joy comes in the morning, if we let it.
It’s been a long and lovely break. We strolled around San Francisco in the sunny but somewhat chilly weather, were inspired and loved on and had our lives changed in Redding, California where we spent a good chunk of time at Bethel Church, and spent time with my sister in law. Then we flew over to Phoenix and soaked up the sun and shopped and ate lots of food and spent time with great friends and their little one.
It was a beautiful escape…I suppose that’s what you can call it. Because once I arrived back home, to the wet, to the gray, to the cold, I felt it all seep slowly into my bones. It didn’t flood in. I’m always happy to be home. I love my house, I love the color on the walls, the sound of the gas heater kicking in after a few weeks of sitting still. I love restocking the fridge and lighting candles in the window, making food in my own kitchen, pouring my own espresso. It is all truly a blessing.
And then, day two rolls around, and Jay goes to work and I’m left at home alone, alone for the first time in two weeks. Every waking moment on our vacation I was surrounded by family and friends, laughter, words, sounds, and the dull ache of what has been and what is right now was silenced.
But today, as the green gray darkness began to roll in, I looked at the clock and shuddered: 4:30pm. Hours until Jay is home. Long, dark hours. Florence is stunned too, with the time change, the lack of sunshine, the cold.
I felt those tears coming in, and I nuzzled my nose into her belly button, fighting, fighting tears, as she giggled, thinking it was time to play. And I felt abused by my own self. Why am I doing this? That season is over, it is dead and gone.
I had a new revelation, and life changing one, while at Bethel Church. Jesus loves me. God loves me. The Holy Spirit loves me. God is GOOD.
A good God doesn’t poison our veins with cancer, doesn’t cause genetic malfunctions, doesn’t stricken us with pain and sorrow to teach us a lesson. No no. He doesn’t refrain from loving us, He doesn’t put us through the ringer, He doesn’t will us to go through suffering, He doesn’t turn a blind eye when we cry. The Bible says He collects our tears.
He is meticulous when it comes to His children. My Papa, my God, He is good dad. We had many prayers and hands full of love were laid on us, and words were spoken over us to replace all the negative, poisonous words of the doctors. I met God, for the first time I think. I really truly came in to contact with His heart full of love. It was gut wrenching, it was heavy in the best possible way. I suppose you could say I was delivered from all my other beliefs about who God is, beliefs that never made sense, that made me mad at God, that made me question Him. It’s okay to wrestle with God, but only for a time. At some point, I just had to let go, I had to surrender Florence into his mighty arms (which I had not yet truly done).
It was a a beautiful time and I can’t wait to go back. I encountered God like never before, and because of that I will never be the same.
Even though I felt myself breaking today, I gathered up my heavy bundle and with a blush on my cheeks, I started dancing on my creaky kitchen floor. I put aside my resistance, my heavy heart, and danced it away until the burden was left in shambles at the cross of Jesus, until I felt my heart lift with JOY. That’s another lesson I learned on my field trip: Joy comes in the morning. Joy comes at lunchtime and in the evening when the darkness comes too swiftly. It’s a choice.
He’s already done it, so I’m choosing it, because it’s there, He is there. Always. His desire, His only desire is to see wholeness, healing and wellness come to His children. Never, ever does He desire us to have pain. He uses it, He uses sickness and suffering, but I don’t believe He calls us into it. My God is good, and He makes all things good, but He doesn’t will terrible things to happen to his precious babies. Because that is what we are. If you have children, think of how much you love them: how you want to give them the world, see them set free and desire only good gifts for them. That’s only a smidgen of how much He loves us and how wonderful his desires are for us.
These statements have set my heart free, and I hope they set yours free too.
It struck me today, as I opened another jar of prunes for Florence, wincing at her constipation again, the doctors words ringing in my head…children like here often struggle with this because they don’t have the strength…NO. Other children do too! And she can do it, she has done it, it just takes some time. I can give her a warm bath and massage olive oil with rosemary and ginger essential oils on her tummy, do the bicycle legs and move on. But those words are like daggers.
Pause. Do I believe this statement from the doctor? Or do I choose joy and let this slide off of me and say this is just part of the struggle with introducing solid food?
Deep breath. Vacation time is over, but the joy doesn’t have to end because the days are shorter, the alone time longer. I choose joy. I choose to make God’s reality, my reality.