I have been absent from the world of writing for a lengthy time, my thoughts however, were never silenced from subjects and sentences. At times the mental notes actually made it as far as scribbles in my journal, some of which were cohesive thoughts, others just a word or two as I forged into this latest era of life.
It is a season.
A season of the unexpected, of caregiving for those I love, of processing life and the ever-looming reality of death. A season of changing and morphing circumstances, some of which were coming at lightning speed without a moments notice, of frequent recalculations… a season of loving, of sweet hellos and heavy-hearted goodbyes. That type of season.
I admit this with some hesitation, knowing that my admission will likely generate empathy or possibly among some even sympathy for me. (My tender-hearted friends) To every brave reader of this, I assure you that neither are necessary or even needed. The “season” has been sweetened with treasured family, beautiful friendships and much, much grace.
As always, when grace abounds – growth abounds. These past 15 months (or so) have been for my continued sanctification. It has been another needful season in my life, a time assigned for further purification from self, personal ambition, expectations, control and sleep (grin). A fresh time of learning to abide at an enhanced level of “trust Him, release “it”…trust Him, release “it”…trust Him, release “it”….repeat…repeat…repeat.” It is good in the hardest sort of way.
A favorite companion along this stretch of my journey has become “The Valley of Vision”, a collection of Puritan Prayers. The Puritan movement took place during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, yet continues to influence hearts like mine today. I have been both encouraged and exhorted by their example of consistent character, ceaseless prayer and faithful meditation on the Word. May the following touch your heart as it has mine:
“O God Whose Will Conquers All,
There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying Thee and being engaged in Thy service; Thou are All in all, and all enjoyments are what to me Thou makes them, and no more.
I am well pleased with Thy will, whatever it is, or should be in all respects, And if Thou bidests me decide for myself in any affair, I would choose to refer all to Thee, for Thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss, as I am in danger of doing.
I rejoice to think that all things are at Thy disposal, and it delights me to leave them there. Then prayer turns wholly into praise, and all I can do is to adore and bless Thee.
What shall I give Thee for all Thy benefits? I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not what to do; I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer, and can only rejoice that Thou doest all, that none in heaven or on earth shares Thy honor; I can of myself do nothing to glorify Thy blessed name, but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul and body to Thee,
I know that Thou art the Author and Finisher of faith, and the whole work of redemption is Thine alone, that every good work or thought found in me is the effect of Thy power and grace, that Thy sole motive in working in me to will and to do is for Thy good pleasure.
O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much about man’s creaturely power and goodness, when, if Thou didst not hold us back every moment, we should be devils incarnate.
This, by bitter experience, Thou hast taught me concerning myself.”