Seasons without Striving

I’d like to think that this season has been defined by charcuterie boards and belly laughing on my couch with friends. By pizza and brave whispers of greatest fears. Early bedtimes, weekends spent with my parents, long walks with my favorite pup, and fresh eucalyptus in my bedroom. If you’ve looked at my Instagram story since August, that’s what you’ve seen of my life.

I’ve painted a beautiful picture of the life I’ve been trying to find.

But I want to be honest. This season has actually been defined by crippling anxiety, knees on the floor prayer, and more tears than I can even explain. I honestly didn’t know you could be sore from crying until recently.

This season God has been forcefully teaching me how to not strive. How to rest and how to wrestle the things I like to keep packed away in neat little boxes labeled ” do NOT under any circumstance open” and “scary skeletons!!!”.

I like to keep moving. To check off the next thing on my to do list. To reach my next goal and land my next adventure. I’m not big on idle hands or idle time. I have a road map for life and am always saying “Okay God it’s time to move on to the next phase, please”.

But He’s continually saying no to my pleading.

No to my prayers.

No to my declarations.

Its like with every perfect part of my life I put forward for the world to see, God says “ah, but do you see this? We need to talk about this”.

He’s ripping me apart. Showing me my greatest fears, while simultaneously showing me that I shouldn’t be afraid. He’s turning off all the lights just so He can tell me He is the only one who can really shut out the darkness.

I’m sitting in a counselors office bawling my eyeballs out while I tell her I’m tired of standing still. Because everyone is moving forward and I’m falling further behind. I’m opening old wounds. Desperately clawing to get out of this season. I’m begging for answers. A glimpse into His plans. A taste of easier days.

All the while God is yanking me back. Gently, but not without consequence. He’s walking with me really slowly. Holding my hand, and with that comfort comes the uncomfortable understanding that He is in control.

I don’t want to strive, I really don’t. I want to be content on the ground in the place where God has planted me. He’s letting me dig up old roots and sprout newer, healthier ones. What a blessing! What a painful experience though.

I’m learning its a privilege to know me. That blasting social media with my best parts won’t cure my heart. Won’t make the ache of rejection go away. Striving just won’t fix me.

It’s a privilege to know me. And photos of me eating ice cream or shooting a hunting rifle or in my cutest dress won’t make the people who already don’t like me think any different.

I can’t change your perception of me.

God continuously tells me that is okay. But my flesh hurts and strives nonetheless.

Seasons without striving. Forced upon me. Its like I’m walking barefoot in gravel. I know eventually the ground will be soft again, but for now I’m in some pain.

I’m filling journals. Crying in cars. Sitting on friends’ couches asking hard questions. Making myself eat. Making myself laugh because I can’t forget what that feels like. Opening the blinds when I want to not look at the sun because there is beauty still, I believe it.

A really raw, vulnerable and scary beauty that comes with knowing that the old is being stripped away.

The story of redemption. It’s all we want. To be washed clean, redeemed and filled with the Holy Spirit. But the work comes in realizing that to be full, we must first be empty.

 

 

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