It was ten days after the affair had ended.
It was three days after my failure had been announced in a large public forum.
I wandered into my husband’s study and sat down at his computer and created this Blog-site. As you may imagine, my head was spinning, my pride was still running rampant and there was a lot of humbling that still needed to be done in this train-wreck of a girl. In most ways, I had no business blogging. I didn’t have a clue about the trials that were coming our way.
A lifetime friend urged me to keep myself private, but as I stated, I was a prideful mess and I didn’t know how to submit to the wisdom of others. Like a caged animal, I thrashed around trying to escape the prison I had unwittingly created. Fortunately, God is bigger than the aftermath of our aftermath. He heard my cry for help in my first blog post, Exposure, and He drew near.
Since that time, God has humbled me in so many ways; He revealed where I needed to grow, and He continues to show me new areas everyday.
When I set up the blog I couldn’t imagine giving it a name. Honestly, I didn’t think it was more than a forum to unleash my ramblings to the seven people I originally invited to read. I had the blog settings on private. Even if someone had typed in the blog address they couldn’t get in and read it without an invitation. I never envisioned God using it in any way other than keeping me connected and accountable to a few safe people.
Over the last 13 months of writing, it has become obvious that writing is something I am called to do. It’s not obvious because of ease, because there is nothing easy about it. On a day to day basis, writing is one of the hardest things I do, but simultaneously, one of the things I crave. I probably don’t have to go into detail about why writing is hard.
So why the craving?
The craving comes from loving what you do and doing what you love. It’s about experiencing God in whatever that thing is that you do where you find Him. Joy comes when we are in a place that draws us closer to God.
Sure, confirmations from other people inspire us to continue. Hearing from another person about the way they are being blessed by what we are creating means more than most of us know how to express, but complements mean nothing if we aren’t experiencing joy in the thing we are doing. If someone doesn’t enjoy reading and writing, affirmations alone will not bring enough joy to that person to compensate for the hours of reading and writing that they didn’t enjoy.
Also there’s this little oddity, a strength building joy comes from doing something you love that is equally hard because of the growth that comes through the enduring.
Growth doesn’t happen because someone tells you they liked what you did. It doesn’t work like that. Growth happens when we push ourselves beyond what we alone are capable of doing. In these instances, after we curse and cry, we make a choice. We either stop and find an easier path, or we lean into the hard thing until beauty arises in the chaos. As a believer we have the advantage of leaning into the Spirit of God. We aren’t in it alone.
In 1995, our daughter, Molly Christine, died suddenly at the age of nineteen months and five days. That was easily one of the most formative things that had ever happened in my life. Following the Lord has been the most formative–but even my faith took a backseat to her loss for a while. The strange thing is, my faith didn’t take a backseat during the primitive days and years after losing Molly. It was quite the opposite, in fact. During the early awful times my faith was more real; more treasured.
There was true beauty in the aftermath of losing that little girl. In the most unexpected ways–beautiful things happened when we needed them to happen the most.
So here we are. A new crisis. A different crisis. A woman made crisis. My husband and I are walking another path of pain, and while sometimes we walk with the same stride–there are times we don’t. We both have immeasurable insecurities, but they come from different places. He has experienced a loss I will never fully understand. I experience guilt he absolutely cannot erase. As you might imagine, some days it’s extremely difficult to see beauty amid this mess.
We make choices.
Hearts lean in.
God shows His face.
In those times we see beauty in the aftermath.