Broadsided- when life's circumstances catch you by surprise

It was just that. A surprise. One after another. I was caught off-guard by this past week’s circumstances. Life seems to throw curveball and sometimes they all land in the same week. Father saw fit to shake up my faith and remind me of His sovereignty and perfect grace in a hard way. Perhaps the journey had just slipped into a comfortable pace and I was really enjoying it. Then things began to happen.

Though not one particular situation, it seems that altogether they formed one perfect storm. Perfect in the sense that I was left desperate for God. Perfect in the sense that it pushed me to my knees. Relational issues do that. They are by far more exhausting for the heart than many of life’s problems. Guarding my heart from anxiousness and fear is not always easy when things in my relational world aren’t faring well. I know I’m not alone in this.

By Thursday, I was running into my afternoon of solitude depleted and weary. My sweet husband took over homeschooling and I locked myself in our small guestroom. Lighting a candle, filling my cup of tea, and gathering my Bible and journal, I slipped away into His presence.

I was caught unaware and it had so quickly robbed me of joy and strength. Weeping in prayer, I found solace in His presence.

His presence is with us always but so often I am not attentive to His being with me. Lord, are you with me? I ask. Yes, my daughter, I am. You only need to look up and see Me. 

As I reflected on each event, each conversation, I brought my heart to Father. My deepest longings and questions, they’re not too much for Him. In fact,  I can  bring them to Him and let His perfect Light shine on them.  David Benner says that our deepest longings reflect our spiritual health and appetite. Am I hungering mostly for Him? Why did the words spoken and exchanged affect me in the way they did? Sitting there in discomfort, Father revealed to me my heart and spoke to me in the quiet. Healing does come from His presence. His words and presence are balm for my soul.

What does His presence mean to me? To you? Attune my heart to your presence, Lord. Make me more aware of how you are working, drawing, changing, molding, shaping. Sometimes He answers with Hard. He allows Hard to come to show us more of Himself. He allows Hard to show us more of ourselves. Calvin once said, “There is no deep knowing of self without a deep knowing of God, and there is no deep knowing of God without a deep knowing of self.”

God, how thankful I am that you meet us in the depths, and you long that we would be found wholly in You.


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