Sunday, July 31, 2022

Do the next thing

All people suffer. We each go through inexplicably hard times at various points in our life and it has the potential to either break and destroy us, or to break us, mold us and help us find joy we have not previously known. Joy, born from pain, has no measure and no bounds. It changes us forever. The most profound things I have learned in this life have come from the deepest suffering. It puts all things into perspective. At the most basic level, I realize I have absolutely no control over anything in my life and there is some great freedom in that. My responsibility in this crazy brutal life is to rise each day that I'm given and do what I can, what I am able to do with all the strength I can muster- do the next thing. 

I miss my hill. Being locked out of the forest right now is so crazy hard because it's where I go to feel grounded and whole again. When I stand on that hill, underneath my tree, I feel small and suddenly whatever threatens to overwhelm me also feels smaller and less daunting. There seems to be some strange irony that I cannot go my place of refuge now when life seems particularly absurd. However, I am finding peace in the unexpected places. I am filled with hope each morning when I look out upon the mud covered field with it's broken fences. Each night, especially on post-flood days, I feel slightly battle weary but those feeble emotions will only fail me. I am rich because I am not alone - none of us is truly alone, even when our suffering, our pain, the horror of our circumstances tries to deceive us to believe we are. And I have found friends in neighbors - shared suffering can do much to unite, giving people a common mission, even if that's just survival :-). 

I am (very) anxious for the next season to begin, but I must live in this season fully and well. So, if it's picking up boulders again today then it will be done. 

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pain: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world." ~ C.S. Lewis

"He makes us wait. He keeps us on purpose in the dark. He makes us walk when we want to run, sit still when we want to walk, for He has things to do in our souls that we are not interested in." ~ Elizabeth Elliot

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