Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Darn Word Count

I wrote this article for another Praise and Coffee Magazine but I could not get it under the word count. Dang it. I know this shocks you horribly that I tend to say waaay too much and struggle to make a point.

I'll pause as you try to regain your composure.

But I feel it is fitting. So while I didn't submit it, my 5 whole readers can enjoy it. Or not.


I am stunned at how fast this Christmas season flew by. We didn’t even have excuses as we kept it low-keyed this year. It was like warm cocoa on a cold day. The way life has been going I need all the hot cocoa I can get!

The last Praise and Coffee night I was at, I kept hearing over and over that a lot of people were saying how they were going through a hard season. Believe me I know all about hard seasons! I feel like I’ve been stuck in nothing but spiritual winter for 6 long, hard years. Many a tearful prayer was tossed up to heaven but no relief.

When you go through it for that long you forget when the word of God is fresh and alive, bursting with life or even the harvest of good fruit of a lesson learned. Instead I’ve been left with the bitter cold, blowing my prayers back in my face and left with frozen circumstances that won’t budge no matter how much spiritual salt I poured on it.

My attitude has been horrible. I’ve had people back away from me in droves because of it. And it seems like nothing can test you harder when you know someone else is in their spiritual spring. While I am happy for them, it just makes my cold winter time that much more harder. Sadly, I’ve been tempted to throw a slush ball at Miss Happy Sunshine but thankfully, God usually sends an angel to tackle me before the ball can leave my frozen fingers.

I used to love the season of Christmas. With my kids getting older and all the hardship we've endured, the wonder of it has dimmed a bit and hasn't been as enjoyable. It has felt like nothing but a chore - another thing to check off the list, another round of family angst for the holidays to endure. My youngest was hanging an ornament with the word Joy on it. It dawned on me that it had been a long time since I’ve really felt joy and I about burst into tears.

This time last year we found ourselves in massive amounts of crisis that was beyond our control. Merry flipping Christmas was the bah-humbug mood of our family. Just like that, the leaves were gone and nothing was left but branches. I felt so exposed on so many levels. To add insult to injury, people said many hurtful things about us and didn’t bother to find out the whole story. The scar is still fresh and painful a whole year later. I was left with a lot of bitter resentment.

While not much has changed with circumstances, I feel like God has been blowing a warm breeze my way thawing me out. He recently reminded me of the time when my kids had asked me why pray when it didn’t seem like it did any good. I told them it was like waiting for mac n cheese. They wanted it right now but it takes a lot of steps to go from boiling water, mixing it all together, to scarfing it down. I said we shouldn’t stop praying because we don’t know what stage the prayer is at - we might be 2 more prayers away from a big bowl of cheesy goodness.

Fast forward like 12 years and God reminds me of that conversation and not to give up because my bowl of cheesy goodness really is on the way.

Winter is just starting to get geared up here but I feel like a spiritual spring is coming. I spent new years eve in some prayer time and I can’t help but bawl big ugly tears knowing I’m starting to go into another season - whatever it may be. I don’t know if He had to let me get to the end of myself so I was willing to hear or if I had to be totally alone to hear His whispered words or what. It has been hard and painful, but I’m finally seeing He really has been there the whole time through the silence, the pain, and the confusion.

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. And while it has felt like my story was unfinished and forgotten, I feel the rattling of the page and the pen hovering over it ready to write something new. Nothing lasts forever, it just feels that way. Keep praying in season and out because you just never know when that answered prayer will arrive.


Julie said...

You do have a way with words... Even if there are too many of them. ;)

Loved the article! :)


Kerri said...

I don't care HOW many words you use. That was AWESOME. You may have started writing that article for one purpose, but it turned a different way. It was really beautifully stated. I mean, who can argue with a big bowl of cheesy goodness!

I too, have been going through the spiritual tundra it seems... Physically too. But...God promises He will NOT leave us or forsake us, whether WE believe or not.

And we always have each other!
Love ya

Young Wife said...

Great article! The mac n cheese analogy is terrific!