Monday, April 9, 2012

A Long Winter of Questions

London's Subway 2009
I used to believe that goodness would come to me, reign in my life and overcome all darkness for me.

Please, don't be so quick to scoff!
You might have believed that too if you could say that almost everything in your life ended up working out. I am blessed, and honest, in saying that I've witnessed many miracles in my life time. I've watched family members and loved ones gain victory over serious illnesses, impending death and cancer.

My life's motto was "It's all Good!" I lived my life day in and day out not letting the bad get to me because I was compelled to believe that at some point in time that bad would be turn into good.

I even based that belief on biblical principal.
Romans 8:28 was my life verse "For we know that all things work out for good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes."

I didn't think I was good or that I even deserved good things to happen to me. Instead I believed that He is good and He would honor His promise and cause good things happen on my behalf.

And then it was 2009
and I was hard pressed to find something good.

And then it was 2010 and at first I grew bitter
then weary as another year came and went without any sort of resolution and only a long, seemingly lonely, path ahead of me.

And now in 2012 truth be told I'm still sorta waiting for the 'all good' part.

My belief that there is a God never faltered these last few years.
I still loved Him but I was frustrated and disillusioned at best.
Had He failed me
or, more likely, had I failed Him?

So began a deep personal journey for me. Had everything I believed been wrong or am I simply impatient? Did God need more time or had I been forgotten?
Did I walk out of His will? Is there a perfect will?

Suddenly everything was a question.
And my brain was physically and emotionally exhausted from the mental searching.

As I reflect however, there was one thing I was sure of. I was not, as I had believed, alone. Somehow, in the most mysterious of ways, I knew -I just knew- that where I was, in the winter of my soul, He was with me. In fact, oddly enough I often felt an indescribable center to myself. Which in all honesty made me question whether I was going mad.
How could I feel so simultaneously unanswered and centered?

Recently, I've felt as if my soul is mirroring the calendar and I've been able to breathe again.
It's April.
It is spring.
My cherry tree is blooming and similarly my soul has awaken, dared to stretch itself and peak out from it's dark cave of hibernation. Is it spring in me? Has my winter passed and are buds forming on the limbs of my life? I can't help but wonder ... am I about to bear fruit? Was the cold harsh winter of my soul the precipice in which my life would produce something?

Time will tell.
And while I hope for that, of nothing I am certain.
I still have questions.
Many questions.

What of them?
What of my belief?

As Madeleine L'Engle so beautifully writes in her memoir
A Two-Part Invention The Story of a Marriage
 "I will have nothing to do with a God who cares only occasionally. I need a God who is with us always, everywhere, in the deepest depths as well as the highest heights. It is when things go wrong, when the good things do not happen, when our prayers seem to have been lost, that God is most present. We do not need sheltering wings when things go smoothly. We are closest to God in the darkness, stumbling along blindly."

Whether you find yourself today blinded by the darkness or dancing in the light, may you too know that somewhere up there or in you or in nature or in your baby's first breath, there is a God who in all His mysterious ways knows your name and knows the seasons.

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  1. Oh Stephanie...I so hear you in this. When my husband was diagnosed with ALS, the questions never stopped. How could it be? Where's the "all good" in this? Struggling isn't all bad, but it feels like it when you're in the middle of it.

    One very simple, maybe too simple, phrase got through to me. "The only way around something is all the way through it." There are no short cuts.

    He is with you. It is better than the alternative.

    1. Thank you Lynne. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I agree with you: the easiest way is through. But God how I've hated through. I've avoided through. I got angry at through. But through is the way. Through is the best way. And only those who have gone through understand sometimes. Thanks again for commenting.

  2. That was a beautiful piece of writing. Seriously.

    I hear you. When I've felt like hope is hightailing it out the door and my whole life is in turmoil, those were the times I really needed to listen and believe that (yes, you're right) I was not alone.

    Through is where the growing is, where the good stuff lives, where tests and rewards are waiting. Through is the point, although (yes, you're right again) sometimes through sucks.

  3. Thank you Julie! I certainly don't know it or can't prove it but I feel as if I'm not alone. And if I've have nothing else I've had that to hold on to. Appreciate you visiting my blog.


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