Life. It falls in a fresh rain at times, and in other seasons, chunks of dirt and rock. All is grace, this I do believe, but what to do when you feel swallowed by the earth, crushed by the weight that builds up faster than you can dig out from beneath it? When this is life, I struggle not to lose sight of the story that is bigger than the one I'm living. Were I to make a list of all the things that press in to crush, this alone would open up and swallow me whole. I know such lists are death.
But thanks be to God, I am not crushed. I am at times in pieces, yet being made whole. This I do believe.
And it's all these "little" beliefs, that when added up, measure so much larger than life and all that lifts a shovel of dirt to throw down upon my soul. And I press in to the words Mama spoke today over coffee, not meant for me in that moment but I seized them as my own. Live out of belief, not emotion. This, quite possibly, is the hardest thing for me to do.
I don't love out of emotion, but out of belief that love is a commitment and a choice I make every day.
I don't forgive out of emotion, but out of belief that I, of all people, have received forgiveness too great to be withholding from any other soul.
I don't put my faith in God out of emotion, but having been convinced of his character, I believe and therefore I trust.
On paper, so many fears and heartaches stare me down with beady red eyes, and so I tear my gaze away from paper and set my heart, with all its emotions, in the hands of my God. And I write a new list upon which I turn to feast my gaze.
Lover of my soul.
Very Present Help in time of need.
The One who sees me.
Emmanuel, God with us.
Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Light of the morning.
My Joy and Song.
The One who makes a way, where there seems to be no way.
This last one, I whisper again and again, and the emotion has not shifted, but something is shifting in my spirit. Truth washes over me.
With this list I breathe out, throwing off one dirt clod at a time. I will not be buried alive, except by gifts of grace heaped upon grace.