From The Vault

Coming at you from the vault today with a throwback post from 2009. Edited for clarity and relevancy, but the message still stands. I hope it speaks to you today!

I need to be real honest, y’all, and this might come as a bit of a shock.

There’s a lot of living that lifestyle blogs just don’t cover. Most of us have a post schedule and spend time developing carefully-curated moments to share with the world, but let’s get real.

That time of reflection that led to an epiphany shared on the blog? It probably happened during a whirlwind moment filled with tears, heartache, probably some yelling, maybe some sinking-onto-the-laundry-room-floor-in-a-heap-of-crumbs-and-dog-hair.

Not that I know anything about this personally, you understand.

But those details often get skimmed over. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Why, you ask?

Well, for one, anyone with common sense knows that dwelling on the negative produces more negativity. Whining in the name of ‘sharing’ and ‘being authentic’ is still whining, y’all.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

For two, there’s zero opportunity to encourage or uplift someone else with our hard-learned lesson if crying on the laundry room floor is the whole point of the story.

And for three, I’ve got nothing, I’m not gonna lie. But two bullet points felt a little weak.

So here’s the deal. I often find myself overthinking those laundry room moments. It’s like my brain is wired to wonder about this place I’m living in almost as much as my soul is designed to long for the place that I’m going.

I know, I know.

Nosy.

But I don’t think I’m alone in this. I mean – victories are one thing. The epiphanies and discoveries and lists of best practices? Got it, I’m in. But the mental breakdown it took to get there? Well, let’s just say that those moments make it challenging to hang onto your vision.

That’s where I want to be both transparent and hope-filled. Transparent because many of the posts here are inspired by hard stuff. Real hurts and experiences that have shaped me. Hope-filled because the hard stuff is only part of the story.

Thankfully for me (and you, if you’re following along), God has experience with this. The Bible features quite a few (wordy) laments from God’s chosen ones. The favored few. The ones who took part in miracles and saw wondrous manifestations of His glory and grace. They struggled to understand the painful parts of the journey, too. They cried out from broken, grieved places, and that resonates in me some days.

There’s no question in my mind that the things that shake and twist and bend me in a veritable tornado of emotions and, yes, even misunderstandings will one day be part of a testimony that will lead others to recognize the goodness of God.

I get that.

But that knowledge doesn’t keep the tears from flowing. Knowing and believing that it’s counterproductive and damaging to dwell on the negative doesn’t magically stem the tide of emotions when I’m overwhelmed.

In fact, smack dab in the middle of circumstances beyond my control, your girl has been known to say things like ‘God, I can’t ask you for Your opinion right now. I’m gonna try this first…’ Or ‘Your way hurts my feelings. Can I just NOT for awhile?’

It’s not right, but it’s true. I mean – I believe with all of my heart that God has bigger plans than I can even dream:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)”

Plans that existed for my good, even before I was born:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.  Before you were born I set you apart! (Jeremiah 1:5)”

But there are lots of moments, hours, and days of life between birth and the fulfillment of a promise that simply have to be survived.

How do we get past those laundry room moments of survival to tell a story of grace’s victory in our lives?

I’m glad you asked, friend.

(You were totally asking, right?)

In those moments, it’s up to me to actively believe in the promises and stay future-focused. Yes, it’s overwhelming right now. But it won’t be like this forever. Psalms 80 states it this way:

“I know this; on that day, when Your answer comes, I shall be saved. (Ps. 80:19b, paraphrase)”

His promise never changes, and His grace never leaves. And even when the rush of emotions threatens to spill over and destroy my sanity and I can’t see the thread connecting the past to the future in my present? It’s there, holding me together, reminding me of a promise of victory.

“Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass. (1 Thess. 5:24)”

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