It’s been a month with no posting, so I’m starting this weekly devotional up again, as promised.
The only problem is I feel like my soul is bleeding worse now than before.
2019 was a less-than-stellar year. I committed to too much and ended up working 60+ hours a week, got creatively burnt out, and stressed out over family health issues.
Because of that, I made the decision to pull back on a lot of my writing tasks this year. I was looking forward to 2020 being better.
Then it decided to be the worst year in recent memory.
A close family member was murdered, several others have had severe health crises, including the dreaded specter of a cancer diagnosis for someone very close to me (two surgeries so far, with chemo coming up); then you add in my daughter getting a dangerous infection, then going under for 2 hours at the hospital last week to get her teeth fixed (ridiculous), and several other family members with bizarre issues, including a more distant family member having a boyfriend attempt suicide and end up in a coma.
Did I mention that most of this happened in the last month or so?
Add in a stressful book launch, a rushed script-writing job for a producer who was going to pull funding unless I wrote 30 pages the week we found out about the cancer diagnosis…
And I haven’t even begun to talk about the more distant world events that have everyone scratching their heads.
I feel… empty.
I just want everything to be okay.
And I know that everything will be okay.
My daughter is back to health now. My loved one’s cancer has a high chance of being curable.
And even if nothing worked out, death is a door we all pass through.
But when we’re in the middle of it, it doesn’t feel okay. It feels like we’re going to either scream, or die from holding it in.
It’s had me thinking about how much of a treasure the peace of Christ truly is.
All I want is to bathe in his presence and be soothed.
I made fun of people who only wanted to use God as a security blanket.
Then this year scared the junk out of me, and now I just want Jesus to make it go away, same as everyone else.
But he does it slowly. To teach us patience?
To draw us to him so that we finally surrender and just spend time with him?
Because we don’t change quickly, so he moves at our pace?
Because the world is much bigger than me and my problems, and sometimes he uses my pain for his good purposes, and who am I to complain to the one who sacrificed everything for me?
But I still complain. A lot. And after he patiently waits and listens, I realize he just wants me to rest in him.
Which is about where I’m at as I write this devotional. It’s all I want. And it feels, in many ways, like it’s all I can do.
It’s certainly the only thing that brings me any sort of satisfaction.
So, if you’re feeling the same, maybe we could rest a bit in his presence, together.
Jesus, thank you for taking care of us. Thank you for all the days you’ve given us on this planet. Thank you for our food, our homes, our families and friends. Thank you for bodies that haven’t totally fallen apart yet. And for the chance to grow closer to you. Thank you for how difficult times push us to rely on you and to realize that we really aren’t in control. It helps me surrender. Helps me let go, and just trust you.
Thankfulness, I’ve noticed, is a good way to combat anxiety and fear. So, I’m making a list of ten things I’m thankful for, and then thanking God for all of them.