looking through me

Tag: faith

terra firma

Wave after wave sweeps over me:
a friend’s niece with seven days or less to receive a heart transplant,
a dad with young children suffering a series of strokes,
return trips to detox and rehab,
a toddler’s cancer surgery,
early onset Alzheimer’s stealing a family’s mom and grandma,
white blood counts so low chemo can’t be administered
and questions without answers.

In between sets, I find myself treading water and reaching for words like hope and peace and joy.

I reach for them not as life preservers to temporarily keep my head above water—I don’t reach for them with my hands at all. I reach for them with my feet searching for solid ground beneath me.

Because the waves keep coming. The unthinkable situations keep rolling into the lives of those I love. Sometimes they pull us under. But the waves are not all that is real. Terra firma exists.

It is real.

My toes touch it when I sink into truth: “The Lord is near.”

And my feet find their footing.

“The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Hope. Peace. Joy.

Jesus.

Terra firma.

 

 

 

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not strong enough

Life is heavy + I am weak = I need to be stronger.

I think that. Sometimes I even pray it: “Please make me stronger. I can’t carry all this heaviness.”

But, what if I’m not meant to carry it?

I’m a youngest child. And I’m small. (And competitive.) I’ve spent my whole life trying to keep up, trying to prove I could do what my brothers or friends or whoever could do, trying to prove I was big enough and strong enough.

But . . . I’m not.

And as the heaviness settles on my heart—from life’s challenges, my friends’ pain, my own loss—I realize the answer isn’t to try to match my strength to its weight. I can’t balance the scales. I will never be big enough or strong enough.

And, for once, my smallness, my weakness, is an asset . . . because the weight shifts from manageable to burdensome in a breath. I sense the “too much” and the “too heavy” quickly because it doesn’t take much weight to buckle my knees.

I cannot stand under this load. My slight frame speeds me to a place of surrender as I remember Jesus promised light burdens and an easy yoke. This soul-straining pressure is not that yoke. When my legs are shaking and my arms ache, I know I have traded His truth for another’s lies.

That’s the problem with my equation: when I pray to be made stronger, I’m praying for a one-to-one solution. I’m asking to break even, to hold my own. But my own strength will never be sufficient, no matter how strong I am.

And I feel my load lighten as I accept the weight of grace in its place.

 

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