Shaken and soul-weary, yet sustained. That was my 2013 in a nutshell.
And here I stand still.
More assured of a God who is present always – sleeping peacefully in the stern of my boat, regardless of the mounting, stormy waves.
He was there.
And He cares.
For me and for my loved ones who were rocked so ferociously this past year. Sifted like wheat, chaff falling by the wayside as the heads of grain were laid bare.
Strengthened by Spirit’s hand.
Secure despite the insecurities of rapidly-changing circumstances.
I bore the storms less graciously than perhaps I had wished. But I bore them. I bore them best when I placed the burdens to rest upon the Shoulders wide enough to bear them for me. Not just with me, but for me. And as the burdens were lifted one by one, my arms were strengthened to carry more. Reverse exercises seem to work best in the spirit realm. The more I release, the stronger I become.
While storms had hit many times in the years leading up to 2013, those storms provided much for me to do within those moments of waves crashing. There was care to be given to others. Decisions to be made. Doctors to be seen. Meals to be prepared. Medicines to be sorted and administered. Finances and paperwork to be organized. Therapy exercises to be practiced. Wounds to be bandaged. Even funeral preparations to be made. There was always some sort of physical application that brought relief to others and allowed my grief and frustration to be used up in my times of serving.
There was healing in the doing.
Not so this past year. The storms of 2013 hit far beyond my capabilities to protect. Far beyond any ministrations of tangible help. “Pray and trust” became my mantra as I rallied beneath its banner and lifted so many precious ones in prayer… over and over and over again.
Soul-weary was my constant companion.
Tired of the hurt. Exhausted from the bad news and heartache surrounding me on so many fronts. Worn out from storms that required everything of me while taking nothing. No act of service. No physical care. No organizational skills.
Nothing… and yet, everything.
Last year took everything of me. Stripping me bare. Raw. Hurting. Messy. Weary. So very tired of the aching. Tired of too much and not enough walking hand-in-hand.
Even the safety of words was shaken as emails were infiltrated and accounts were hacked. Aliases and hedged messages became commonplace. Everything guarded. Me, most of all.
Yet in my guardedness, God guarded me. Never slackening His hold, though I often felt tossed about like a rag doll in the wind. He never ceased caring, though Satan taunted me with the lies. In the storm, the underlying “pray and trust” held firm. When all was beyond my control, not one thing happening was beyond His. And it still isn’t.
Not. One. Little. Thing.
All is in His care because He cares.
The more this past year was shaken, the more firm my foundation became.
Though the tremors and waves still remain beyond my control, I am at rest. But this time I am resting with eyes wide open to see the heart of the One who is breathing peace and sharing it with me. I’ve found my place in the storm, and it is not at the helm, panicking in my pleas for the tempest to cease. It is at the stern of the boat, snuggled securely beside my Savior. Enveloped beneath His cloak, matching my heartbeat to his own as I press my weary head against His stalwart chest and rest in His care. Finally at peace. Confident that He’s got this… whatever this may be. At any given moment.
No longer soul-weary.
No longer fearful of the outcome.
Choosing to nestle instead of wrestle, I press more closely to the One who calms me. Though storms rage fiercely all about, we rest secure… my Lord and me.