I’m honored to have a post up at Karissa Knox Sorrell’s place today, and I hope you’ll join me over there. Karissa is hosting a gutsy series titled “Where I Found God”, featuring stories about the times we have found God outside of church or the usual places, in unexpected ways. I have to admit, writing this piece was hard, but it was the kind of hard that reminded me of one of the great benefits of writing through my life, unearthing the truths I’ve been hurrying by. We’ve had a very long year, at times it has been very scary, and when I thought about where I’d found God, I felt hard pressed to come up with an answer. But I kept asking myself the question, because I think it’s important, and because I had a deadline. 🙂 It turns out, I did find God. And just as Karissa suspected, it was in very unexpected ways. Thanks for hosting me today, Karissa. You’re a woman I admire and appreciate, and I’m so glad to call you a friend in this crazy internet world.
I wish I could write about finding God in art. Or beauty. Or nature. I wish I could tell you that I encounter Him most often in the laughter of my kids, or in the crisp fall evenings. That finding God in the unexpected has taken me into the wild world and that beyond the church doors, He is bigger, better.
But the truth is, it seems whether I’m sitting in a pew on a Sunday or not, finding God is hard. Life is beautiful, yes. But it is also very, very hard sometimes. Seeing Him, searching for His love, feeling it, is just not easy sometimes.
Life has been rough this year. The perimeter has grown small and I can feel it shrinking still. All the things I thought would happen, the ways I planned to watch God work this year, they’ve been one by one, plucked from my life. There have been so many disappointments to weather, so many battles to fight, so many fears knocking at our door. Friendships have disappeared; help has been difficult to ask for.
Finding God in the usual places has felt like an exercise in frustration. On the Sundays we’ve been able to attend church, I feel a bit frozen inside. When I close my eyes in prayer over my sons each night, it’s desperation that washes over me instead of the peace I’m craving.
Finding God anywhere has required an energy I don’t have most days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m trying. I am always trying. But the things that once moved me, the art and beauty and simplicity that spoke to me a truth I couldn’t utter about who God is and who I am, they’ve been luxuries our life can’t afford most days. Survival mode is like that.
And yet, I can’t say He hasn’t been there. It’s just that He isn’t there in the way I’d like for Him to be, or in the ways I’m accustomed to. He’s wading through the mud with us, not saying a whole lot at the moment. But somehow, as each crisis or stress arises, and as we attempt to sort it through, I find that it is in the scraping by, in the just barely making it, that I sense the hand of God. To read the rest, please click here.