Here you find yourself in a confusing, strange place. A place that is uncomfortable and unwanted much of the time. Sure, it isn’t all bad, but it is difficult at times and hard to understand why the Lord has placed you here in this season. Your work feels small and unseen, compared to others’ seasons of visibility and accolades. It’s okay that it feels hard. It is okay that the tears come at weird times. It is okay to miss people. It’s okay to not be okay.
Yet, there are the glimpses, aren’t there? The glimpses of redemption and grace. The glimpses of what the Lord is doing. The glimpses that you aren’t as unseen as you feel. The glimpses that the Lord can use quiet faithfulness and delights in those who trust him with themselves. Keep looking for them. They still count when they are hard to see. They still count when you have to scrape away the dirt in order to find them. They don’t have to fall into your hand for them to count. Keep saying thank-you, even when it costs you.
You’re pretty hard on yourself. You always have been. It feels easy to offer grace to others and hard to receive for yourself. Be kind to yourself. It isn’t just someone else who needs to sit and breathe. It’s you too. It isn’t just someone else who needs to go on a walk and read a book and light a candle. It’s you too. You don’t have to earn rest. You don’t have to deserve a break. No one does. It is just a grace. You get those things because you’re alive and human and loved. No one deserves grace. We just get to open our hands and say yes.
Jesus feels different in this season, doesn’t he? I think that comes from him not being a tame lion and all. Don’t worry. Aslan hasn’t forgotten you. You’ve changed a lot in the last season. He hasn’t, but it is okay to have to relearn what it feels like to be with him. He’s bigger. He’s deeper. He isn’t afraid of your questions and doubts. He wants them. He wants you. Lean in, even when you want to listen to your fears. Bury your hands into his fur, even when you’re trembling. You’re terribly and tremendously loved. It doesn’t have to feel true to be true.
This is a pretty good life we have, isn’t it? Did you see the sky this morning? Hazy blue mixed with grey and misty pink, contrasted against the barren trees. It was striking and hauntingly beautiful. Did you see her toothy grin and she ran towards you? That little girl is crazy about you. Did you taste the steaming pumpkin coffee this morning? Wasn’t it delightful to not care who was watching and dance with your whole heart? Wasn’t it sweet to be held tight and to be told you’re loved? Didn’t you love the surprise of that package yesterday? Wasn’t it a gift to eat dinner with friends who are easy to rest with? I know these things don’t eliminate the hard or negate the difficult. Those are still there. Those still need to be talked about and sat with. The mess is still there. But it isn’t only a mess. There are so many graces in the mess.
It sounds funny to cheer for yourself, but let’s do it. You cheer other people on. You call out courage in them. Let’s try it too. You need it just as much. Maybe this is where you can start opening your hands to more grace today.
It was brave to host when your life doesn’t feel put together.
It was brave to cry and sit in the mess of your grief.
It is brave to send a letter and tell someone how they are loved.
It was brave to not worry about getting everything done.
It was brave to tell other people you’re not doing well.
It was brave to put away your phone and to sit in the mess instead of scrolling through social media.
It was brave to say thank-you and to tell Jesus how you’re doing.
It was brave to rest when the to-do list wasn’t finished.
You’re brave. You’re loved.