I’m reminded of how good I’ve got it with my friends every time I manually sign into Twitter or Instagram. I think for a second of the passwords and realize they’re not my own creations. My friend Rebecca made up my Twitter password. My friend Hayley concocted an Instagram password for me...
I don’t know about you, but I often find myself wishing away my present season in attempt to launch into the beautiful, life-giving spring season just around the corner. Maybe you don’t do this because you’ve perfected living in the moment with a content heart…(if so, teach me your ways). As for me, I’m still on the journey—but if there’s anything I’ve learned through the mud, misfortunes, and muck of my 24 years of life, it’s that seasons can’t be rushed.
I walked into the newsroom with a huge sense of excitement and anticipation. Ever since I had learned to read by asking my mum to sound out letters in newspaper headlines, I wanted to be a journalist. Finally, I had arrived.
Then God said, “let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over every living creature that moves on the ground…So in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them….“—Genesis 1:26, 27, 28 (NIV)
The moment I stepped into her office, she completely bit my head off. Her eyes were wild with fire, her tone dripping with judgment. I could tell she was upset—and upset with me—but “the why” was unclear. I felt attacked: there had been no warning. Have you ever been completely caught off guard by someone’s outburst?
What do you want to be when you grow up? I’d sit with wide-eyed wonder when I was a little girl dreaming of fulfilling God’s plan for my life. I grew up in the church––attending summer church camps and purity conferences on the regular. At a young age, I received the call for ministry and began to develop a passion for worship leading.
The text I received from Ella* was bleak. She couldn’t sleep, hadn’t eaten for ages, was angry with God and other Christians. She had had enough of feeling so dark.
I’m not a trained mental health professional. I have neither the ability nor the responsibility to “fix” Ella. But as a sister in Christ, I want to “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15) and help bear the burden of another (Galatians 6:2).
My husband and I recently moved, and as we packed up our bookshelves, he made an off-handed comment about how many “self-help” books I had. Feeling sheepish, I grabbed the one in his hand and said “I’ll handle packing these, thank you very much.” But as I picked up where he left off, I realized my husband was right. I am a self-help book junkie.
I have spent the last three years studying, writing about, and living through a season of lament (crying out to God.) It’s been a season of ill health, grief, emotional and physical pain and more. But I have come out on the other side knowing that God is good, that God does good, and that God wants good for his beloved daughters.
Parking in a grassy field, alongside dozens of other cars, I stepped toward a rustic barn where Nate and Anna’s wedding reception had already begun. Having opted out of fancy dress shoes, I adeptly navigated the terrain in my daisy-painted Doc Marten boots.