water for my pilgrim

Two years ago, I was bombarded by the notion of grace. I was 9 months pregnant with my second child and overcome with anticipation, love, & fear. Holy fear. I began down a journey of seeking and what I had imagined would be followed by finding. It wasn’t for a long time.

 

I imagined myself on a mountain side, ready for flight – to discover what God had in store. I felt positive anxiety about the next step in my life and the growth of my family. I questioned if we needed to move, even though we had just moved 600 miles a couple months prior. I considered the birth of my child as a possible cause for these emotions… But I knew it was something different, something bigger. Don’t misunderstand me here, having a child is a huge life experience, and one that I am full of gratitude that I have been able to have twice and will again in a few short months. But, this was a God thing that I felt on my heart. I began to grow with anticipation, expand in my heart, and search deeply in my spirit for guidance.

 

Nothing.

 

At least, nothing by my limited earthly perspective.

 

The past two years have been abundantly rich and fulfilling. I became a mother again, this time to a fiery and compassionate little lady. I started a Master’s in a creative writing program with professors that I highly respect.  I have continued down the beautifully challenging role as a mother to my dear son, and I’ve had the divine opportunity to continue to build a marriage with my devoted and giving spouse. I’ve experienced the collapse of relationships, but given birth to new life giving ones. I’ve struggled and been lonely, hurt, disappointed and flat exhausted. Even when I feel a distance or I am going through a particularly bleak season, I have not ceased in the search and desire for the celestial desires of my heart.

 

A few weeks ago, I ran across Isaiah 43:19 and felt a reawakening in my spirit again. In this passage, the deliverance from Babylon is being foretold. (I do believe that He is also addressing on a grander scale the redemption of His people through His son.) God is promising something new, something our eyes and ears have not seen. But not only that – He is also saying that it has already begun. That it is beginning to sprout! I love the idea of new life springing forth, from a wasteland – the wilderness – barren times – captivity – even a bleak phase!

 

I appreciate that God doesn’t spill his guts and give away his path of deliverance for his people. Like a parent with a gift for their beloved child, he wraps it with excitement, and hands it over in due time.

 

I had this image of a gift wrapped over and over and over. Each layer of paper was a different color or pattern; some were so beautiful that I carefully unwrapped so as to not tear it. Others were so extremely hideous, even painful to look at, all I could imagine was throwing it away as quickly as possible.

 

I had this image of God handing me a present, carefully wrapped. Each layer of wrapping just like I described above. At first, I was excited as I unwrapped the first layer. I was trying to picture what was inside. I mean, when the creator of the heavens and the earth gives a gift, you know that it is okay to expect nothing short of remarkable. I think He is honored when we come to expect the promises He gives in His word. However, as I continue to unwrap this gift, I start to grow a bit anxious and perhaps a bit annoyed at the work. As I make my way through, I am greeted by the most beautiful of green papers mixed with wrapping that resembles sand paper and on to wrapping that I have to stop and consider if I like it or not… there is something there that I am drawn to, and yet, I’m quick to tear it away. I never quite make it to the center. I’m still opening this gift, or so I’ve come to recognize and call gift.

 

At the onset of my search, I had anticipated a clear outcome. I didn’t know what or when, but I thought I would know it when I saw it. As I look over the past few months of my life, I see that these layers of paper are the layers that my life has taken on. Each day is a new layer, some blend well, and other drastically stand out and agitate me. I have found beautiful layers and cut and snipped them for future memories and been quick to toss a few of the unattractive layers.

 

Perhaps, that IS the gift. Stopping, being present, and intentional. Resting. Finding Joy in barren spots. No, it won’t bring me stature, success (in the world), or praise. No, it’s not exactly tangible, and it isn’t always clear that I’m moving in the correct direction. But, in the quiet moments, when the children are content, and I’m not having heartburn, I do know that God has been sprouting up moments of Joy all along. Perhaps this is that big desire He has put on my heart. To rest, take time to enjoy and savor, but mostly, to make choices everyday that will lead to a Joy that takes over my life. To the Joy that He designed me to possess, from the very first beat of my heart. Perhaps this gift will continue to give and give for the rest of my earthly life, if I so choose to let it. If I choose to embrace that each day, I have the opportunity to either live fully or to let the past, my anxieties about the future, and days filled with tears will dictate where I choose to stand for the time being.

 

This summer was full of decisions, not only for my personal life, but for my family and marriage as well. I was in a position where I had to make the hardest choice that I’ve experienced in my adult life (with children). I often go back and reconsider if it was the right choice or what repercussions I will have in the future (if any). This choice has brought me solace and anxiety, but mostly peace. What I am learning since this decision is that the hard part was not in the actually choosing to remove it from my life, but more about how I will choose to make the most of each day. How I can find comfort in this season and this post and still be fully alive amidst chaos and hurt and LIFE. I trust that God has something better in store and that He gave me this gift long ago. I’m s-l-o-w-l-y learning that I can savor the wrapping paper, even the ugly ones– because the ugly make the beautiful even better and that much more worthy of locking away.

 

So, God, continue to sprout and bring forth new life. That overwhelming sensation I’ve felt for the past few years, that I know you placed over me… Well, I believe that we might finally be onto something. I’m sorry it took me so long to use my earthly eyes when I know that you give spiritual gifts.

“Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth, shall ye not know it? I will even make a way on the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”

 

 


7 thoughts on “water for my pilgrim

  1. This is so beautiful B!! I’ve had a God think on my heart lately and it is both hugely inspiring and tremendously comforting to hear about your journey. So beautifully written- thanks for sharing ❤

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    1. Thanks, Amelia! It’s the idea that I told you about a while back — the notion of “something big is going to happen”. Something big in my heart! I’m glad that it is comforting to you and that we can relate . I think God continually works in our lives and during certain seasons, it can be hard to recognize it. Thankful for the days of “enlightenment”, the days that kind of put me in my place :)

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  2. ♥♥ Love this! I have felt some very similar nudges lately. Amazing how God has us go through similar experiences so we can be there to help one another through. I love this so much and I love you so much♥♥C

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    1. Thanks, C. I agree, I think God uses his work to bring His loved ones closer — especially when we can feel His leading on our hearts in a similar way. I love you too and am so thankful we share not only heart matters, but are sisters and the best of best :)

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  3. I will come with the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, Yours alone. O God, You have taught me from my youth, And I still declare Your wondrous deeds. And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me, Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to all who are to come.… Psalm 71:16-18

    Once again, you astound me with your spiritual insight. The metaphor of the layers of wrapping paper surrounding the underlying gift of God’s mercy, caring, grace, salvation, and love bring tears to my eyes. Who are we that God cares so much for us–INDEED!

    Thank you for sharing your soul and in doing so, giving us such a beautiful gift as well. Love you!

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  4. Michelle, I can take no credit. But, I’m thankful my insight can help to shed light on the idea of Joy, Love, Compassion. I love how God uses our stories to be a testimony of His love, redemption, forgiveness, and compassion. I’m beyond myself with how God displays himself to us. Simple metaphors, quiet moments, small utterances from children. Goodness, HE IS GOOD!
    So much love to you. You are so dear to my heart. I hope you are well.

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  5. Amen!! Indeed the credit belongs to the Almighty! I am well–Praise God!–and so grateful for His constant presence in my life. Without him… I shudder to think… He IS SO GOOD!!
    Thank you for responding to God’s call in your life. You, too, are very precious to me. Sending love and hugs your way!

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