, you will be broken, but when you're walking through the wilderness with Christ, love and grace and joy and peace and hope are what shine through the cracks. When you walk through the wilderness with Christ, the pain is never wasted.

It isn't ever that He has caused the pain, no, our brokenness breaks the very heart of God. And so the Word became flesh and came down into all of our wildernesses and said I am the Way. I have given you purpose, I have gone before you, I know what you were created for...

a life of abundance.

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This wilderness? It only lasts for a moment. The wilderness is where we learn to live radical trust, the wilderness is where we learn surrender. The wilderness reminds us that comfort doesn't come from temporal things, but an eternal Person. This place only exists as a reminder that the world is not our home.

 

I need to be weak for awhile.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. -- Hebrews 4:16

Sometimes its easy to forget how unfairly blessed I am. Most of the time, I can make it through the day without any semblance of hardship, and the truth is, while things often aren't as easy as I’d like for them to be, in the eyes of most, I have never really experienced hardship at all. But pain is relative. Pain is what happens on the inside, sometimes without regard to what is taking place outside of ourselves. Perhaps I've never been in a literal gutter, but my heart has known anxiety and despair.

And sometimes, despite the countless times in my life when I have seen God at work, moving in his mighty love and goodness and provision, my eyes begin to wander down to the waves crashing around me and I sink back into the oblivion of cautiousness and haphazard, the halfhearted and afraid. I give into the chaos. I realize that I’m drowning, and my instinct is to save face, because drowning can be a violent way to go and I would rather not draw so much attention to the downward spiral happening within. I crave the control.

But His love goes further, still.

I realize my need for Him, and that when the waters overwhelm and the climb seems to be insurmountable, it is okay to reach up. It is okay to be weak. Scripture says that we should boast in our weakness, because when we are weak, He is strong. Father God will be good. He breathes the victory over us.

So I learn, hard and softly all in the same silent and fleeting moment, that I must be weak, but for a brief following moment, I resist. Knees buckle and fists clench in the tension that comes before the delicate letting go. Lord, let there be nothing in my life that points to me.

My heart craves quiet solitude in a world that screams the emergency of life. This is the lie that we have taken up in place of the truth. How can I become less so that Christ may become more?

Lord, may I cling only to the Mercy Seat.

Nothing in me has the power to save.

It takes boldness to be weak.