And I think it's ok to allow ourselves some time to experience those emotions and questions that come with them. It takes time to process and wrestle and dig deep.
But, I knew I couldn't stay there. I was just having a hard time pulling myself out of it. And, as I wrote in my last post, all I could do was trust. Trust God that He still held us all tenderly in His hand.
Sometimes when I find myself in a place of despair and utter helplessness, I'm also unable to pray with any real clarity or eloquence. And I just repeat the words, "I trust You.", even as I'm waiting for my heart to catch up with the words.
My friend Joy's husband said something the other night when they stopped to visit that helped to shift my perspective from darkness to light. (Joy is my friend who suddenly lost her father last week).
Joy & Derrick and their children were out of town when they got the news about Joy's Dad. They were in the midst of doing a show with many other vendors. They told us about how both other vendors they knew and strangers alike came together to support them, offer them help, do little things to make their day easier. They were far from home, but people - some they didn't even know well or at all - wrapped them in love.
They also talked about how they could physically feel the prayers of family and friends surrounding them. And how the peace that passes all understanding graciously settled on them in this incredibly difficult time.
But, here's what Derrick said that really shifted the tide for me. He said (and I'm paraphrasing/ adding my own interpretation a bit), that we read in the newspaper all the time about anger and hate and war and the terrible things that people do to each other. If we were to believe the news we would believe that's all there is, that the world is full of hate.
But, he went on to say, that's not the truth. The truth is there is so much goodness and love out there. When the rubber meets the road, people come together and pour into each other. The truth is love.
Now I know that this concept that good still outweighs evil in this world is one we've heard before. But something about darkness not being the truth really resonated with me.
When I've been confused or feeling hopeless, this concept of focusing on what is True keeps coming back at me.
Darkness and death and hopelessness and despair and fear and anger all come from the father of lies.
But, the Author of Life writes the Truth on our hearts. And the Truth is Light, Life, Hope, Joy, Peace. Love.
The enemy would love nothing more than for us to believe his lies. But, as believers, the Spirit of Truth lives inside us. The light cannot be hidden.
So, after several days of wrestling through the darkness, I am reminded and challenged to ask myself, "But what is True?"
And now the Truth is what I will choose to focus on.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.