November 19, 2013

what i learned in a year.

[For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.]

[Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.]

[Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.]

What I’ve learned in a year is that Jesus is faithful no matter what. What I’ve learned in a year is that his plan is good and straight, it’s better than I can ever imagine. What I’ve learned in a year is that despite all those things life is hard. It’s a mess. 

Only one short year ago I said goodbye with tears in my eyes to what I thought was going to be my forever. I carried my two suitcases into the airport, cried in the bathroom, and got on the plane. I landed, emotionally exhausted, and really unsure how to pick up life again. Before I knew it I was being surrounded by my mom’s arms. The woman whom I’ve only seen cry a handful of times in my life, was weeping. My dad towered over both of us and just kept saying “You’re home.”

I’ll never forget that moment. I wasn’t fearful of coming home, but I was a bit hesitant, it would be too gentle to say I ‘strained’ these relationships. Truthfully, I had burnt many of them. I was the prodigal, returning home empty handed and humbled. Picking up life where you suddenly dropped it is hard. Rebuilding relationships you neglected takes time, it is painful. I remember being terrified I was depressed, scared to even say the word for fear that it would some how take hold of me. But the reality was the energy I once had to pull everything together was dwindling. I thought I needed to be louder than my emotions but what I learned this year is that I really just needed to bring everything before my Father. 

I thought that day was hard, I had no idea what the next year would be like and that was probably the mercy and kindness of the Lord. I was jobless for a couple months, I had no car, moved back with my parents. My mom went a through intensive treatment for her MS, my parents took in two foster kids, the church where my dad is on staff was still recovering from a messy church split, there were hospital visits, medical diagnosis that as a family, brought us to our knees. I remember sitting one night with my mom on the couch saying, “This year sucks.” Everything about it made me want to crawl in a hole. But thankfully I had people around me that didn’t let me. There were FaceTime’s that lasted hours, endless conversations on my siblings couch, or floor, or kitchen counters (a Sczebel thing), or sitting at my parents table with a glass of wine. There were simple one line emails, and scripture verse texts. There were faithful people committed to my good, no matter what or how long that took.

I don’t even think they knew, but they were so clearly demonstrating Christ’s love for me. At a time when nothing was making sense, there were no more words to say or things do, I just needed time. They showed me how to love Jesus while I was waiting. How to understand that Jesus loves this version of me, not a future me. They showed me that the Gospel applies to every single area of my life. They showed me that whatever happened he was my solid rock. They made me laugh and listened when I complained. I didn’t deserve these people, but they loved me selflessly, and fiercely. 

What I learned in year is that my life will probably never make sense. What I’ve learned in a year is that Jesus triumphed over heartache, failure, wandering, suffering, pain, confusion, anxiety. I've learned that God loves me very much, and I'm trying to celebrate and live in light of that. What I learned in a year is that I’m a mess, life is a mess, and its all for his glory. What I’ve learned in a year is that because of the great love I’ve experienced, I’m called to give that love. I’m called to take on other peoples mess and faithfully point them the Jesus. 

Mom, Dad, Seth, Janners, Kars, Britt, Lisa, Josh, Joe, Tins, Becks, Becca, Lydia, Kwendra and so many more. I love you very, very much. So incredibly thankful for your care, love and support this past year. 

1 comment:

  1. Dearest Aly, this post brought tears to my eyes. You've seen and suffered much but it's not without purpose. I'm so grateful you have seen God's grace in the mess and grabbed hold of it. I'm glad you chose not to isolate yourself but to talk and wrestle and ask questions and fight to trust in our Savior and his better plan for your life. And I'm happy, through it all, to be your friend. <3 Lydia