A few of my certainties at the moment
Precious words. Thank you for this. I'm longing to love God with my whole heart but I'm hijacked by the tragedies of life to understand how. So I live by walking. Up the mountain every morning. With my dog. The mountain is my mother. She gives me deep breath and clears my mind. And with every step I pray, "help". And with every step I toss another rock from my pocket that weighs me down.
Oh wow, those are some gorgeous, powerful words. Both my kids have experienced some trauma, and I reckon daily with the reality that I wasn't able to protect them in those situations. "...somehow, even as the love doesn’t protect, it sustains." That was so helpful for me to read that today, thank you. Also, "If the way God loves us is even a tenth of the way that I love my children - the way that I am inside out and burning alive when they suffer, the roaring of love in my ears and stomach at all times..." Oh, my gosh!! Never has anyone captured that feeling like you did there in those words! Amazing, Sarah. Thank you for having this incredible gift of putting into words what other of us have also felt in similar ways and couldn't articulate. It's more freeing than you know.
One of my favorite things to look for on walks are leaves that are in the shapes of hearts on the street, or on the sidewalk - or, anything heart-shaped, because I know how hard it can be for a heart to maintain its shape and its integrity in a world of stone and concrete. You mentioning the plants growing through the cracks in the sidewalk brought that to mind.
I needed this today. I'm not at the place in my life where belief comes easily to me. I still ask God which corner they're hiding around, some days. I have had these things come to mind lately:
1) Grace is rooted in the belief that, in spite of what we see of ourselves on a daily basis, we are loved and our future is hoped and prayed for by the hosts of heaven.
2) Faith, being the substance of things not hoped for, can provide the assurance that, in spite of how we get through a day, the Spirit is working to renew us in ways that we cannot see yet but that we will provided that we do not give up.
I really loved the picture you created with the boat and God throwing out all of the things while grinning and laughing. Hmmmm. It is just like that in my life as well.
I miss looking to remedies and "seven steps to freedom" for the answers to what ails me. I am working on finding hope in the bible verses that I once "claimed" for my life... and figuring out what hope looks like that isn't demanding God do whatever it is that seems like would be the right thing in my circumstances. I find it confusing that answers are not as easily found in my new found thinking and trusting God.
Trusting Him/Her/Them these days feels like a free fall. I have no idea if I will find level ground ever again. I keep going and I keep laying my life in their hands. Capable hands? Trustworthy hands? Definitely loving hands. I trust they are with me and that whatever it is that happens from here forward that I can rely on that love and security in knowing I am not alone.
Phew! Beautiful. I just copied, pasted and cited about half of that into my personal "Words of WIsdom" file. I am here, too, admiring the aster in the sidewalk crack, watching the violet swath of mountains, feeling grass beneath my feet. For now, that is my breath.
This feels like companionship. Grateful for your naming these things aloud.
“Assigning positive intent and a more generous interpretation to people is a considered risk that I choose on purpose, it is not foolishness or naïveté.”
I feel utterly seen by these words. “Assigning positive intent and a more generous interpretation to people” seems to come naturally to me. But when I express it, I am mocked and called naïve, or worse, patted on the head and told “you just try to see the best in people” (which isn’t actually true. I don’t try to see the best in people. I just think it unfair that people will judge and categorize others when they don’t even know them. So I’ll suggest an alternative, which nobody seems to like me doing).
But I will keep insisting on “Assigning positive intent and a more generous interpretation to people” anyway. I feel encouraged by your words.
Thank you for these words that speak to my broken heart. Your words, "Grief always collects and love is worth the price" spoke to me so deeply and I'm grateful to know that I'm not the only one that grief has collected from, and I'm going to choose to believe that yes, love is worth the price.
Exceptional. Thank you. Ruth, 41 yo daughter died last August, after fighting lupus for 17 years. I am still trying to find the light in the darkness of this trauma and your words, so beautifully written, are a flicker of light. Regardless of her suffering, right up to the end in an ICU room in a Hamilton hospital, Ruth would have agreed with the hymn writer that ”whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, it is well, it is well with my soul.”
I wanted to highlight everything! I’m on the same walk here in Los Angeles, tempted to trip an “on your left”. Grateful for you, Sarah 💜🏼
I didn't realize that I needed this today. thanks.
I have a lifelong friend who has these deep conversations with me on good days and hard days. I just sent this to her and said “it’s like she was sitting in the car with us “ for our most recent hours-long conversation. I am so very thankful for you and for the light you shine on our paths.
Ahh flowers in the city pavement, or growing out of an impossibly hard rock, or in sand … these always surprise, delight and remind me of God’s faithfulness and grace. Thank you for this post of things you’re processing. XO
I have spent the last couple years listening to Rich Mullins’ song Home on repeat and can’t help but think of those lyrics yet again here. I resonate deeply with what you posted here.
“And everything that could be shaken was shaken
And all that remains is all I ever really had”
On a busy day, made busier by my own busy-ness and flustering, when my boss won't stop silencing me in meetings and I feel nervous about my wife's early pregnancy and about climate change and about how to be a good friend to someone whose mother is dying--- this is what I needed to read. I'm so glad I didn't open this email yesterday. Thank you, Sarah, for telling the truth of what you know. My goodness and oh my god, I needed it today.
"Sometimes I need to rest there more than I need more critical thinking." Whew. This made my whole soul sing. I'm going to let this sink into my heart today. I feel myself banging my head against the wall trying to make sense of the senseless. As if "figuring it out" will fix it.