Thankful Through the Tears

I spent much of the last 5 days in tears at a Camp that is near and dear to my heart. A place where I have gone at least 2 times a year for over 20 years. A place that is truly my “Meeting Place with God.” A place where you reserve your spot months in advance, and where, year after year and time after time, (in God’s perfect timing) I landed the exact weekend I most needed to get away.

This time, however, did not feel like the right time.  I was leaving a house full of plaster dust, wet paint and workmen as we prepared to put our house on the market and move to Chicago.  I was leaving a “to do” list a mile long and a packed schedule. I was leaving a too full life that left me very little time to think about or process the changes behind or ahead of me or to grieve the loss of the life I have left and am leaving.

With some encouragement from my husband I went. And suddenly the whirlwind of my crazy busy life stilled and I had nothing to do but think. And in that stillness, it felt like a tsunami of grief washed over me. Grief brought on by the letting go of so many things that are near and dear to my heart.

As I testified to the work that God has been doing in my life to the dear friends around me. As I literally felt a physical pain in my heart for the losses and take-aways over the last year. As the tears streamed down my face, I made a choice while I was at Camp.

I will thank God for the hard stuff. I will thank Him for the tearing away of all that is comfortable and known and safe and easy for me. I will thank Him for the tears and the pain and the discomfort. I will thank him for the plowing up of my life knowing that he will grow new things in the turned-up soil. I will thank Him for all that He has provided and all that He will provide in the future.

I will thank Him for the hard questions of who I truly am. Questions of what my life looks like defined by my identity in Christ and not defined by the people, places and things in my life.

I will thank Him knowing, trusting, believing that when I trust the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding and in all my ways acknowledge Him - He will direct my path. (Proverbs 3:5-6). Claiming the truth of Romans 8:28 - And we know in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Precious Father – Thank you for all that is hard and painful in my life right now. Thank you that you are doing a new work in me and that your blessings are new every day.  Amen.