How do you say thanks when your heart is bursting over? When a thousand gifts and more have made you drunk on life? When you know the pit of despair well enough to realize you’ve been rescued and freed from a prison holding you fast? When you’ve been given a new lease on life and it’s one you thought could never be yours? I’m talking years of living the same old same way. Struggling to subsist, unearthing, eeking out joy from the bottom barrel all the while flailing and failing and learning that if first you don’t succeed it’s ok to try again because mercies are new in the morning. And it all became so second fiddle that there were moments when by grace and the sovereign hand of God I was able to say yes…yes to it all and know that contentment is grown in the waiting. But this? Never in the million prayers and buckets of tears did I ever hope to arrive here to this glorious place of goodness and I am laid low. Humbled because I don’t deserve any of it and yet I have been lavished by countless graces and more. It’s the shower of blessings that this heart can’t contain so I gasp and ask to remember to breathe and the tears of joy flow because this journey’s been long and the end…for this leg…has arrived and I cannot contain it all. So I write it here on paper and in my soul because I know this too is a season and there will be trails of tears ahead and more suffering and sojourning through valleys to reach green pastures and I don’t want to forget, I don’t want to grow cold to all that has been given by the Greatest Giver of all gifts and most importantly I don’t want to miss Jesus.
I don’t know what season you are in or where you maybe headed friend but He does and I promise that there is hope because He is Hope; a light at the end of it all because He is the light of the world and He is leading the way. We may not understand His ways but He knows the way for us and he does all things well. I do know that the wisdom, patience, perseverance, compassion and courage we uncover along the way are all mined in the dark spaces of our lives and are priceless treasures to be cherished and held close…gems one can’t buy with all the gold in the world. They are what beautifies us because Jesus is beautiful and He works all for our good to make us like Him.
So for tonight I’ll dance a little lighter, cram in as many giggles and trysts and moonlight walks this body can hold and I’ll say thanks by living full, making the moments count for Him because that is all we really have…the right here, the now…TODAY.
Father my soul waits for you more than those who watch for the morning. In you there is peace. In me there is anxiety and despair. I am counted among those who go down to the pit; I am like one without strength. Instead of eyeing you at every turn I run ahead into shadows where you are not leading. It is more than I can bear. Save me from myself!
For you are my Shepherd. By you, and in you and through you all things hold together. In your presence is life and love and fear has no home. Restore in me the joy of your salvation. I will lay down in peace and sleep knowing that it is you who makes me dwell in safety and in this moment where fear would consume I believe that you do all things well.
Today I get it even though most others I forget amid all the crazy chaos and I nod remembering what someone wise once said
“the days are long but the years are short.”
And these three I’ve born and carried, caressed and consoled sit across from me with happy meals in hand and this heart couldn’t beat any faster because I know it’s just a matter of time before all this will be gone and they will have slipped through my fingers like sand and the home we nested to spread their wings into the wide unknown and I don’t want to miss a moment. It’s been a blur really this coming of age, so much of it shadowed by illness and days of defeat, but it’s been days like today….rainbows sprinkling hope that says
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust ate,
the young locust, the destroying locust,
and the devouring locust—
My great army that I sent against you.
You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied.
You will praise the name of Yahweh your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you. Joel 2:25-26
So I’ll take each second of this moment treasuring these faces smothered in ketchup, these voices talking just a little too loud, these hands…these not so tiny hands anymore… that still grasp mine as we cross streets and into new adventures and I breathe a prayer that this will be the year, the year where joy comes in the morning. Where I cherish the common and slow the sacred. Where laughter wakes the day and chocolate chip pancakes are the reason to whirl early out of bed and requests for sparkly hair is a light burden…even if you’re tripping late to the school bus. The year where we say yes to more and no to less and never lose sight that failure is always the door to a second chance and you can always always have courage to try one more time. I want to love without fear of it getting messy, hope relentlessly and believe that each day is a gift because I know all too soon in a blink…it will be gone.