Crispy around the edges. That’s how I feel.
Parched. Dry. Like the heat of life has burned the beauty right out of me.There are no traces of the spring full of hope and days drenched in Jesus.
Summer swirls all around me. Heat rises and circles around us.
I stare at the flowers….one too many days without water. One too many days they were left to battle the heat of life without the sweet relief of rains.
Oh how I feel like those flowers.
Parched. Dry. Thirsty.
My mind drifts to Jesus at the well. It is mid-day and the sun is beating down. He’s there to meet a woman who is parched. Her life has left her dry. He speaks to her of living water. (John 4)
I hear His whisper….whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
But I feel like the flowers. The rain comes but they still are weathered and burnt. Oh how I want to drink deeply from the well my Jesus offers.
I’ve never liked the phrase, “His ways are not our ways.” Truth is I struggle with God not letting me in on His plans. I shake my fist at the sky and tell Him how I want to plan, to prepare, to just know what He’s up to.
And then life got turned on its ear. For two years, my hunky hubby and I have walked our family down a road that lead to foster care…we thought it was for one child. We did the training, we signed a zillion papers, and we waited. And waited some more. Then one day it seemed the doors were opening, we were walking through them…there were meetings, visits, painting, packing, moving, and the painful realities of parenting in the wake of trauma and abuse.
Suddenly the calling isn’t what it looked like. Hard choices are made. Life changes again.
My heart is dry and sad as we live in the wake of a placement gone wrong. Sadly wrong.
And I wonder how do you live when you don’t get God? When the phrase “His ways are not our ways” is so achingly true in your everydays. When callings seem to fade or change or hide or dry up. When you’ve built and fought, trained and focused on something that leaves you empty and sad.
Perhaps these Zinnias hold God’s whispered answer.
Even in their whitered state there is beauty. Not a conventional, put in a vase and admire kind of beauty. But the beauty that comes from life, from experience…and when you look at the middle…there are seeds. Flowers have one job…grow and reproduce.
And even in the whithered silence of life there are chances for growth…there are seeds…there are new flowers….there is life.
I am parched. But, my sweet Jesus whispers Scripture when I won’t open the Bible. Rains living water into a heart that is cracked and hard.
I am dry. But, my sweet Jesus draws my attention to the work He has for me to do with him. Blows the sweet winds through a house that is stuffy and locked up tight.
I am thirsty. But, my sweet Jesus is my answer. And even as I sit, tears pouring down my face in a room that was supposed to hold our son…his healing and growing. Jesus allows me to see the growth, the faith that has stretched.
And my heart trails to them….the women who have lost a child through miscarriage, adoption or death. That empty place where your tears won’t stop falling and your heart aches in waves that threaten to drown you in sorrow. I don’t know why God allows us to love and lose. But I do know that when we love — wide open, hearts free — we look like our Jesus and people need to see that…even in the briefest of glimpses and the hardest of moments.
The truth is I wish things were different. I wish we could have had help, that we had the skills to help a boy that was fighting so many things. I know there is no failure where love rules and Jesus is preached, but there is emptiness in the wake. There is pain in loss.
I have faith that as I just dwell in the Word (a good friend urged me to just write Scripture when I can’t find words to write what I’m feeling….and I have been) Living Water…the graceful ebb of my sweet Jesus will flow into me. I might be crispy around the edges for sometime, but my heart will be full and ready to overflow, again.