some days, i don’t know which way is up and which way is down.
these past few months have been wonderful and full of beautiful things and people.
a job that i love, with people that i love – working for the church and feeling like i am able to serve others, while being able to still serve my local body of believers and live life with the folks at mountain brook baptist.
friends – people that i never realized were so dear to me, until seminary ended and we all graduated and moved on and moved away. and yet i am so grateful for those friends and those relationships, and thankful that, when we are together, it is as if we were never apart. and other friends who are still here, and who help me when i realize i can’t hold it all together. who speak truth when i don’t want to hear it, and who know what i need – often before i can see it.
a house, that i love, in a place, that i love – i have fallen in love with crestwood. with the old house and the cracks and quirks and all the eccentric things that can either be charming or frustrating, but also with the trees, and the blue skies, and the airplanes, and neighbors, and my room, and my very own reading couch, and feeling settled in a place. it feels like…home.
but some days, i have a hard time remembering what i know to be true. that these are good things, but not ultimate things. and, sadly, that sometimes life is hard.
and so there are people who i have come to love, through emails and friends and relationships, who are hurting and suffering and dying and lost. and my heart grieves. it hurts. i don’t know what to do with the pain sometimes. and some nights i wake up in the middle of the night and realize that my Grandma – the feisty woman who I used to try to beat in rummy and go to yard sales with on saturdays, who introduced me to billie ray cyrus and sundrop and gardening and steel magnolias, is gone. and it feels like my heart is caught in my chest, and as if i can barely breathe. thinking about holidays and christmas trees and gifts and lights seems overwhelming when i realize i won’t be decorating her tree. i won’t be making breakfast on christmas eve morning or trying to explain to her, for the thousandth time, that i just can’t drink coffee with powdered creamer, or watching good morning america and singing Christmas songs and fussing about the rest of my family being eternally late. remembering is overwhelming. it is hard. it makes me sad.
and there are people that i miss. that my heart wishes were here. on the one hand, living far away from my family is really healthy for me, for a lot of reasons – but it doesn’t mean that i don’t miss my mom. and between camp and college, i have dear friends scattered all over, and sometimes, a phone call isn’t nearly as good as sitting on the couch together laughing and crying and talking about life and love and everything in between. even though for now, it has to be.
and there are times that i wonder what is next. when i miss academia, more than i can ever tell you. when all i want to do is write – and when i know that it’s not feasible to do that full-time and still have a place to live. when i wonder, just for a moment, if God really knows what he’s doing. when i question if i’ll really be alone forever – and if i am strong enough for that.
and it is in these moments, in the midst of the happiness and sadness and the fear and the questions, that i remind myself again of Christ’s sufficiency. that he is enough, for today. that he is enough, for whatever tomorrow holds. that he is redeeming all of this. the brokenness, the pain, and the suffering – for this glory.
and that this hope is not just a “not yet” kind of hope. that, just as he’ll wipe away every tear from our eyes when he comes again, he is also is present with me today. he sustains me today. he holds my right hand. he goes before me, and he knows what is ahead, and that there is nothing good he withholds from his children – even when i erroneously think i know what that good ought to be.
christ being enough means that he is sufficient. for my worries. for my fears. for my sadness. for my anxiety. for the moments when i am rejoicing, and for the moments when i am weeping with fellow saints. for the times when i am alone and afraid.
i helped serve communion a few weeks ago at church. it’s one of my favorite things to do. there is something so incredibly humbling and beautiful about offering the bread and the cup to fellow believers, and proclaiming to them the gift of Christ’s body and blood, for them. it’s personal and beautiful and so…true. and i thought this week, as i thought about Christ being sufficient, that communion is a picture of this.
the body of Christ and the blood of Christ are enough. shed for the forgiveness of my sins. given with a promise that he doesn’t leave or forsake his children. that when they i feel perfectly wretched and unlovely (because i am) he looks upon me with grace and more affection than i can ever imagine – and i’ve done nothing to earn or merit such love.
so in these moments, when my faith sometimes seems very big and sometimes very small, i’m comforted by the reminder that i don’t trust in myself or in my feelings, but in Christ. and that he…he is enough. in him all things are held together. in him, i find my peace and my identity and my worth. and for these moments, he is sufficient.