I hung it, and then I sat on the stair landing for a while and stared at it. Be thankful.
My flesh wanted to tear that banner down and rip it into shreds while screaming I AM NOT THANKFUL at the top of my lungs.
But I have sat in bitterness for quite some time now, and I’m getting a little tired of it. I have allowed myself to feel anger, to scream into pillows and to say cynical things to people who I trust (who know that my heart is tethered to Christ, even though I spout words of doubt). I sit in sorrow, too. Sorrow as my arms feel emptier than ever. Sorrow as I unfollow friend after friend on social media because the statuses and pictures fill me with longing and remind me of what I do not have. Sorrow as I wrestle alongside Andy with the knowledge that our God, who we love and who we KNOW loves us, has allowed us to suffer in this way.
In the midst of this bitterness and sorrow, my soul cries out for relief. In my suffering, I find myself closer to God than ever before. I feel my bitterness slowly (sloowwwly) leaving. It’s being replaced by a voice that whispers, Just be.
Rest in me.
A friend of mine and fellow hurting mama wrote the following in her most recent blog post:
Deserts can be harsh and lonely, but there in the quiet, character is being built, and an ear is trained to the soft whispers of God carried on a high wind. But in the desert, there are choices. Choices to resist, or choices to be molded by it. Choices to run, or choices to see it as an opportunity for growth and stay until God says “Move.”
(How beautiful was that?)
So here I am, just being. Here I am, fighting the urge to run. Here I am, staying until God says move.
And in this place of just being, I can think of quite a lot of things to be thankful for.
I adore this rendition of the following hymn:
O Love that wilt not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.