What a year it has been so far. Many tears. More laughs.
My point in telling you that is to say...really...I. Am. NEVER. Alone. Even when I'm showering... questions arise. Questions that clearly can't wait for five minutes. *Moms...can I get an Amen?!* I have to laugh (although sometimes I'll admit that I choose to reply with a snotty and sarcastic tone) when they come in and ask for help.
"Mom, can you help me get some orange juice?" says child.
"Seriously. SERIOUSLY?! Are. You. Seriously. asking me that right now???!!! Am I the only person that lives here that knows how to pour a drink?! Uh...I'm in the shower. How in the world would you suggest I get you orange juice?!" says
For those of you that don't know much about me...I live in the snow belt of Pennsylvania. Yes...the snow belt. I willingly live where we get hammered with lake effect snow from Lake Erie. I, on purpose, live where the air gets so cold it not only simultaneously numbs and stings your skin, it freezes your nose hairs and actually hurts to breathe. The only time I am 'alone' as of lately....is when I take the trek, up my hill, in snow literally up to my knees some days...to do chores on our little country farm. No one bothers me there. They stay warm and cozy...and I go out in the bitter cold to throw hay, unfreeze water, fix broken halters, pet our goat, carry firewood etc....
And it is there, when I am finally alone, that God has been speaking to me lately. He's been giving me illustrations to write about. And by the time I make the frigid trip back down, still through snow up to my knees, and to my loud, cozy, question-filled house...they are forgotten. Sigh.... What is wrong with me? How could I be that excited about His inspiration...and then just forget it?! GAH!!
So the other night I had a long phone conversation with my dear, sweet friend, Sheli. I tell her that God has given me several illustrations to write about...and I have forgotten all but one. Her response...why don't you put a notebook and a pencil in your barn coat?
So simple...and yet completely effective. And so that night after we hung up...I did just that. And a few moments later as I was cutting open bales of hay...God reminded me. 'Walking in dim light.'
A few weeks ago I was in my hay mow after the sun had set. I prefer NOT to do chores in the dark....but the ever busy, squeeze in one more thing before you go, struggling procrastinator in me sometimes wins out. Haha!
I turned on the lights downstairs...and climbed the wooden staircase to the mow. There is one lonely light way at the top of a high ceiling. It is not enough, considering what a HUGE space it is. And to make it even worse...right now there happens to be a half-full wagon of hay blocking most of the light that is cast down from that one. little. far-a-way. bulb.
Dim. I would definitely say the light is dim. So when I came from a barn floor full of lights and walked into the dimly lit mow...it made it all the harder to see. I was a bit taken back, wishing I had remembered to bring my flashlight, but unwilling to go back for it. I knew there were obstacles between me and the hay...and I was not sure how to keep myself from tripping over all of them. I squinted...it did not help. I waited (for a whole 3 seconds)...it did not improve. So I walked.
Gingerly I stepped. Guessing. Remembering what was there in the light. Small steps. Larger steps over whatever obstacle I thought I could see. And then...something happened. The shadows looked, less dark. My vision became more clear. The dim somehow, seemed brighter.
And that is when God spoke. "My child. You may be able to (barely) see in the dark...but you weren't meant to camp and find comfort there."
We are surrounded by darkness. Not necessarily always within...but forever surrounded. Darkness meant to harm us. And darkness seeking out those within our circle of influence. Some days it feels completely overwhelming. Sin that attacks from all angles, from all people, regardless of relationship. Those so broken, that you exhaust yourself to show them truth and prove it realness, only to find they won't accept it. It's as if they feel like it can't possibly be for them. The sadness that camps all around..some days seems to weigh me down. But why?
Had I been choosing to struggle through the dark with only a poorly lit path...
Is that truly all that God had in mind for me...