Early on a Saturday morning, I cradle a mug of coffee in my hands and sit in silence as the world begins to wake up.
The earth is turning cold and the pale blue sky hints at autumn’s arrival, and here I sit — watching the leaves blow outside my window and feeling things churn inside of me.
There is something about October that brings me to mourn, and there is something about this mourning that brings me to my knees. Whether by the change of the seasons or because the world seems to still be spinning slowly, I feel the pangs of loss, and I quietly grieve, telling God all of the things that I miss.
This mantra has been echoing in my head for months now, ever since a friend of mine sent me those words right when I needed to hear them. Right now, I’m watching the range of life seasons my friends are in, the happiness they’re seemingly consumed with – stepping into their careers, traveling across the world, falling in love. And oftentimes I wonder, in the mundane, everydayness of life – is there joy here? Truly?
In this season, I am fighting for joy. This season, in which my heart is tired, I am learning to find hope again.
There’s something so ethereal about knowing when God is speaking.
Oftentimes, before I leave my house to go be with other Christians, I pray a few things. One, that I’d have some sort of meaningful conversation, two, that God would speak, and if I remember, then three, that I’d be filled with the Spirit and used by Him.
And the funny thing is, once I arrive, when I kick off my shoes and put down my phone and start hugging people, I completely forget that I ever even prayed it. And every single time that I come home so filled, I’m overcome with awe at how He worked.
I’m stunned by the conversations that left me glowing with joy, how I heard God in worship songs and in listening to my friends preach, tangibly experiencing God’s love and presence in everyday interactions.
I heard His voice again this weekend, and it left me breathless.
For three days, I’d been praying hard that God would lead me to trust Him. And He has. Oh, how He has.
But this year, this 2017, I’ve implemented some things into my life that have helped me make grace tangible, my faith just as a part of my life as every other thing on my lists.
And the first thing is my Done List.
Many people in the world have to-do lists; whether chicken-scratched on a loose scrap of paper, dictated into Evernote, or perfectly printed in a notebook, we’re all familiar with the concept. It’s our own human way of organizing our lives, of creating little goals with checkboxes and a dose of self-motivation thrown in.
But I don’t use to-do lists. I use something called a Done List.
It’s past one o’clock in the morning. I’m writing, I’m thinking, I’m praying, I’m dreaming. I’m reading, I’m hoping, I’m feeling, believing.
Nights like these are good nights for me. Every so often I glance up from my journal and fix my gaze on my twinkle lights, my sky-blue walls, my slatted shades, my messy space – and I take a breath again.
I’ve never been in love. At least, not yet. Sure, I’ve had a few crushes here and there, like we all have had growing up, but there’s something about love that just captivates me, awakens my senses to something greater.
As I sit here on my bed, legs tucked gently under me, clad in an oversized sweatshirt, leggings, and hair such a mess…I’m honestly quite overwhelmed.
What do you do when God feels so far away? When there seems to be no feeling at all, no Voice, no overwhelming peace? Just the absence of anything deeper?
That isn’t how I wanted to start this post. I wanted it to sound beautiful, inspiring, but though it’s laced with desperation, it’s imperatively honest. Because for this past week, and maybe even for this past month, I’ve been there.
It took me a while to come to that conclusion – to be truthful with myself – to let myself admit that I haven’t been feeling my faith recently.
At first thought, I was horrified that it would even cross my mind that perhaps God wasn’t speaking to me as I clearly remember Him doing. It terrified me that maybe…I’ve been relying on myself so much, that life’s been so good, so easy lately, that I’ve forgotten my need to rely upon Him.
I have a pretty good memory, for the most part. I can recall so many details from conversations and places and events that happened ten years ago. I can remember sights, smells, tastes, emotions, all so vividly.
But there is one thing that I can so easily forget…and that’s goodness.
Not goodness in the world, I don’t mean that. Look up random acts of kindness on Tumblr and they’re right there. Goodness isn’t too difficult to find in people’s actions, even when this sinful world’s in chaos.
But sometimes…I forget those simple truths I’ve known for years. Sometimes, I forget the goodness of God.
It’s sheer irony that I’m writing this at four o’clock on a Friday afternoon.
This post has been gradually constructing itself in my head for a few months now, through the ups and downs of assignments and writing projects and stress and joy and all the lovely and not-so-lovely things that my life’s made up of.
Every day, around four o’clock in the afternoon, I get this feeling I can’t quite explain. It’s something of dread, of feeling as though I’ve wasted the day, this overwhelming sense of not-enough-ness.
And Fridays, you know, “Thank God it’s Friday?” Those days send me into a panicked frenzy…because there’s something that’s taken me a few YEARS to fully understand, but it’s been here for a while:
It’s the feeling that the weekend’s finally here, but I haven’t done enough.