Thursday, August 25, 2011

I Spent the Day in the Woods August 16, 2011

...the DEEP WOODS that is! It seemed the logical place to be today. I needed this day to be set apart. I needed to be set apart. I needed this day to be quiet, peaceful, restful. I needed a day to just BE and remember! So I came to a 'safe place'. A place of quiet beauty and rest.

All the way here the tears were spilling over, insisting on being released. I could do nothing to stop them. But they were unusual tears. They weren't just tears of grief- though I am grieving the absence of our third daughter for 5 years now. The one who insisted life take notice and listen to her. Even today I feel an urgency to remember her. She's walked with me on my HOPE walk through the woods. It felt like she poked me with a leaf that fell on my hands while I was taking a picture of the future site of the HOPE CABIN. I feel such hope thinking that one day soon this cabin will be built and I and others will be able to go there for rest & quiet from their hectic, sometimes pain-filled lives. Today I spent in the JOURNEY cabin and it has been a sweet place today to remember that I am not in the 'dark place' I crawled into 5 years ago.

Our family spent Sunday together- just sharing a meal together, sitting together sharing stories and laughter and sometimes tears. We even had a 'car problem' to deal with - seems like there always is one. A random homeless angry man chose to punch the windshield out of a random car on Brie's campus that just happened to be my car- since she was driving mine while hers had been in the shop for repairs. So we brought hers down and took mine back. Once again reminded that it's just a thing. Brie was not in it- she was not hurt- and somewhere in a Columbus jail sits a man that I pray for today. Maybe you can pray for him too! I wonder what kind of dark place he finds himself in.

This morning after my walk, the Lord led me to Psalm 57. It's amazing what the Psalmist teaches us in that Psalm about what to do when you are in a dark place. David was in a dark place just then- a cave at En Gedi where he was hiding from King Saul, in fear for his life. But even here, David shares how he dealt with his dark place. Let me share with you what I learned.

He started out by crying out to God.
"Have mercy on me, O God. Have mercy in me. For in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wing until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills His purpose for me.."

Then he remembers "God sends his love and his faithfulness." It just struck me how it was included as if Leisha were writing me a letter and closing by saying- by the way, Mom, God sends his love…! I needed to remember God is intimately acquainted with my day, my tears, my emotions.

Then in verse 4 he begins to speak of his fears.

I said earlier my tears were unusual - they weren't just tears of grief- they are also tears of gratitude. You see over the last 5 years, I've begun to face some of my greatest fears. I found them to be areas where I was frantically seeking to gain control, yet feeling empty in my seemingly futile attempt. As the Lord made me aware of yet another, I would bring it to Him and ask for His truth to speak into it. Each time He spoke, I sensed another area of my life free up- another place in my heart give in to his grace. And I found peace! Sweet, rest filled, green-hope inspired, peace.

I am grateful! Five years ago, I couldn't imagine ever feeling life- or hope- again. Yet I feel both as I spend this day in the woods.

PS 1. I've been writing a lot lately, but haven't taken the time to post here. So I will date each one with the day they were written.
PS 2. If you want to know more about the DEEP WOODS/ Leisha's Hope Project- go to August 12 to read more.

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