In the annals of my life, 2014 will go down as one that started of yucky.
Yuckier than any year I can remember. Ever.
I’ve had yuck seasons and moments, for sure, but man, 2014 crashed down on me.
I’ve already blogged about the now-lets-really-hit-menopause moment in January where I passed out and well, hopped on a fast roller coaster ride of emotional ups and downs, sleepless nights and deadline stress.
Added to that was a busy spring with several trips and more deadlines.
I felt squeezed, boxed in and at times like I wanted to quit.
The worst month was May. I knew it was coming with No break, no way out.
Vacation followed by the family reunion followed by leading worship and teaching at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference followed by a long trip to northern-you-can-see-Canada-from-here Minnesota for a friend’s daughter’s wedding.
In the dark of night I would sometimes wake up in a jolt thinking, “I can’t, I can’t do all of that!”
I also knew a massive rewrite was coming my way…
I struggled, feeling resentful toward my body.
After several doctor visits, she and I decided on a course of action — go through it and it will be over soon.
In the mean time…
I’ve soaked my soul with worship, solid teachings, prayer, my own scripture studies. I talked to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit living in me and hung on!
And now, here I am.
The dreaded schedule is over.
And guess what? It was really nothing. I had a few sleepless nights and uncomfortable moments but all in all, peace.
It makes me wonder how small my faith is and how great God is in the midst of my weakness.
Paul wrote, “And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.”
I understand this verse so much more now. I boast in my weakness, gladly, so the power of Christ can dwell in me. Another translation reads, “power of Christ may rest on me.”
There were times I felt like God was a million miles away. “Are you hearing me? Are you seeing this yuck?”
But I knew I had to lean into the truth no matter what I felt. Oh, that His power be made manifest.
A friend of mine, Shelley Hundley, wrote the following in her book A Cry For Justice: “For all of eternity we will be face-to-face with the beauty and splendor of our God but only during my lifetime on the earth do I have the opportunity to impact the heart of God in the midst of darkness, accusation and blindness. I have only a chance today to love Him in the midst of my current hardships. For this is when my heart feels nothing and sees nothing, but still I move in love toward the One I cannot see. And His heart is most undone. I feel nothing, He feels everything.”
Every time I read this paragraph, my heart comes alive. My eyes tear up.
“His heart is most undone. He feels everything.”
Most of us hate the dark seasons. We struggle. We lean toward bitterness, anger, even give up. We invalidate our faith, the truth of the God’s Word because our experience and our feelings do not line up with what we read on the pages. Hey, where’s the power of the words in red?
But David assures us in Psalm 23, “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
Other translations read, “the valley of the shadow of death.” It’s only a shadow!
So, at the end of this long winter-spring road, I don’t know what else might pop up, but I know this, peace. I know He is with me.
I made it through with relatively few difficulties when I step back and gain some sleep infused perspective.
But oh, His power was demonstrated. None of the fears were real or true. None of the night shadows contained goblins or ghosts.
Not one of the “what ifs” came true.
I’ll leave you with this song that ministered to me over and over.
No matter where you are in your journey, believe, trust, He is with you! He feels everything.
She serves on the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers and leads worship for their annual conference. She was named ACFW 2013 Mentor of the Year. She is also on staff at My Book Therapy as their book therapist.
Rachel lives in Florida, where she is also a worship leader, with her husband and mini schnauzer.
Her novel, The Wedding Dress, was named Romantic Times Inspirational Novel of the Year and is an Amazon #1 Best Seller.
Her novel, Once Upon A Prince, earned starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly, and hit #1 on Amazon in Christian romance. It was recently nominated for a Christy Award!