Saturday, February 23, 2013

Overwhelmed...In a Good Way

Just a few weeks ago I had the chance to do two much needed things.

One, I went on a hike with a dear friend. The hike was not for exercise, it wasn't for exploration. It was for the sole purpose of yelling. She and I walked for about a 1/2 hour to a secluded location on the Eno River here in NC. We spent a minute or two feeling awkward and making sure no one else was around and wondering who might go first. Then, we yelled. Sometimes we yelled thoughts, sometimes questions for God. Other times, we just let out the tension inside.

And friends, it was so good. The foolishness of being out in the middle of the woods screaming became nothing compared to the miraculously cathartic moment we both experienced. It was obvious that God was listening and that he was not afraid of what we had to say.

Second, I went on a day of retreat. I packed up my backpack, put on one of my favorite books on cd and drove two hours. Two hours away from all the stress of waiting for a baby, all the responsibilities of hearth and home and job. I turned my cell phone off and didn't even bring my computer. And for 8 hours I didn't talk to anyone but God. I hiked, sang, napped, listened, sipped way too many cups of coffee, sat on ice cold benches in the woods and dark, warm, meditative rooms inside. I ate a good lunch that I didn't have to prepare. And I wrote. After two full months of no writing, I filled my notebook with 28 pages. Pages filled with emotions (which we all know are hard to identify sometimes), questions, anger, sadness and yes, even hopes and joys for the first time in a long time.  My most recent blog post was the result of that day.

And leading up to that day I had asked a few people to be praying for me. To help me want to actually spend that day away with God. To be willing to be honest with Him about how I was feeling. To give me hope that He is there in the midst of what felt like abandonment.

The freedom of having people in your life with whom you can be totally honest and then also trust to be totally honest back even if it's hard is sort of indescribable. But people like this are in my life and, man, have I felt overwhelmed after inviting them into this. In a really good way.

Over these past weeks, after my breaking point, I have felt surrounded. After my last post, my explanation of where I've been for two months, the comments, emails, texts and phone calls were such physical, tangible evidence of the gifts I've been given in the people around me. And on top of that, that day I took away and the days since then have been full. Full of peace, full of hope, full of desire to spend time with God, full of the knowledge that God is with us in this and that He, too, is waiting and sad and hopeful all in one. That he's not withholding some huge gift from us out of vindictiveness or to teach us some elusive lesson, but that He's here beside us, just like these friends, waiting, offering comfort, steering us towards hope. I can't describe what a freeing lesson that has been. To trust again that he's not causing us this pain but that He is here in the pain...well, it's a relief, is what it is.

So thanks. Thanks to those of you who read this blog faithfully and encourage me to keep writing. Thanks to those of you who send me little emails or notes reminding me that you, too, are waiting eagerly for the next chapter of our story. Thanks for sharing your stories and prayers with me so that I can pray for you- it's a privilege. Thanks for your honesty, when it's hard and when it's sweet. Both are welcome. Thanks for being God's presence around us when we weren't sure where He was.  I have found hope again and I have been reminded of how good I've got it. I'm overwhelmed.

And sometimes being overwhelmed is exactly what you need. 

1 comment:

  1. I love you Carolyn! I'm glad you're overwhelmed!