After it ended I spent December and January sleeping (from sheer exhaustion) and distracted by the holidays. When February came, however, I was just plain empty. And sad. I think I cried almost every day--buckets of tears for how things went down, realizing I can be so easily replaced (we all can), and wondering why God would take it away.
March was the abyss--when my neediness was at it's peak. I jumped into two projects I never prayed over, never asked if God might really want me to do. They left me underwhelmed, underchallenged, and reduced. If only I was back there--back then. I also had vacant hours--hours I used to spend stimulating my mind, working hard and well to help a cause I loved, now lay dormant. Things stood still.
Some days I was at peace.
Some days I was bitter.
Some days I had perspective.
Then one day in April, on my day of solitude (do you remember?), as I journaled and prayed and read my Bible and listened, I heard from God. And here is what He said:
"Karen, YOU SAID you would give me your everything. YOU SAID you would do it ALL for me--every ounce. YOU SAID "Use me", and I did! You said all of it had nothing to do with them and everything to do with ME--obeying ME, working for ME, giving your skills, time, talent, money, relationships, passion to ME. Not to this organization. Not to these people. But to ME. And I let you join me. I didn't need you. I LET YOU participate in this work for YOUR joy, not because you had anything profound to give, or because you were invaluable and amazing, but because YOU ASKED. And, by the way, NONE of it was void. Look at what YOU got to enjoy! Look at the people you met, the skills you used, the relationships you forged, the exposure I gave you to new needs in our world! All of THAT was TRAINING for what is coming. Because something else IS coming. You can't imagine what it is, but in the same way I plucked you last time, I WILL pluck you again. So wait. And breathe. And know I love you."
Peace rushed over me. A very strange, beautiful, unexplainable peace that I FELT in my soul and KNEW in my mind.
My cyber friend Ray Tweeted a few days ago:
In the final analysis, "Why" is never the right question. "Who" is a better one: who can we turn to? who will comfort us? who will guide us?
— Ray Hollenbach (@Hollenbach) July 25, 2012
Like Ray said, the answer is not in why. It is in the WHO. Who are you working for? Who knows what was and will be? Who cares for you better than anyone else? Who do you trust? Who gives you confidence and security? Who takes care of those you love?
"Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge." Psalm 62: 5-8
Grace to you,