I’m sitting here alone at my cozy writing retreat on a bright cold day, with a blank sheet of paper in front of me, wondering what thoughts to put down.
I’m feeling out of thoughts, at least deep ones at the moment.
I just spent the last hour reading through my prolific blogging of 8-12 years ago when I couldn’t get my thoughts down quickly enough. I was in my fifties, going through the emptying of my nest, deep in financial struggle, watching the business my husband and I built go through epic failure, enduring weeks-long separations from him while he tried to keep our precarious world from slipping into bankruptcy. In those years leading up to menopause, I was watching my young adult children go off to and graduate from college, move across the country, join the military, fall in love, get married. I missed being a mommy, and I missed my husband terribly. And I was dealing with PTSD related to a natural disaster I had experienced. I was deep in the Bible, leaning hard on the Lord to get me through (I could relate to that thirsty deer, looking for water the psalmist talks about in Psalm 42).
I had a lot to say. Writing was cathartic.
But in the past 6 or 7 years, things have gotten so much easier. We have had amazing breakthrough in our business, my husband and I are happily reunited, all of our children are married and thriving, we have 11 grandchildren, and our lives are full to overflowing with health, friends, family, and so many joys. It indeed feels like a season of reaping and reward. And I find I am not in that desperate-for-God-to-speak/act/move mode anymore. We often say how much people want a miracle but seldom want the circumstances that require one. Been there, done that. No thank you.
I still yearn to be desperate for God, though. I want my heart to always be in a posture of longing for Him in a similar way to how I longed for my husband when he was living in another city. This has become a discipline. Before, it was a reaction, a response to my circumstances. When a child skins his knee, he cries out for Mama. When a Christ-follower is in distress, she cries out for Jesus.
But I am not in distress, am I? I must recognize my deep need for the presence of Father God, even when it is not evident from the outside. I must search for Him in the disciplines of morning devotions, reading the scriptures, prayer in my car, and find Him in the faces I see while serving my church and community, and in loving the sinner. I must keep my heart tender for the sound of His voice. I must not become hardened and inflexible if He is calling me to something new, or unusual. I must be alert for when He is on the move. Am I tuned in enough to know when He is moving, and how I must follow? Am I ready and eager to get off the couch and run after Him?
I am totally appreciating this circumstance break at 60 years old. But I want to be aware of how lukewarm, or lazy I can become spiritually when life is not forcing me to my knees. “I am my Beloved’s and He is mine” (Song of Solomon 6:3) is the scripture I think about when I ponder my 50-year-old relationship with my Savior. I hope that when hard times visit me again, as they surely will, this will be my hope and peace.
And while I am enjoying this bit of respite, I want to keep my heart alert to when He is whispering His love to me.
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him?
—Psalm 42:1-2 NLT