Have you ever been in “that” place? You know… that overwhelming, exhausting, empty, grieving place? Were you grieving for something or someone you once had… and found yourself struggling to admit that you still desperately wanted them in your life for that moment in time? Did you silently ask all the wrong questions, until finally, you realized that the One who loves you most has all the right answers?
Often I have struggled to truly live in the “present”. I hold on to the sweetest memories, and sadly, the bitter moments of the “past”, the very things that crowd out the joy of the Father’s presence in the “now”. I have quietly struggled with what isn’t… instead of being openly thankful for the reality of what is. I have wrestled with that ongoing fear of what might be waiting for me some place down the road, instead of celebrating what Jesus Himself has invited me to experience in this place… the very place He has led me to right now.
So often, just before I've picked up a pen and paper, my scribblings have begun with a desperate cry, one full of questions … and pain… and unrest. And yet Jesus meets me right where I am. I find myself wrapped in His arms, His Holy Spirit quietly whispering His promise of peace and mercy, and then He invites me into His rest. It is in that moment that I allow Him to fill up the empty places left in my soul with Himself… His presence, His love and His joy. Yes, I am even filled with His joy in this weary moment and in this foreign place.
If you look on my poetry page today you will find something I wrote years ago. As I sat at my Mom’s bedside for almost 5 weeks, painfully watching her breathe what might be her last at any moment, I watched her struggle and found myself struggling… knowing in my heart that she never wanted to be on life support. But I listened to my Dad tell her that he was longing for the day he would take her home & cook for her & care for her once more. And in that dark place, I found myself desperately asking Jesus to give me a little more time with her. But right there in my selfishness, in my pain, in that place of unrest… He began to fill up the empty caverns in my soul with Himself… with His presence, His love, His joy and especially His rest. As I released her into His waiting arms, I exhaled and I relaxed… and then I relinquished my own weary grip.
It was in those weak and weary moments that He revealed to me this truth… that it’s not necessary for you or I to be strong enough to hold onto Him. He is the One who holds tightly on to us. I am discovering that so often the Father allows the emptiness, the exhaustion, the grief for this very purpose... that He might draw us to Himself. And in that moment we will experience what it feels like to “rest in His grip”.