i didn't plan to practically quit blogging lately, oops. blame it on homeschool and seminary and photography work! laundry, dishes, that too.
it's funny that i'll be speaking at hope spoken next march (i'm no pro. as in, i hate public speaking. jesus take the wheel - or, even better, just let me sleep in the backseat - hahahaha) and yet, this is the year it has been the hardest to find my voice.
i think with a move, a cross-country one, especially, there are certain expectations you carry along with you. the bay area was my home for most of my life anyway, it was a homecoming of sorts... but a lot changed while i was away and so did i. this past year, has been about unpacking those expectations and mostly letting them go. instead of holding on to them like they're my salvation, it's more of like begging God to help me believe that He alone is my salvation.
unmet expectations lead to unfulfillment which leads to a lack of trust, which leads to depression, and questioning, and hurt. deep down, i thought that us giving up mostly everything we had and worked for (including good jobs!) meant that God would then give it back, but better! i thought that He would fill us back up with an exuberant life, and ministry that was better than before or even better than we could have ever imagined. i wanted that story. instead of the one being written.
and when you aren't sure what's going on, it's hard to know your lines. you lose your voice. when it's hard to wake up each morning and do normal things, you lose your voice. who wants to hear about depression? it's depressing. i think it's way easier to talk about depression on the other side, once you are over the struggle. but maybe finding my voice is talking about the very struggle at the very present when the victory isn't yet here.
some of the best times kelly and i have in our marriage have been through tears (
i'm reading through the Psalms, to try to help with finding my voice; a way to form my prayers - chapter after chapter is filled with much lament, but by the end of each one, there's a small voice of hope, one that says "again I will praise you."
"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.'"- Psalm 43:5
i think we need more stories of brokenness. i find it stunning, really, that our God is all about using the lowly, the last, the lost, the common, and the dirty to bring about His story, for His glory. Leah, in Genesis 29-30, was the girl no one wanted. Jacob chose Rachel, not Leah. she wasn't the prettiest, she was scarcely noticed, yet God chose to rescue the whole world through Leah's family. i think about God's choosing of David, as a young boy. He could have chosen the strongest of Jesse's sons, the wisest, or the tallest. nope. He chose the smallest. and even when David committed adultery and murder - two of the grossest sins we might imagine - God still chose to rescue the world through His line. and finally, through the line of Leah and David, He sent His own son, a King, to be born in a barn, to an unwed young woman. He wasn't a conquering King, but a humble one. He was poor, didn't come with a sword, or an army. he came lowly, to identify wholly with our human experience -
"There was a time when even Christ didn’t want to take one more step. But as the God-Man, he did what you and I couldn’t do: he continued on his own strength. Christ took all the steps necessary to Calvary so that when you and I have nothing left, we can rely on him for our strength. If you’re experiencing spiritual dehydration, don’t be surprised - it’s part of the Christian life. And when you do experience debilitating spiritual weakness, rely on your Savior, who took the steps for you. His power is made perfect in your weakness." -Paul David Trippthe more we see our weakness, the more we see His strength. so for now, that's my voice. my shaky, broken voice, begging for Him to help me Trust Him, and believe Him. the struggle is part of the story.
"when we read Scripture we see a theme of unfulfillment, incompletion, and brokenness everywhere. “We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit,” Paul writes, “groan inwardly as we eagerly await for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23). Or elsewhere: “For this light and momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:17). This is the normative Christian experience— to live with incompletion, unfulfillment, and an awareness that the gospel’s imperatives will challenge and frustrate our natural impulses in many ways." -Corey Widmer for The Gospel Coalition