by Elizabeth Stewart
I came across this quote yesterday in my daily readings. Overwhelmed with wonder I knew it was meant for me.
It seems as if my world has been falling apart. Shaken in places I had tucked deep into my being. Hidden, only to come calling in the dark of night when sleep eludes and the enemy of my soul comes knocking. Delivering overwhelming fear.
The night before I had fallen into bed after counting my gifts and giving thanks, when the call came.
Whispers shouting deep in my soul. “Weren’t you just thinking how happy you are? Were you not just counting your gifts? Don’t you proclaim The Holy in the hard in loud and public ways?” Ouch.
The first ugly thought snaked across my heart, just as I picture him slithering close to Eve in The Garden. “That’s what you get for being so happy.”
My precious Mother had taken a nasty spill on her bicycle and broken her hip. She’s three hours away. And I, I am currently in the wilderness nursing my man back to health. Unable to drive, heart ripped through, the only choice was to be where I am meant to be.
I wanted to be here, at the same time, I wanted be there too. I was stretched and torn beyond maximum capacity, struggling with the heaviness of it all.
I sat in a freezing cold room taking notes in my husband’s cardio~rehab orientation. Shivering, teeth chattering, checking my phone for updates in one hand, pen and bullet journal in the other.
She lay writhing in pain in a bed three hours away.
I wish I could tell you I went down on bended knee and laid at the feet of The One who knows me best. I can’t. Instead, I texted my closest prayer warriors, trusting it all to them. I railed ugly words and wept myself spent until I fell exhausted in my chair.
The day was long. I was snippy and grumpy, ungracious and impatient.
Coming here is hard today. I’d rather show you the best of me. These past twenty~six days have left me winded and weary. A wariness in my soul. Fear chasing me in the dark.
God in his humorous and perfect way has given me an opportunity to be on Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book launch team. An opportunity I quickly took. Can I just tell you the book title? The Happiness Dare. (follow the link to pre~order your copy today!)
“But this happiness we seek is not a wimpy emotion. Happiness has been advertised as some kittenish, fluffy feeling. In reality, hap- piness can make your heart race with excitement—and sometimes with a bit of fear. Because on our happiest days, we are worried it won’t last.
I hold back my enthusiasm, an emotional tempering, because I’m afraid of what’s ahead.” Jennifer Dukes Lee~The Happiness Dare
Part of this opportunity meant that I was to document and share my happy moments through out the day.
The end of the day found me scrambling to honor my agreement. Raising the window behind me, air warm and humid and sweet, rolled over me, warming the cold parts of me.
My man sat resting in his fragile healing with his mended heart. I could have lost him. They were clear about that. Birds singing their evening song. Warm brownies delivered by a precious Sister in Christ lay in the palm of my hand. Crumbs on my lips. My broken Mama safely brought through surgery, rests in her bed. A face time call from my brother, giving me the chance to say I love you and see her sweet face. The sister in law, a mere shouting distance away, who graciously has stepped up as our personal chauffeur. The Brother in Christ outside watering our flowers.
This is the Holy in the hard. The Gifts in the wilderness. Happiness at the end of the day.
I realize there could have been a harder ending in either of these life changing events. Yet, when I look back and find the handprints of God all over my life, I know He would have shown me snippets of happiness there as well.
My job is to keep my heart wide open to Him. To know that when things seem to be falling apart, they are falling into place.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” ~Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
Gifts of Grace