Today has been a day of rest. Deep and necessary rest. In the past 2 weeks I have traveled to Minneapolis twice, upheld approximately 20 social engagements, and gone to the studio more days than not (admittedly, painting is a slow process that refuses to be any other way these days). With the help of God, I survived Mother’s Day and, with the help of a(n incredible) friend, I hauled 7 months worth of garbage to the dump. I got organized (a Herculean task), met with my financial advisor, and came up with a pretty awesome plan. I attended a workshop on project funding, filling my brain and heart with ideas that I’m excited to let shimmy and shake into place. I’ve kept up with a spring load of housework (why does spring have to be such a messy season?!), hosted friends, and took care of a literal ton of animals (1 ton = approx 2 horses, 3 dogs, 1 cat). And the list goes on. In other words…
Life is full. Life is busy. Life is good. Life is challenging.
I am exhausted beyond measure.
Every day contains a week, a month, a year. Or, at least, it often feels like it. On the outside it looks like not a whole lot is getting done. Or maybe that is just my own insanity speaking. Even so, I hold all of this in the palm of my hands with gratitude, the moments of nourishment as well as the accumulation of movement that has so easily worn me out.
This grief is such a strange, strange process. Emotionally, I’m beginning to feel so much better. That’s a serious step in the right direction. Despite this newfound strength, it seems my body is keeping me firmly planted in the present. I often feel so weary that I think my bones might break. Truly. Who is this shattered shell of a body? Lest I forget, I’m reminded in no uncertain terms that my current state of being still requires all of me. The wild blue yonder continues to place patience on the agenda and yet, even in this brief state of slow necessity, God’s quickening has already begun. There will be no rushing ahead and, in surrendering to this, I realize just how quickly a new path is being laid out in front of me. In truth, God is wasting no time.
In the next week, I am attempting a quieter kind of focus. My body simply cannot sustain this pace, at least not yet. May there be nothing but me and God and time in the studio. Nothing but brushing horses and eating a whole lot healthier and going to bed as early as nesessary. Hushing the pace, slowing the speed. Oh, sweet solitude. Daily naps and daydreaming allowed. My life: simplified.
But wait…all of this is just taking us the long way around the mountain. What I’m really wanting to tell you about is the way that things are beginning to lead me forward in the direction that my heart has been praying for all along. Where do I begin?!! The rain falls on the tin roof of my cabin as I write. It has rained so much in the past couple days that there are tiny rivers forming in the sand. A million minuscule rivers, all flowing the path of least resistance. With the persistence of rain, the easier those little rivers flow. The rain that was so very, very needed. Dear Abba, I feel you bringing me to a place that I’ve been praying for since the day Carl died. This prayer that I’ve been putting at your feet since the very beginning of so much loss. This intimate prayer, too powerful for words.
My hands are open, palms up…in willingness, in surrender. As though in answer, a month ago I met two women who are doing extraordinary work in Uganda. Since then, my despair has increasingly been replaced by peacefulness, hope, happiness. My life has not been the same since. I’m obsessed, really. I want to give myself over completely. There is more clarity in my next steps. God is putting the invitation directly into my hands. I can’t know where He’s taking me until I get there, yet I feel profound trust in the path ahead. I understand, even as I write this, that tomorrow might not look anything like I imagine it. I presume nothing, but there is one thing I know for sure and that is the way He’s been answering my prayers…all along.
“There is no patience as strong as that which endures because we see ‘him who is invisible’ (Heb. 11:27).” ~Streams in the Desert (Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing this).
My last journal is filled with so much pain. So much learning. So much faith. And now? There couldn’t be a better time to begin a new journal. To fill with even more learning, even more faith, even more healing. I experienced pure enjoyment in creating this journal cover today. As it becomes so very undeniable to me that Africa is holding a piece of my heart, I am letting God prepare me. If it is His will, I hope to travel to Uganda in August and, until then, I have offered my time and talents to do what I can to be of service to Hands of Action International from where I’m at. I’m also, with equal importance, praying for the energy to get thru the projects I committed to in my life before Carl’s death. I am grateful for the tasks at hand. This is sacred time. I would not be able to handle the weight of God’s gifts if I weren’t slowed down and protected by this timeline of events and even my own ability. I can be patient because I have faith that God is using this time in deep and gorgeous ways.
“God I trust you with all of my heart.
Wherever you want me to go, I will go.
Even if it’s not where I planned
lead me and I will follow.”
I look forward to filling these new pages with whatever is to come.
I love you, Carl. You are with me and in me and a part of all of this.
I love you, Abba. You turned my whole world upside down. And then you gave me everything.