At the end of a long day, especially for him in a budget season at work (with too many late nights and early mornings), my husband held onto me a little longer than usual. It was good to have him home! I didn’t pull away. I let time stand still for those stolen moments and just collapsed into his arms.
“You ok?” he asked. “Yeah. Why?” I responded, sounding surprised that he was concerned about me when he was the one weathering a stressful week. But unlike any other human on earth, this man that I love has a way of taking my pulse in a glance. And his question brought a little bit of honest from my heart.
With a sigh I admitted that summer is sometimes a really hard season for me. It is hard to articulate this struggle, because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. We are loving life without an alarm clock. Our days are relatively quiet, easy, restful. These are not what I would call problems!?
Except if, like me, you are a do-er who craves structure and goals and a well-mapped plan. For me, there is such a thing as too open-ended, too free, too quiet. I wrestle with this feeling that I’m all over the place and nowhere at the same time. I feel disconnected from everyone and everything. I wonder what on earth I have accomplished with these quiet, lonely days??!?
And there it is… “what I’ve accomplished…”
If the struggle wasn’t so real, I might just have a good laugh at myself and move on. But I know this is one of those times the Lord is grabbing my attention.
Being still isn’t comfortable for me. Not accomplishing isn’t comfortable either. My mind flashes back to a familiar lesson He is always working on with me – more than any of my doing, He is so much more interested in my being – being close to Him, lost in the wonder of Him!
Each year, I rejoice in the first few days or weeks of a wide open schedule. I sleep in and lounge and rest and soak in the chance to catch my breath. And then it all goes south and I feel a bit lost. But here’s the thing I am learning – that is exactly where the Lord is happy to find me!
When I am not too busy to notice, when I am not too driven to stop and look around, when I don’t have a clue and get that deep, uneasy feeling, He knows that His Spirit within me will cause me to reach for Him!
This goes beyond, “be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) This is “be still and know… Me – walk this quiet path for a few weeks, that one that feels lonely sometimes, unfocused and unproductive, and take extra time to really know Me.”
I need to trust His leading – trust that there are treasured things He wants me to experience while the rest of my crazy life is on “pause”. He wants me to forget about what I am doing, and see a clearer picture of what He is doing! He wants me to rejoice in simply spending time with HIM, watching Him work, learning from Him. He wants me to embrace this season of less distractions rather than fight against it!
“Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know Him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” Hosea 6:3
And so, I began to pray that I would become comfortable being uncomfortable and trust His process. His answer is coming, even in little things. A blog I follow encouraged its readers to look for “God-sightings” – where do I see the touch of His hand as I move through my day? Then a fellow Bible study leader shared a prayer request for her own summer that she would spend any extra time with the Lord, “standing in a sea of grace, breathing His atmosphere.” I admit that those words sound beautiful and captivating, but I don’t honestly know what that looks like in real time. So I will do what I have learned to do – I will ask the Lord to show me!
Instead of suffocating in a fog of question marks and lack of vision, I want to breathe deeply, see Him more clearly, and let waves of God’s grace and peace wash over me in this lonely place. I want to recognize His presence with me and hunger for more! I want to reach the end of the summer with a knowing that He has drawn me aside – purposely taken me OUT of the action – to restore and refresh me, to give me a clearer vision of HIS plan. And although I may still feel uncomfortable and a little bit lost sometimes, I already know that His preparation for what’s ahead will be like no other. I will look back on these times of walking with Him alone and know: these are the moments to treasure!
So I ask Him to take me by the hand and lead me through the patches of this season that feel so barren to me and help me find and rejoice in its hidden refreshing springs!
“But they that wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” Psalm 62:5-6