I decided this week that it would be a poor decision to ever buy a new house in February or March. By about that time this year, our four walls were closing in on me and I was feeling like something needed to change. But after a few evenings of debates about moving around walls and rearranging furniture, Grant made the comment to me - "Honey, just remember - if you're feeling discontent or restless right now - its still cold out." The implication was that things will all look better once warmer weather comes. And he was right. Today, we're sitting out back and playing with dolls and riding bikes and pushing the Cozy Coupe, and life does seem so much more open, alive, and manageable. We didn't move around any walls. Admittedly, we did rearrange the furniture. But mostly - the weather changed.
Circumstances impact us like that.
A year ago, I was in a circumstance, a situation, where I wasn't thriving. There was undoubtedly a lot of growing taking place, but not a lot of blooming. It's kind of like these daffodils I have that I should get around to planting. They won't bloom this year. They'll just be underground... not sure when they'll ever see the light. This year God has allowed me to begin to bloom - something that I'd hoped and prayed for. And it's been beautiful to see His hand at work - to watch Him go before me and gently, lovingly carve out circumstances and opportunities where He knew I could succeed. Sunshine has replaced storms.
The circumstances have changed.
But the lightning still strikes sometimes. I start to hold my head up, to feel Him and focus on Him, to drink from the rain He's sending - and suddenly I'm on my knees again, wondering who I am and what I'm supposed to be. I don't like everything I see in myself. I don't like how I respond to the lightning.
Circumstances do not have to control me. I have to be honest with myself about how they're affecting me, realizing that they're making life harder, or easier, or whatever. But when the lightning comes, His call is clear: "Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer... be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." (Romans 12)
In fact, as I'm sitting here right now at my kitchen table, a storm is rolling... dark, cloudy, rainy, and electric.. and I love being able to watch it all through this beautiful picture window and give thanks that I'm in here instead. :)
"Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord." (Jeremiah 33:11)