It’s been several days since I have sat down to pour “bliss” into this “acupofbliss” blog. Right now, the name strikes me as incredibly ironic due to the nature of many of my recent blog posts. I’m afraid I’ve been a bit low on bliss.
Needless to say, my soul is still searching – perpetually – for bliss. Not just the warm and fuzzy bliss. Not just the happy and festive bliss. Rather, the deep, soul-filling wellspring of contentment and peace in the midst of adversity. Pour me some of that, please.
As my fingers still over the keyboard and I sip my second mocha espresso of the morning, I’m letting the lessons and rest of Christmas Break steep in my heart. Like a strong pot of tea. Like a steaming cup of joe. Musing over the warmth of God’s reassurance, I search for words to convey the beauty beginning to blossom in my spirit. Beauty born of trust. Beauty born of letting God be God. Beauty still so fragile in its newness.
A friend sent me a sweet note a few months ago that I have left sitting on my desk ever since. It contained this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” She had received the same encouraging words from a friend after she miscarried her first baby.
And so, I’m beginning to glean this truth: when we can’t see the light, we must learn to embrace the mystery of darkness. The mystery that breathed life into the void of nothingness on the first day of Creation. The mystery that crafted man from the dust of the ground. The mystery that stirred Salvation in Mary’s womb. The mystery that captured my sinful soul and washed me white as snow. The mystery that breaks forth in darkness, so that those who have been waiting in agony experience the birth of dawn. That mystery. That darkness. That light.
“For forty long years, God’s people daily eat manna – a substance whose name literally means “What is it?” Hungry, they choose to gather up that which is baffling. . . . They find soul-filling in the inexplicable. They eat the mystery.” ~Ann Voskamp, “One Thousand Gifts,” p. 22
I don’t know about you, but many things have baffled my desire to understand, control, predict, and direct in the last several years. As I turn the page to 2012, the mystery is not over. Just as I would like to sink into the familiar and the comfortable, life changes again. David is going back to school. We don’t know where we are going to live or how exactly we are going to make ends meet. I don’t know what my job is going to look like. I don’t know how my dreams of getting pregnant fit into the upheaval soon to come. Life makes even less sense than it did several months ago. There seems to be more holes than patches in this tapestry God is weaving. And then, yesterday, on the plane ride between Louisville and Denver, I read this:
“That that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, may actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.” ~Ann Voskamp, “One Thousand Gifts,” p. 22
To the God that we endlessly crave . . . I’ve got a lot of learning to do. A lot of beauty to see through the holes that tear open my soul and splatter my sight with confusion and frustration.
However, I think I am finally finding some measure of peace in the understanding that mystery is just that – the future unknown, wrapped in the assurance of God’s love for me. Mystery is only crippling when it is accompanied by fear.
Stop for a minute. “Selah” over that truth. What are we afraid of? Why? Does it not all stem from our deep-seated belief that God has forgotten about us, doesn’t care about our problems, doesn’t see fit to answer our prayers? Or, perhaps, He’s just overlooking the one thing that we know will seal our happiness? I can’t accept that lie any longer.
As I snuggled on the couch at my in-laws house and went jogging through the hilly back roads of Kentucky, God continued to speak to me. Not audibly. Not with the finality that I long for. But quietly. In whispers. In mystery. Reminding me. Singing over me. Assuring me of His magnitude, power, and love.
This morning I dug deep into the confines of my childhood hope chest and removed a baby blanket that I crocheted years ago. In hope. Full of dreams about motherhood. Throughout the pastel threads, prayers are woven for my future daughter. I didn’t doubt that God was going to give that good gift then. Why do I doubt so often now?
As Romans 4 states . . .
“16This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. “