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Psalm 107: 42 “Who is wise? Let him give heed to these things, and consider the lovingkindness of the Lord.”

I lost my Bible and my journal on a road trip a few weeks ago.

I could care less about the journal. It’s the Bible I mourn—my Bible with its falling out Psalm pages, its ripples on those portions of text I buried my face in and cried on, its twice, three times underlined passages, its accidental ink blots and coffee stains.

A Deep Loss

wonder rose lossThat Bible got me through some of the hardest experiences I’ve had in my life so far.

On nights when lies and the terror of the dark tormented me in my sleep—I woke up to grab for it, to cling to it as I murmured prayers I cannot remember, and to hold onto it as I fell back to sleep.

On days when my mind felt like mud, unwanted memories shot sharp, and the heaviness in my soul hung low and draped all sense of purpose in fog—I found the shalom of God among its pages.

On other days, when I determined myself to offer practiced smiles and to act like everything was okay (not very convincingly, I’m sure), the triune God of its pages faithfully and abruptly righted me, mercifully brought me back to His truth, and helped me lean into vulnerability.

It was this vulnerability that, exercised in spaces created by trust and friendship, brought me both healing and freedom by allowing his people to help carry my burdens as the Armor Bearer carried Jonathan’s armor.

On other days, when I had no glittering, pretty words to give to others, I tethered myself to the hope and joy and wisdom found in its stories, and giving those away was always more than I could ever give myself.

I mourn that Bible as if it was a companion, an old friend I did not quite appreciate until one of us moved. And, as He does with my relationships with faithful friends around the globe, God uses it to teach me despite its absence from my day today.

How can I give heed to eternal things? #Faith Click To Tweet

A New Season, and Mourning the Old

wonder road hopeI got a call recently that launched me into a new season. My life is now infused with possibility when just a few weeks ago there were mostly lingering questions. I am very excited about it, but at the same time—oddly, surprisingly, SHOCKINGLY—I want the old season back, too.

I want it back like I want my Bible back.

I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye to it. I didn’t get a chance to sit down in it one last time, to still myself before the God of the universe and thank Him for it all, while still in the midst of it all.

I didn’t get a chance to relish God one last time in that place and talk to him about the intricacies of all He has done in me and for me throughout the past five years.

Five years of my life that have been propelled forward by moments of faith, doubt, failure, disillusionment, brokenness laced with small victories, and, perhaps most of all, my longing for something new and other, for ANYTHING ELSE actually.

I want it all back.

I want the moments of choosing to believe God without any evidence of His coming through for me but His character.

I want the intimacy forged in the late nights of a broken heart.

I want the peace and beauty of finding God’s goodness, not in the accolades of new jobs or graduate school acceptance calls, but in the way the sunset soundlessly slips beyond the horizon each day, its only applause in color and cloud.

I want it all back.

#God is always about the new thing available now. Click To Tweet

Thankfulness

wonder girl in streetI want back all the years of my life I lamented and cried for God to put out of their misery. Not because I relish disappointment, not because I want to give him back the healing he’s brought, but because my human heart has been rewired to, above all else, long for the God who graciously sustains me when my flesh fails me.

And, quite honestly, praise God that it has. What a disorienting experience, to now thank God for the very thing that was orchestrated to take me from Him. How thankful I am that God is still that God, even now. The God who takes us from strength to strength.  

I am reminded, now, that God is outside of time. That he doesn’t think as we do, concerned with past, present and future things and often caught in between. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—God is not about the flowcharts, the timelines, the bartering systems we think up in order to get to the “next level” or the next season of our journey.

No. God is always about the new thing available now.

God outside of Time

wonder godI look back on the past five years and my mistake has been to distill them into just that—years in which I thought I was lagging behind, not getting it, not understanding what I needed to in order to pass “Go,” and wondering what meeting I had missed in which  everyone else learned how to go about this the right way.

Now, I look back in the gift of hindsight that only the Holy Spirit can provide, and see not years or a set of circumstances, but God, outside of time, using all these things to weave his eternity into my now and to give me the opportunity to sow seeds in faith that will glorify a God that is in and through all things.  

And even now, as my to-do list gets increasingly complicated, I wrestle against these things. I wrestle against wanting to go back and the joy I have in being launched forward, just as I wrestle against the messy places in my heart. I

wrestle and I wonder, now—as I sit, newly hopeful on this small mountaintop, looking thankfully down at the valley, knowing that the laughter there has grown sweetest of all.

I Wonder, Now. How can I give heed to eternal things?

I Wonder, Now. How, but by the lovingkindness of the Lord?

I do the only thing I can do—I sit in wonder of God.

I Wonder, Now.

Read Psalm 107

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About The Author

Passionate about people and their stories, Hannah Roark writes to use storytelling to engage others in matters of justice and social change. She has worked in full-time ministry, community development, and other non-profit sectors since graduating from The University of Kansas. A student of literature, theatre, film, and art history, her favorite pastimes include drinking coffee and telling stories that make people laugh.

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