Sunday, January 27, 2013


Hello, readers!  I apologize for my long absence, but I cannot guarantee it won't happen again...I still go in circles about whether to keep this blog, or close it.  Truth be told, I mainly keep it for my list of blogs I love to read.  I just don't seem to have the time to write here, and often wonder whether the posts I do write belong's a continual catch 22...I want to share, but I don't.

For example...this post, brutally honest, and even sharing it reminds me of how much I detest being vulnerable...yet, I know I am not the only one.

The past few months have been good.  I have spent a great deal of time with friends, attending Bible study, working, going to church...

But, around the holidays, I found myself struggling through a rough patch, spiritually.  It felt akin to wandering in a barren desert land.  I read my Bible often, prayed, wrote in my journal (FYI, my journals are not the 'dear diary' sort of journals...they consist of prayer requests, answers to prayer, things I believe God is speaking to me about, Bible verses, etc.), went to church, fellow-shipped, worshiped ..  I did everything I knew how to do.  But, it just didn't seem to be enough.
I felt...
Recently, a friend shared a wonderful devotion that she herself had written.  One thing that really impacted me was the phrase being at the end of yourself.

I was at the end of myself...I found myself wrestling once again with God over control in so many areas of my life.  I was overwhelmed and exhausted.  I was looking to myself for spiritual rejuvenation...I was doing the right things to get there, except the ONE thing that I needed:  asking God to meet me in my desert.

I had been going to the beach frequently, because in my barren wasteland, I discovered that I felt His presence more at the edge of the sea then anywhere else (besides church).  It was our meeting place, in many ways.  I would go and walk and walk and walk...and walk some more...and I would talk to Him.  And, He would talk to me.  Those moments were sweet, and they seemed so far and few between in my day to day life.

So, not too long ago, I went to the beach on a whim...I wasn't prepared with the basic necessities: I went wearing a dress, a sweater, and some nice dress shoes.  Naturally, I wasn't going to damage my shoes, and I am typically fine walking barefoot.  Unfortunately, the beach I go to often has an influx of small pebbles covering the shore.  I got there, and noticed that the pebbles were washed up over the sand, and the stretch of beach near the water was clear.  So, I hopped, tiptoed, and leaped from sand patch to sand patch, until I reached the point of having to carefully trudge across the carpet of pebbles to get to the waters edge.  It was rather uncomfortable, but I made it, and walked in the icy water.  I must have looked out of place in my dress, sparkly sweater, and bare feet, hopping around pebbles.  I wandered aimlessly for awhile, growing colder each moment, begging God to meet me.  I started feeling frustrated, and self-righteous.  I had, after all, used precious gas money, and my feet were being bruised for this closeness to Him...those were (shamefully) the thoughts that went through my mind.  And, I didn't feel His presence.  I knew He was with me, but He seemed distant.  Finally, my feet were starting to burn with the onslaught of numbness that came from being in the water.  I was shivering, and decided to call it quits.  I pulled out my phone to send a friend a text message before getting in my car, and that's when I noticed my fingers were so numb, I could barely bend my thumbs to tap at my phone keypad.  They ached at the mere attempt of bending them, and I tried weakly to open and close my hands.  I got in the car, cranked up the heater, and drove home.

It wasn't until I was home, showered in scalding water, wrapped in a blanket that I had an
that was the end of myself.  Painfully shivering, desperate, alone...demanding God to be there, instead of asking Him to be there.

I stopped looking at the end of me, and I found Him.  Waiting patiently and ever so lovingly holding out His arms to me.  He reminded me that I don't need to hold on to my own brokenness, I need to give it to Him.  I don't need to have a far off place to be to feel His presence, I need to seek Him in every place and area of my life.  

I'm not completely out of the desert, but I don't feel quite as dry and lost anymore.  All He wants from me is trust, my belief, my love, my thankfulness, my dreams, my future.  His love never fails.  And, He never leaves me alone.

But, the most profound part of the epiphany was the realization that God was not making me struggle in a barren land.  He was allowing me to, because He knew it would turn me right back to Him.  
And, the next time I find myself feeling lost, demanding His presence, I want to remember to invite Him into my struggle, and let Him work in my heart.

Where would I rather be, after all?
At the end of myself, or safe in His arms?