I've known weariness and loneliness more than I ever have before. And, this month in particular, it has been more evident than all the other months. More to come on that on Monday...stay tuned.
My oh so encouraging friend Ashley recognized my weariness and offered to take me to the dotMOM conference this weekend. I am forever thankful! It was such a refreshing weekend, surrounded by other moms simply there to rest in Christ and hear His whispers of encouragement. Ashley and I were introduced by the Lifeway staff to another mom and she quickly became a new friend. God placed her in my life at the perfect time, as she has gone through many of the same things I am struggling with now. I got to spend a lot of time talking to her. It's amazing how intricately God knows our needs. I look forward to growing our long-distance friendship :).
God spoke to me in so many valuable ways this weekend and I'm already looking forward to next year's conference. I plan to blog some more this week about what He taught me, but more importantly, I want to share with you a question He quietly asked me the first day.
As we were being led in worship by Melissa Greene, I heard Him say--
"Isn't this sweeter?"
And I knew just what He meant.
In light of all that has been going on since we moved back to our hometown, He wanted to know if His peaceful presence, our deeper-than-ever-before communion, my utter dependence on Him, and all the times I have cried out in desperation were all sweeter than all the hardship Brent and I have faced.
And the only response I can ever give my Dad when the Spirit is moving--
The struggles that have made us weary have also made our fellowship with our dear Savior so much more sweeter. That, my friends, is why in the midst of hardship and trial you can still utter the words, "Praise God."
He alone is worthy.
May the sweet fellowship of Jesus be more overwhelming than:
the grief of miscarrying our baby
the stress of financial difficulty
the valid concern (not worry) over the well-being of my child (which I can gratefully say is over)
the reality of sin within the Church and how deep the hurt can be
the loneliness of feeling no sense of community
Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.
His invitation to come is not to the strong, but to the weary and burdened. There, in His presence, you will find--I have found--true rest for your soul.
The song below by Matt Redman is a perfect reminder for us that when we walk through hardship, we can always look back and see that never once did we walk alone. He is forever faithful to his children!