Time for Some Vulnerability
"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, 'Let there be light'; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness."
This has always been an important verse for me. There is something about the picture of God "hovering" over the waters. It has actually become a key verse for Matt and I as we have pictured God quietly "hovering" over what often feels like the chaos of our lives. Make no mistake, we have never felt out of peace for where we are, but life sometimes throws curve balls in the form of miscommunication, unmet/uncommunicated expectations, parenting, mass casualities, illness, etc. There is something so quiet about God hovering...thinking...ready-ing himself to move...smiling at knowing that the chaos is about to take order by His voicing just a one word command. Knowing that in one Word...the darkness we may feel, what feels like chaos to us... will actually have new meaning and can turn to light.
I haven't written a blog lately because there was just too much to write about and I couldn't decide. I have felt my own chaos lately as I have felt God moving me out of "self-preservation" mode from the deployment. It has been incredibly frustrating to feel God "hovering" and ready-ing me for something, but Him remaining quiet. As I look to that verse again this morning, I happened to have the message version..."First this: God created the Heavens and the Earth- all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss." When I looked up "brooding" I smiled at the definition as it described a protective verb as a maternal action over its young, to loom by enveloping, and finally "To be deep in thought; meditate. To focus the attention on a subject persistently"
Oh what joy fills my soul in the midst of waiting on him that in His waiting on His movement in my life, He is meditating on His love for me and all of us persistently. He has not forgotten you. He has not forgotten your pain, your darkness, your suffering, your hurt. He has not forgotten about your chaos. He does not sit back and watch you try to make sense of the murky waters of your circumstances. He acutally is there, whether you feel him or not, whether you even care to recognize that He is there for you. He is waiting, meditating, protecting what will be His creation. Yes, all he has to do is speak... and that is the hardest part for us... making us crazy... knowing that if He would just command it, all order could happen. But He chooses for just the right moment to speak "Light!". Sometimes waiting on us, sometimes waiting on others, sometimes waiting on time. Why? And yet His spoken word that brings hope of purpose to our existence is the same words that describes Jesus in John 1, referring to him as the Life-Light. Again from the Message, "Everything was created through him; nothing- not one thing!- came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn't put it out."
If I could sum up the deployment and what I learned from it, it was that God was in every moment of it with me. As long as I looked to Him, followed Him as best as I could, listened to wisdom around me and within me, and remembered the "truth", He was part of everything I went through. He "brooded" over me as I waded through chaos at times, knowing the joy He would see in me each time He created order from it. Oh! How I am thankful to not be God! I could not sit back and watch the agony of those in the murky waters, unable to feel the brooding love of God above them. The agony I, myself, would feel knowing that they don't know that help and hope is there. My friends, you cannot miss the presence, nor his purpose for you as long as you look to Him and trust Him.
In anticipation of the deployment, I wrote about feeling my own chaos, feeling him hover over me, as if still. I look back and realize that I felt he was still, but He was not. He was moving, He was protecting, He was meditating. He was planning (and still is) to bring light into the chaos. He was preparing to use His son Jesus in my own life to bring new Life, new understanding of who he is, to birth a new me- a stronger, more faithful me. To start to believe in myself, believe in who he was regardless of how alone I felt or how tired I would become. He is not still when he is quiet my friends.
Matt and I have faced much spiritual warfare since his return. This was not unexpected. The enemy would love nothing more than to continue the feeling of separation that has been there for the past year. Confusion in our communication as if speaking different languages, trying to communicate through chaotic dailogue not knowing what each other is talking about or even how we got there in the discussion. The temptation of believing lies- "Does she still need me?" "Can he understand where I have been"- through the fatigue. The attacks have been brutal, the most I have felt... there were moments where the whispers of hurt and insecurity were shocking and I'm sure Matt felt the same. When scripture describes the enemy as that which wants to "devour"- I believe I have felt that. Honestly, the only thing that has gotten us through have been calling it out for what it is and not giving it more power than it already had. Pointing out the truth of our relationship, who God is, and His desire to bring order to what we have experienced both seperately and together. When Matt first arrived, we sat over coffee and dreamed together. I was surprised at how God had actually been moving us in the same direction, with similar vision, yet on two different paths of experience. How my faith grew in that moment. That is truth. He was working all along, brooding, meditating on how to care for us during the last year.
And so, I end with this as I prepare to drive home from my personal retreat of solitude...
Thank you friends, for your prayers and support during our first deployment. I could describe it as easy and yet the hardest thing I have ever done. Thank you for your kind words throughout. We are indeed changed from it, but only as God desired. We look forward to what we can do with it all when He desires- after all, no pain, no sorrow, no happiness or reward is complete until God uses it to reveal Himself in it all. May His amazing love brood over you, and may you feel His hands get dirty in the murky waters of your life as well.