Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Wave of Distress

For much of the last year I've been walking through a time of struggle. Deep internal struggle. Not overwhelming me or causing me to doubt the deep basics, but enough to make me question some things I thought I solidly believed and understood.

It's been frustrating on one hand and somewhat ignored by me on the other.

Obviously, during this same time, I gave birth to our fourth child and have added another dimension to our already busy-with-normal-stuff life. I don't like the term "busy" because I don't think we should be "busy" in the sense of how we understand the word "busy" in our culture, but the reality is that the life of a wife and mom to four who serves in ministry is full. So, my word is full. But, i digress...

My point is in sharing this "deeper" struggle thing.

I'm not sure how much I will share in this very open forum, but I'll try not to be too vague because that frustrates me as a reader and would make it worthless for you to read this.

I will go back and talk about specific things I've struggled with...hearing God speak, the whole idea of being "called", God's will for our lives, biblical community, and choices...that's what it's all about.

So, I've really turned a corner, so to speak, in the last six weeks or so. Part of the corner-turning happened as I participated in a good Bible study this fall. But, even more has happened since that study has wrapped up and I've been left to try and sort it all out with the Lord in my quiet times.

They have been good. Rich. Honest. Refreshing.

Just recently, a friend wrote a statement that captured how I think I'm feeling as I emerge from this year-long struggle in my heart. Here's what she said:
Some struggles aren't problems that need to be solved. They're just reality. And reality is often much less daunting when we openly face it.
My wise friend Beth was struggle with something she was trying to overcome and then realized that the struggle just was. It wasn't something to necessarily get through or over or solve, but to just realize she was struggling in the first place and face the struggle square on.

I needed to hear that. I needed to realize that my struggle wasn't an obstacle to overcome but just a reality.

Then, today, my friend Sarah forwarded me some Scripture and quotes. Amongst them was tucked this Oswald Chambers quote:
The [wave] that distresses the ordinary swimmer produces in the surf-rider the super-joy of going clean through it. Apply that to our own circumstances, these very things--tribulation, distress, persecution, produce in us the super-joy; they are not things to fight. We are more than conquerors... super-victors, with a joy we would not have but for the very things which look as if they are going to overwhelm us... The saint knows the joy of the Lord not in spite of tribulation, but because of it.
Oh how I can heartily say that because of this "tribulation" of my heart, I know more of the joy of the Lord!!!

What marvelous depths of His grace and mercy. I'm swimming in them.

The waves that were once threatening to knock me over as they crashed upon my body are now supporting me as I surf through and get a glorious high.


  1. Amen! When we are in it, it is so hard to see what He is doing. Thanks for this, very encouraging!!

  2. I really love the wave analogy!! It's so true that it's often in the challenging times when God blesses us so much.

    I really think that's the case with the beautiful-yet-innately-challenging situation I'm in right now. Sure, it makes each day more complicated, but I sure don't want to change it. The blessings are worth it.

    Love you! :)