And it is so easy to get sucked in and stuck there - from Chailles to Voskamp to Bessey to Held - they all speak. They all have platform - they all read from the same Word I do, but all have come away with such different thoughts, beliefs, convictions. Empires are built and divisions crack wider and it is all. so. overwhelming.
What happened to just hearing and speaking the truth of the gospel? Of seeing my life, my moments not as separate and individual, but as a part of a daily offering, lifted up to the One Who created me - being shaped by the transforming truth of the gospel, not the political climate around me?
I sit tucked into the corner of the coffee shop, unnoticed by the couple beside me. They are strangers and she all but pleads with him to notice her - to pursue her. He can't help but notice the offering and he teases - offers hope. Until his phone rings and his head ducks. He turns his face towards me, head and voice low so she can't hear. But I can't help but overhear him promise the one on the other end that he'll be home soon. That he loves her.
For a month I take myself off of Facebook - I need some quiet from all the noise.
It's amazing how loud a white screen can be.
I thought I would feel caged, trapped - lost without knowing what was going on in the lives around me.
I didn't realize I would feel freedom.
That my interactions with those around me would become intentionally personal because I wouldn't be assuming anymore that I knew what was going on - and I had missed that.
I slipped back on last night and it felt hard to breathe as so many opinions and articles slipped noiselessly beneath my thumb - as though I was swiping a millstone around my neck.
I didn't sleep well.
And I wonder, what would happen if instead of being tossed about by a never ending wave of FB news feeds, my hope was actually grounded in the beauty of Jesus Christ Himself.
The truth of the matter is, I can say all I want to that my hope is found in Him alone, but when I find myself storm tossed and overwhelmed by all the chaos on a screen held in my hand, I prove that my words hold no weight. Christ is not my anchor or my harbor and I am adrift on a churning, ugly tide of opinions clamoring and fighting to be right.
The startling truth though, is that
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
This river isn't a passing one, full of changing, tossing thoughts rushing past and knocking my feet out from underneath me - this is the Living Water of Christ - completely satisfying, bringing joy and peace.
Despite the mess of me, the sinfulness of me, I have incredibly become the dwelling place of the Most High. In the midst of me is His very Presence and my life, my very soul is upheld and strengthened.
It is here with the firm foundation of this truth that the many voices can be heard, but not absorbed. I am not shaken when God's truth is what cups and weighs all else.
They call to us, luring us with the false promises of other gods and saviors...and in their very midst, we remember Jesus, the firstborn of the new creation and delare that we live for another King and another kingdom. - Rhythms of Grace
When His hesed has been experienced deeply and when His love surrounds a year faithfully (all years actually, but so deeply known in this one) I move forward unafraid to have my soul strengthened because joined to Him Who is utterly steadfast, I cannot fall even though I may fail.
If all my life is worship, a living sacrifice - if my soul is set aflame but not consumed - the year spread out in front of me blazes with His grace as the surety of Him becomes that very Hope to set my anchor on.
I've lived numb I think, to protect myself from feeling vulnerable, from feeling overwhelmed and unsure. So many days have had just get to bedtime as the goal.
I have forgotten Whose I am - I have forgotten how to enter into the mundane parts of my life fully.
This year marks 5 years since the first time God named my year ahead of me - before naming the years became popular and books were written on it - Jesus prepared my heart days before my world was completely ripped apart by suicide and brokenness through just one small word, Abide.
And every year, around summertime, I begin to look expectantly and He never fails to give me another word that ushers in a deeper knowing of Him.
This year, a phrase - a trio of words.
His Hesed, in shocking and beautiful ways became my sure foundation this past year and so it only seems natural that resting on that would be the very name of this blog and the verse that it stands on;
this is the year of In the Midst. Because God is in the midst of me - I will not fall. He will help me when morning comes.
And until He calls me home, morning always comes.
He's faithful like that.