You broke the night like the sun
It feels like forever.
When did I last write? Or last think deeply? Or last listened freely? It’s been a while, it feels like forever.
Tonight I will try. A long time has lapsed and I’m not quite sure where to start. It has been interesting. A roller coaster of events that have marked one of the most trying years of my life. Whereas the last trying time of suffering has brought me deeper in my faith and love, this last one tested my faith and numbed the same love that sent me soaring just a few years past–albeit temporarily. See that’s one thing I learned–circumstances, emotions, temperatures, and directions change, yet one thing remains constant. One thing, one love, one King, one Savior. He never stopped loving, never stopped trying, never stopped pursuing. Even when I stopped feeling.
What a year. Since the last time I wrote (really wrote), and thought, and listened, I have had gotten through a mild depression, gotten over a devastated expectation, gotten past a broken vision, and finally gotten found by a love that I had somehow lost sight of in the valley of disappointment.
Now with that love, I fight my way back into delighting in the arms that have never stopped embracing me. It’s been quite a season and what a struggle it has been. The struggle to keep going has been tiring and oft times discouraging. Only by His grace have I kept going, heavily walking, half-heartedly persisting, skeptically believing one day at a time… until He brought me to a place where I could really feel again, believe again, and TRUST again. He brought me back to the mountaintops and awakened my heart to His love. Again.
What I learned throughout this whole ordeal is that when you stop looking at Jesus, your whole perspective goes askew–and with it your attitude, emotions, and response. When I got hurt, I stopped looking at Him and started looking at myself. I was disappointed, my expectations were not met, my plans fell through, Ihad to protect myself from getting disappointed yet again, hence the shutting down of my heart and my will to trust. And obey. Suddenly it was all about me and I was on self-preservation mode. If I don’t give, then I don’t lose. Ironically, that’s when I lost my footing. When I started building walls around my heart, I had started closing myself to the voice of God. I wasn’t willing to get disappointed, hurt, and refined by the fire of His love, teaching, and discipline. And I started stumbling into my own consolations, feeding my deceitful needs and desires with the temporary comforts that I found were readily available should I reach out to grab it. The thing with temporary fixes is it leaves you in worse condition than when it found you. I got short-term happiness when I was so thirsty for joy. When I finally decided to retrace my steps, I found it exactly where I had last left it–in His presence. And there I found myself anchored once again. On my knees I can see where my heart needs to be.
I had to empty myself and look at His face, get to know His heart, believe in who He is relentlessly and repeatedly. And that’s when I realized that when we stop looking at Jesus and spending time in His presence, we start to want lesser things. We start getting attracted to the good things that we can have right now, when our hearts were designed to desire and delight in the best things. The best that is yet to come. The promise that we were told to hold fast to. We start preferring less than God’s will. We then settle with less than Jesus Christ.
So much has changed in the past year. Some things sound different. Some views have altered. Yet somehow there’s peace in the present and promise in the future. In the arena of God’s will, everything still looks bright. Therefore, I will persist to prefer and pursue His will–nothing more, nothing less.
He wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand; and if only the will to walk is really there He is pleased even with their stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our Enemy’s will, looks round upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.
-The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
P.S. I am thankful for all the encouragement that God sends me through my everyday people, and sometimes, in little moments of miracles, through the words of people whom I have never met. Thank you for taking the time to write me, encourage me, and inspire me. Thank you for being God’s messenger. I appreciate you.