i woke up in eugene, oregon this morning with the sun shining and the birds chirping and it was/is wonderful. thank you Jesus.
okay so if you read this blog regularly at all you know there are a couple of regular ‘characters’ (boy that’s the right word for them too) that are weaved in and out of my stories. this blog will not be unlike the ones that have gone before it.
yesterday i finally was able to connect with one of my favorite people in the whole world, sister beth. she called and for once i wasn’t a.) in the car driving b) out of service or c.) around a bunch of people…what a blessing. so i took my phone and went outside the venue. she was sitting in a field somewhere in virginia. and we talked the way only sisters can.
i am beth’s biggest fan…and i am not talking about musically. i love her heart…the honesty and authenticity of her spirit never ceases to amaze me. she began to share with me where she is…i won’t go way into it but she summed it up by simply saying that loneliness and discontentment and grief have become her friends in this season of life. i hear that. every word she spoke resonated with the deepest parts of me…i am there too. she shared how a dear friend of ours told her that to ask the question of God ‘what am i doing wrong?’ is to ask the wrong question. he encouraged her to see life like the tides…that there is an ebb and flow to it. the tide comes in and he called that ‘consolation’- the times when you find you can accept the realities of your life…the times when you can hold on to hope…the times when purpose and the face of God aren’t so elusive. and then there’s the times in life when the tides have gone out- the times hope is a 5 second glimmer in a week of seeming darkeness and nothing really connects with you the way you wish it would…this, he said, is ‘desolation’.
we mused for awhile about how the church doesn’t want to talk about this…how we have said things we cannot even believe ourselves… that once you believe in God and ‘accept’ Him things will make more sense and you’ll be happy. but you know, when i read the Bible, i don’t really see that. there were a lot of people in the Bible who were depressed. think of David! a man after God’s own heart and yet he cried out (often) in search of God. now that’s something i can related to. i keep wondering where He is and what He’s doing…
i sat down the other night and piled 10 books beside my bed and read a chapter of each…not one of them connected with me. that’s unusual. the discontentment is real. the heaviness of life is something i feel right now. i know corinthians says (as beth reminded me) that we are ‘pressed but not crushed, perplexed but not in despair” and so on…and i believe that. i am glad to be spared the crushing, but that doesn’t mean being pressed feels good.
as we opened ourselves and poured out the messiness and wonder, tears crept into my eyes and that lump forced its way into my throat. what is it about being known that is so GOOD? i thank God for her. she said “you know, we are pitching our tents next to each other in front of the lake of loneliness.” sounds funny, doesn’t it? but if you want to join us, just go ahead and pitch your tent. there’s plenty of room for the broken and weary where we are…