Weak is one of those words I used to hate, but now it feels like a sort of peace offering. Using that word feels like some sort of Ebenezer in desperate moments where I can look back and say, “This. This is exactly where God showed up when I thought He never would even though He always does.” I can look down at where my feet are and who I’m talking to and what I’m holding in my hands and what emotions are running wild and remember where God has come through and reminded me of His steadfastness.
I’ve had to step away from this space for a while. I didn’t feel like the words coming out of me were genuine or deep or real, so I decided to press pause and come back when I felt ready. Every time I sat down to punch out some words, they were just really dry and, honestly, I hated them a lot. An author we had at Berry a year ago said that when you write your first book, you should put it in a drawer and never let anyone see it, and then publish the second book. That’s how I’ve been feeling about these posts. It was a bit of a mess for a while there, so I stepped back into journaling and forced myself to write and write and write until I didn’t have anything left, and that’s when it got better.
I realized I had to write a lot a lot a lot of crap to get at what was just sitting in a deep well of stale grief, moments I tried to take captive, and pieces of inexpressible joy that God wasn’t calling me to write words about but was helping me to just sit and experience without having to explain. I constantly got these little whispers of, “You don’t have to write this down. You don’t have to have the words for this moment. I just want you to be here and feel it all.” And if you know me, you know that feeling has never been a problem for me. Never, in bright, bold, neon, all caps letters, never. I’m a feeler, and I think it’s been such a gift that God has allowed me to sit in that part of myself for a bit.
I’ve pulled this tab open multiple times in the past couple months and haven’t had anything good to say. But these past few weeks, man, they’ve been ones filled with some really hard days and some days that were just filled to the brim with things to celebrate, and I need a mile marker now.
Life is full right now, like really full. In so many good ways, draining ways, and ways I’m having to learn more about. Every day, I wake up and I am inspired out of my mind, and I see God in so much. (Also, don’t read that as every day because there have certainly been days when I force myself into an early morning filled with darkness and not enough grace and honestly just waking up on the wrong side of the bed, but I’ve still been doing it, nonetheless). This is a new place for me because usually when things pick up and life gets a little too busy, I just miss Him. I miss all of these sweet moments because I like the rush of my brain and my body moving at a million miles an hour more than intimacy with God. I’m well acquainted with moving fast and less familiar with slowing down, and I know I’m not unique in saying that. But really cool things happen when we stop and invite God into the things we’re doing.
“Let us know; let us press on to know the LORD; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” // Hosea 6:3 ESV
But I will say this isn’t a season I’m familiar with. It’s not so much a transition as it is a season of learning how to be where I’m at when I know one of the biggest transitions of my life is sitting right in front of me. But I guess it’s wise to also not try and label this season like I do with every other one because God’s going to do whatever He’s going to do, and I want to be here for it. The moments are more valuable than any words I try to place on it, like I’ve gone over God’s head and can see perfectly what He’s doing. First admission: I can’t. I don’t know what He’s doing. And it’s sort of exhilarating. Trusting and waiting has never been fun for me, not a day in my life, but here we are, and I think I enjoy it.
I’ve seen God in a lot of the hard stuff, like a lot. I thought grieving was difficult, but nobody ever tells you what comes after the intense pain and shock. It’s a hell of a ride, and it’s months of having to sort out the things you thought were important and finding out they never were and how you should’ve just believed that God was good all along because it would’ve saved you from a lot of hurting. I’ve felt the Holy Spirit in the midst of fears I forgot existed. I’ve noticed Him in long, difficult walks of silence. I’ve seen Him in conflict and moments of frustration. And I’ve seen Him in all of these moments because I was so weak and so spent.
And I’ve seen Him in not knowing what I’m doing with my future, but I know who I’m going with, and that may be the cheesiest thing I’ve written in a long time, but my God, it is also the most true. I know who is walking before me and knows my fears but knows my days, and there is nothing better than knowing I get to do my days with Jesus. He is acquainted with all of my ways, and that is so reassuring when I don’t have anything else to be sure about. I get to meet him and splay out my fear on the dinner table in front of Him while I come back to my seat at the table because God isn’t afraid of our fears and asks us to come closer, especially in our moments of deep brokenness when we feel like we have absolutely nothing to offer.
So maybe I’m not going back to a place I had put all my hopes and dreams and plans inside of and maybe I’m learning what it looks like to stand up for what’s right and maybe I’m learning that doing what is right still has consequences because this world is so broken and maybe I’m about to pick up and move to a new city in three months and maybe that scares the absolute crap out of me, but there is nothing like it. There is nothing like stepping into a peace and confidence only the Lord can provide. That’s not something I found in between the pages of my journal, even though that’s where I desperately looked for it, like I had the words inside of me and somehow they were going to put everything back together again. That was never promised to me. And when I write that, I remember the Scripture that says, “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” I am held together by a God who stands firm, and there is so much peace to be found in that one small statement.
This season of waiting is difficult, really waiting on the Lord to reveal pieces of future plans to me, and most days I’ve been able to accept that and rest in God, which is not a place I am familiar with. However, these days have also fallen to a lot of weaknesses I recognize in myself. I am very impatient with others. I often cannot muster up enough grace for myself. I work until I burn out. I put expectations on people they will never meet. I speak very quickly when I ought to listen. I put off hard conversations. I look at people through distorted lenses. I could make this list so so long, and I’m sure as I’m listing these faults in myself, some of these are identifying with you or you’re thinking of some of your own weaknesses too. And I am so weak, but I keep being reminded that I am giving all I have to offer to God.
Recognizing that all that I am is all I have to offer and that’s pleasing to God has been a really beautiful thing. That doesn’t mean I’m not still growing or looking to surround myself with people who will push me to be more of who the Lord created me to be, but it’s offered a new sort of acceptance of who I am and the ways God created me to operate.
And I think that time has certainly offered up moments for me to recognize my weaknesses and intentionally lay them before God. I find myself saying, “God, I cannot do this,” a lot these days, and I feel like He sort of laughs to Himself when those words leave my mouth or get lifted up in prayer. It’s as if He says, “Of course you can’t,” and that’s when I get to settle back into my weaknesses and look to Him who perfects everything. Because when I am weak.
…then. Then I am strong in the One who has saved my seat at the table.