I sit on the porch and I wait. I know God can meet me here. He has before. Which is actually to say that the porch is where I can usually quiet my mind and spirit long enough to hear His voice or, at least, feel His presence.
Over the past year though, my porch has so often become a place of escape. It was as close as I could get to being somewhere besides in my own house and in my own head – where I headed when I was running from things rather than where I ran TO God. Sadly, I’ve lost some of the peace and sacredness of this space amidst all the turmoil of the last twelve months.
I feel the pain and sorrow of others – maybe more than is healthy. I take injustices personally even if I am not directly impacted. In this last year, with grief upon grief and the imbalance of society glaring, I have struggled to find peace, to find balance, to find rest, to feel hope.
This is relatively foreign to me. Well, other than the lack of rest part! My normal rhythms, structures, ability to plan, and even the things I do to de-stress have all but disappeared.
After being sick, after needlessly losing friends, and after not being able to receive the normal comfort of the closeness of family and friends when my sister died, I felt further from God than I have in years.
I wasn’t angry at or running from Him. He just felt distant and silent. Unsettled by this, I’ve been leaning hard into what I’ve always known. God is still right here beside me – always. I remembered that I have always struggled to feel His love unless I am also giving it away. I know I can come to Him but the peace I long for most often comes when I am also going and doing.
So I’m trying to create new rhythms and processes to try to share His message of love, acceptance, and peace even, or especially, in times of trouble. Some of what I’ve tried has worked. Some has failed. Even so, I know that I’m beginning to feel His nearness again and that He honors my efforts, regardless of the results.
As we approach Easter Sunday, I pray that you, too, will be able to see ways to take whatever this past year has cost you and resurrect it into something new and beautiful.