And part of me hesitates to go forth and proceed with this post. It frankly feels awkward to write about my experiences with God. Shouldn't I just write about, expound upon some of the awesome experiences I had last month? Write about Red Bull BC One, or any of the other many wonderful things I got to experience? Or crafting another tale about how there was a second mouse this past Monday? Sure - I could do that. But it would also be hollow and shirking one of the important aspects of this blog to me, which is to share a little that God is doing in my life.
Frankly, He has undone me.
Today in particular, I am feeling especially vulnerable to His love. I don't know if it was the blue sky with white clouds, or the barren beauty of the trees in winter, or seeing these pictures of some friends of mine who have gone through a mighty struggle to bring their family together, or the post that accompanied the pictures, or reflecting on the true power and hope of the resurrection during my morning reading time, or processing through the meaning of suffering with the help of Philip Yancey in his wonderful tome, "Where is God When it Hurts?" during my lunch hour.
Perhaps the feelings of my heart are best summed up in this quote: "Every experience of beauty points to eternity." ~ Hans Urs Von Balthasar
How do I put into words the way my heart leaps when it sees a barren tree? When that tree reminds me of the complicated beauty of life that lies underneath all the gloss and greenness of the leaves? That the twisting beauty of each branch is like a thread that reminds me of my own complicated twists and turns.
How do I share the tears that spring forth when I read these following words from Philip Yancey's book on suffering and wonder if in my "Christian" sophistication I too have lost the power and hope of the resurrection and fail to share that with all those that I interact with?:
"On the day before Thanksgiving of 1983, Martha died. Her body, crumpled, misshapen, atrophied, was a pathetic imitation of its former beauty. When it finally stopped functioning, Martha left it. But today Martha lives, in a new body, in wholeness and triumph. She lives because of the victory that Christ won and because of His 'body' at Reba Place, who made that victory known to her. And if we do not believe that, and if our Christian hope, tempered by sophistication, does not allow us to offer that Truth to a dying, convulsing world then we are indeed, as the apostle Paul said, of all men most miserable."
How often I forget that Truth in my life. That the hurts in my life, the wounds of my heart, will be healed and made anew. And that this is the power of the resurrection - this life isn't the end. Yes, we can begin living eternally here and now, but the wounds, the suffering, that we accumulate along the path are not the end.
This journey is filled with so many twists and turns. In the span of one year I have gone from the lowest of lows to the highest of heights - and yet, my Father was there in all of it - even in His silences and distance. And the thing is, unknowingly to me, Christ transformed my suffering. He used it to reach a place of depth that I rarely visit on my own. And because of that discovered depth, I feel the peace of His blessings to a greater degree than I ever have before.
How do I share with you, reader, the oppressive darkness and despair that covered my soul this past summer? How do I explain the feelings of a broken heart from dashed, wrecked, ruined hope? Praying desperate prayers, clinging to a thread of faith, though every logical fiber in my being said "what's the point?" and "is this even real?" How this was the second time in my life in which I have had a real crisis of faith?
And then how do I explain praying daily for my Lord to strengthen my hope just a few months later and rejoicing beyond words in the life that I have been blessed with?
I am so thankful. Thankful for all that the Holy Spirit has revealed to my heart lately. Thankful that in every experience of beauty that I have been blessed to go through, He has spoken to that hurt heart and given it healing, revealing a little of Himself in each instance. Thankful that He was (and is) in every smile from a friend. Thankful for a wonderful family that is as constant in their presence as He is. Thankful that He is teaching me about real forgiveness, humility, suffering, and most of all love in all of these things - A true love that knows me - that sustained me through the dark.
So, here, at the end of this post, I hope that I have been able to communicate some of the true majesty and true mystery of my Lord. He has undone me this year - in more ways than I will ever be able to explain here - and I will keep praising His Name, thanking Him for doing so.