A few months ago I woke up with the lyrics of a song in my head:
I believe in a blessing I don't understand
I’ve seen rain fall on wicked and the just
Rain is no measure of his faithfulness
He withholds no good thing from us
No good thing from us, no good thing from us
It took me a full day to remember the rest of the song or why it had suddenly appeared in my head. It's a Sara Groves song called "Open My Hands."
I'll be honest: I'm someone who struggles to believe that God is withholding "no good thing from me," because sometimes all I can see in my teeny world is what I don't have, how God will not fulfill my one Godly desire, what I really long for.
Thus bitterness comes and goes. I have moments of hope and joy and then something will trigger me and I'll be back to square one. The one thing you didn't want to endure or go through: Lord, just not that. You can do anything else, but not that.
Yet, here I am, squared firmly in the one reality I didn't want to ever live.
It has been a hectic time for me: I have my Calvary job and the responsibility of running two small businesses. Mara and I signed a lease on a studio and the opening party is this Friday. Since the fall I have worked often, taking little personal time for myself. Editing late into the night, still in my workout clothes from CrossFit.
I sometimes miss my DIY projects, the fancy parties I used to throw, and this spot of the internet. At the same time I am overcome with joy that I am busy, that a 2015 tax form showed half of my income came from my own endeavors (the highest its ever been). I can't help but feel grateful, but I have also been weary.
I've been plagued by a decision I knew I had to make. I struggled and have felt stuck, resentful, scared, worried-- all without much comment from God. Sometimes I believe He expects us to struggle a bit, He is our father: His desire for us to learn how to make our own decisions, without a spoon-fed answer. The meat after the milk.
A week ago I got on a plane for the first vacation, time off that I've had in months. I landed in Las Vegas to spend time with the Denton family. Lindsay and her husband Jay and their daughters (my God daughters) Kate and Jayne are like family to me. Lindsay knew me during high school. I love her as a sister.
I have a thing for the desert. I love the landscape, the plants, and the colors. A few years ago my friend Joy said to me while we sat in my uptown apartment on my chocolate brown couch, "you are in the desert of your desert season." Back then I thought I would have been "delivered" by now and agreed with her, surely it couldn't get "worse" than it was-- and yet it did.
I still see myself in that desert place, but what I am convicted of is that the desert is beautiful. Just because my life doesn't have the lushness or fruit I desire of it doesn't mean it isn't holy or real.
My second day in Las Vegas it started to rain. It poured and poured. Made loud, nailing sounds on the patio cover Lindsay and Jay recently installed. In the morning Jay remarked, "it never rains here." Being the midwestern girl I am, rain in the spring is about as common as anything, so I asked him and Lindsay, "how often does it rain here?" Normal rainfall for Vegas in April is .15 inches and on my trip we experienced .81. An abundance.
On Sunday morning while we made our way into the church chapel I noticed a plant, it had water around its roots. You know that's not a sight I see normally in Minnesota, our soil knows how to soak up a good amount of moisture.
Rain in the desert.
So much so that the plants can't even soak it up all up.
Clouds of fog on the mountain.
As I watched the rain fall on the desert, I felt The Holy Spirit say, "you see this rain, that's what I'm going to do with your life-fill you with more blessings than you can even soak up." It could mean what I want and hope it to mean, or knowing God it could be something else I can't imagine. Yet I still have hope that He has Good Things for me. Perhaps even, tucked within disguised blessings
I came home and the decision I had agonized over became clear.
It is like stillness after a storm. I feel replenished, excited, and albeit a bit overwhelmed for what is to come this spring and summer. Faithful that God will continue to meet and bless me in my desert place:
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
20 The wild animals honor me,
the jackals and the owls,
because I provide water in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland,
to give drink to my people, my chosen,
21 the people I formed for myself
that they may proclaim my praise."