These Difficult Days

When I look back and see the last time I wrote here, it was before our last hospital visit with Grayson, four days before the world went into staycation mode and the heaviness set in for many of us. Today I am up before the sun, with the sound of the crickets and the birds, and I wanted to write to you friends. I’m not sure about for you, but for myself, it is in the dark draw of the night hours and the peeling back of the day that I find myself most fighting the heaviness. The shadows of difficult creep in, the harsher and heavier thoughts try to steal the heaviness of comforting blankets, and my mind swirls.

But there is goodness, there is light, there is dawn.

As I feast on God’s word this morning, even before the foaming of coffee and the pitter patter of my favorite four feet, I am so encouraged. And in the back drop of the conversations I’ve been sharing “offline”, I am so grateful for those of you fighting beside me. Even when it feels too heavy. Even when it feels too hard. Even when it feels like there’s no where to turn, or no thing that can be said without offense, lean in. You are not alone.

A few days ago when our service ended, I stopped with a sweet woman of faith from our church, a generation wiser than me, yet we love and serve the same God. For days I had gone to sleep in tears, prayerful for Jesus to intervene, for something to break up the evil that feels so loud and abrasive right now. Suicide, widow and widowers grieving, children fatherless, exploitation of the young, two sides of one faith at each other’s necks in offense and fear, the gospel misplaced for feeling, politics drowning unity, mama’s in the press and pull of it all. Isn’t that cry loud enough? I thought every night going to bed.

I knew this friend knew the God of the Bible, the heart of the gospel, and that she felt the heaviness too. So as I put hands to my belly, and through the strangeness of a mask, I told her how heavy I’d been feeling with bringing another babe into this messy dark of a world, into these difficult days. The gentleness her eyes met me with were the Spirit’s, and the words she held even truer. Reminding me of all the generations and years of difficult days before us, the fight that has been since the fall, the mamas who have breathed and longed for and cried out the same prayers.

Yet here we are, new life is still coming, the dawn is still breaking through.

I’m reminded this morning of Paul writing to his brothers in difficult days of old. They walked harsh roads too, yet their mission and ministry was the same gospel-gift we hold in our homes presently. Be encouraged friends,

“Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” (1 Corinthians 16:13)

And I’m reminded of the Father’s love who poured out His son in new life, into death, for us to carry this love today.

That love doesn’t look easy. That love looks bold and true to His word. That love looks against the grain of a very confused and deceived world. That love looks like peace fought for well. That love looks evil squarely in the face, spilling all of Eternal light over, not drawn back up under the covers or a blind eye turned. That love isn’t masked in positivity, or oversimplified in optimism, or social scrolls of distraction. That love looks like difficult, yet healing conversations. That love loves its neighbor, in grace and humility and justice. That love speaks gospel truth. That love looks like Jesus.

So this morning while the birds are cared for, I come back to His word and taste all that is good, praying the same for you today.

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