“Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on the one she loves?”

Song of Songs 8:5 (CSB)

Dearest Reader,

I spent last Saturday watching Beth Moore’s simulcast, Captivated. Her words took my breath away and prompted me to pull out a piece I wrote two years ago, dust it off, give it a facelift, and share it today.

“Why?” you may ask.

The closing Scripture.

“Who is this coming up from the wilderness leaning on the one she loves?”

Song of Songs 8:5 (CSB)

Precious One, I have lived this. Hear me well. I. Have. Lived. This. Walking through the wilderness, leaning on the One I love. The deeper He took me, the harder I leaned.

The deeper He took me, the harder I leaned, and I fell in love with Him even more.

I hope you will join me.

***

I was born a shy little thing. Quiet, a reputation for not being much trouble at all.

As I grew, I was thrust into public, around people, attending school; I was content in very much being the wallflower. The one fading into the background, never sure of myself, or the worth of what I had to say.

Old before my time. The responsible one. Making the grades.

Hanging back from the crowd.

Much to my Sweet Mama’s disappointment, I was never interested in being a cheerleader. In fact, I wasn’t interested in anything involving raising my voice much above a whisper. Anything, that may have required sweat.

The one you strained to hear; the one straining to be seen.

Somewhere along the way, I slowly transformed.

With the right encouragement, and a good man who loved me enough to let me grow, I found my voice.

Courage and boldness. Strength, I did not know I possessed.

I am no longer an introvert. I am now very much an extrovert.

I often tell folks, my spiritual gift, is the gift of gab.

Stepping out, building community, trying new things. Making friends. Giving encouragement. No longer at a loss for words.

Today, I live in a place of isolation. The wilderness.

I am not alone. I feel alone.

I am blessed with a loving, faithful support system. My man, my family, my friends, my community.

Still, there is an element of aloneness. Silence rings loud.

“You know how sometimes God asks you to do the very thing that scares you most? You know how we sometimes say stuff like, I want to let God be in control, really, I do. But what if God makes me move to Nebraska or something?” Diedra Riggs-Every Little Thing

I haven’t been asked to move to Nebraska, not yet anyway.

I have been called to walk through the daily-ness of chronic illness.

Days I feel isolated as if I am stranded. In a crowded room, my struggle is real yet unseen.

It is mine. Mine alone.

I wonder at the God who gave me an appreciation for the quiet. Marvel at His ways. How He knows me so well.

“We are softer in the wilderness, despite our best intentions.” Deidra Riggs-Every Little Thing

I can see that. The softness. It comes in the quiet.

“God is in the wilderness. Go there. You can trust him to meet you right in the middle of your wild and worn and weary places. Take off your shoes. Tear off your pretense. Skip over the polite conversation. It’s you he wants. Simply you.” Deidre Riggs-Every Little Thing

There is no pretense here. There is raw and real gut-wrenching need. Simply me. And God.

Most days, no shoes, except to take out our loyal furry friend. Some days I am weary and worn from the wildness of it all.

It is in this stripping down of me, I turn and see.

There in the wilderness, the awesome glory of the Lord.

And as Aaron spoke to the whole community of Israel, they looked out toward the wilderness. There they could see the awesome glory of the Lord in the cloud.

Exodus 16:10 NLT

He is in the pumpkins, stacked and arranged around the mums. The fresh cut flowers on the table.

The goose with the drooping wing, lurking about the edges of our yard.

In my aloneness, the quietness of the long days, it is the One inside of me; He takes my hand, takes the control, leads me into the wilderness.

Stays there with me.

I am not alone. In the wildness of this thing.

You are not alone either. If you are struggling with chronic illness, look to Him. He will take you by the hand and lead you through your wilderness. Look for his awesome glory there.

I don’t know where you are in your journey through the wilderness, I pray that you, too, will find the love I have found. Sweet Friend, It is a glorious thing!

Gifts of Grace

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I’m blessed to serve you in this place, to share with you the Gifts of Grace as I journey through the wilderness. I picture you across the table, hands wrapped tightly around your cup, sharing life, and laughter, and tears. As I share with you, my own daily struggles, I long to hear what yours may be. Sharing the realness of life. You can do that by commenting below or reaching out to me here.

In case you missed these posts:

Support: Five Minute Friday

Finding God In The Fragmented Places: After The Storm

Work Wholeheartedly: A Posture of Surrendered Obedience

Hope: The Anchor in the Storm

Coming in October!