From The Vault

This is another one from the vault, y’all. Edited for clarity and relevancy, but I believe in every single word I typed, just as much then as I do now!

I’ll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I’ve swallowed. I remember it all—oh, how well I remember—the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there’s one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: that God’s loyal love couldn’t have run out, His merciful love couldn’t have dried up. They’re created new every morning. How great is Your faithfulness!

(Lam. 3:19-24)

Y’all, when it comes to the random, the oddball, and the mostly-useless, I have the memory of an elephant.

I don’t know that to be certain, because I’ve never heard that directly from an elephant, but I hear they’re good at what they do.

And I am, too. I process and mentally categorize information that I’ll never benefit from; things like the color of a cashier’s nail polish, the shoes you wore last week, the words on the vanity plate of the guy in the white Chevy 2500 with a 3” lift kit, probably a 2017, if I had my guess, who drives to work beside me every morning.

I say this in the most non-stalker way possible, y’all.

Those are the foam on top, though. Frothy little details that grab my attention, but add or detract absolutely nothing from my life.

But if you dig a little deeper, you’ll reach the heavier stuff. Those are the sometimes-cloudy, sometimes-heavy, deep and powerful moments that have shaped me for the better, and for the worse.

Try as I might, I can’t ignore them. They’re the ones that I’m guilty of sugarcoating, too. You want to hear my story? Ok, sure! We’re just gonna glide right over the negative parts. Slap on a quick coat of gloss, if you will. Just please, whatever you do, don’t focus on them long enough to see them for what they are, comprende?

It’s just easier. Easier than stopping long enough to recognize that these snippets of my life force me to admit that those dark times were battering, that I have personally been tossed like a ship in a storm and maybe even made silly, human mistakes as I tried to regain my balance.

I know the taste of ashes, the utter lostness, and the bitter poison. I know what it feels like to hit the bottom.

I love how real this passage is about the bad times we all face, though. No glossy coat, no spin, no fake smile, no falsely positive dismissals of the pain and terror of being flip-turned-upside-down.

Just in-your-face honesty.

Israel had just endured a thrashing; taken captive, ripped from their homes, helpless to stop the enemy from destroying everything they owned, weary, and afraid, the entire nation was cast down and afraid. They’d just hit bottom.

Sugary-sweet, balloon-filled moments in the park? Not so much.

But Jeremiah writes about clinging to hope. Hanging on to a thread of promise and believing in His merciful love.

I’m working on this, y’all. I’ve shared some pretty dark moments of pain and personal victory over the last year on my blog. And what I’m realizing is that the true victory – the peace and joy that baffles all logical minds – is in the surrender. And that can only come when we turn a bottom-of-the-abyss situation into a song of praise for the One who promises us joy in the morning.

Your strength is in your testimony, friends, and the words you speak may be the very phrases that speak life and hope into the darkest storms of someone else’s soul.

Happy Monday, friends!

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