I’m in a new season.
And I don’t mean like a Tennessee kind of season, where you have no idea if it’s Winter or Summer.
It’s clearly a new season.
It’s a season that has greeted me with the gift of tears.
Everything I find security in is about to be gone. Wow.
My two closest friends are leaving to go on a study abroad trip in a few days. They’ll be gone for about three months. In the depths of my brokenness, they were there. They have seen my ugly. They have been my life raft keeping my head above water when I forgot how to swim and found myself beginning to drown. They have held my hand as I’ve walked through scary and uncomfortable seasons. They have listened to my complaints and groanings because of growing pains of life. They have seen my heart stripped of all its makeup after waking up a day after being diagnosed with bipolar disorder before it had time to process and pretend to be more flattering than it is in reality. They know me fully, and still love me. They have shown me the love of Christ and have taught me how to not only love others better, but also how to love myself better. They’re my people. And they’re leaving.
One of my teammates on a leadership team we’ve been a part of for a couple years stepped down from being on leadership. Every time I would go to one of these leadership meetings and “wasn’t feeling it,” I would simply remind myself, “Well, [insert this person’s name] will be there, so even if it’s miserable, she’ll be there. We’ll endure it together.” This extended even into my mindset of joining this team again for a new semester. I had doubts about whether or not I felt as if I belonged on the team… one could say I felt like the “black sheep” of the group. But I thought, “Ya know, she makes me feel included and helps me feel as if I belong on this team. If she’s there, it’ll be okay.” She was my place of security on this leadership team. But now, she’s gone.
We are about to start a 40 Day Fast of both food and social media. I joke all the time about how eating is a hobby for me and connecting with others over coffee or food makes my heart truly come alive, but it’s not really a joke. I enjoy food… probably more than the average person. You’d think I was an obese woman when I say, “Well, people may not always be there, but butter will be… more butter, more better.” Or maybe I’m Paula Dean.
I will be living off of fruits and vegetables for forty days. There’s another thing I find security in being removed.
To top it all off, when I’m really feeling insecure, I’ll post a picture on Instagram with a caption that I want people to read and be proud of me for… whether it be because I’m some super wise or insightful Christian blowing your mind with the latest revelation from the Lord or maybe it’s some hopeful vague post that’s really saying, “Hey, life sucks and I struggle with depression, but there’s hope…” but I’ll replace depression with sad seasonal imagery, like rain or Winter, and I’ll say something like, “I’m still alive and the sunshine is on its way,” which really means, “Congratulate me cause I haven’t fucking killed myself yet.” But I’m also about to go forty days without that super empty place of security that I’ve misplaced in Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr.
Oh, and forty days without communicating via social media with my two best friends who, let me remind you, will be in another country for three months.
Let’s be honest. This new season that has “greeted me with the gift of tears” really just sounds like the shittiest of all seasons… and it is.
But that is where I am finding so much beauty.
I’m finding so much kindness from the Lord… that he would bring me to such a place in order to remove all that I find security in and to become my sole place of refuge.
He just keeps reminding me that he loves me enough to break my heart.
And it’s met me with many tears.
I have wept over the loss of my security; I’ve wept over my friends leaving the country; I’ve wept over my friend leaving the leadership team; I’ve wept over how overwhelming and scary this upcoming season seems to be; but even more, I’ve wept over the kindness of the Lord. He’s so patient. He’s so kind. He’s so good. He has overwhelmed me with his goodness towards me.
He wants me.
Like he actually wants ME.
All of me. Wow.
I’ve never found this sort of beauty in jealousy before. Never have I felt as if someone was jealous of my heart in this way. He wants relationship with me so much that he will break my heart. It’s not because he wants me to serve him and tell him how cool he is–obviously those things will follow–he wants me. He isn’t manipulative or selfish in the way he loves me.
And it is a gift that I can weep.
There have been times where I have been met with silence from him. I have literally sat in a prayer room for thirteen hours and didn’t hear from him at all, and that is no exaggeration. This actually happened and it sucked. But it was another time where he taught me that he loves me enough to break my heart.
He has offered me such grace in this season to weep over his extravagant love that he keeps pouring over me in waves.
I know that this upcoming season is going to hurt like Hell, but I also know that it’s going to be a beautiful season; I know that it’s going to be a necessary season; I know that this season will be worth it.
When I come to the end of myself, I get to find him. I get to see him. I get to lean on him alone.
Today, he showed me an image of me and him hiking up this big ass mountain that was rocky as Hell, and I had this ridiculously heavy backpack that I was trying to lug up this mountain. He turns to me and takes my backpack from me, and we keep walking up the mountain, but he’s carrying the backpack.
I have to go up this mountain. It’s going to be hard. It’s going to be rocky. I’m going to get tired and sweaty. I’m probably going to slip and fall, or I’m going to trip over those roots that you see, but still manage to kick and have to catch yourself. It’s not an easy journey up this mountain. But he’s with me. And he’s lightened my load. He’s kind enough to not let me go on the journey alone.
He’s really good. I’m overwhelmed with his kindness towards me. I’m so undeserving.
Who am I that he would be mindful of me?