A Mercy in Disguise

2020 has definitely thrown us one curveball after another. This year has added a whole new level or two to the regular “hardness” of life, hasn’t it?

I can’t speak for you, I can only speak for myself, but I have been seriously struggling. I don’t know what to do with myself most of the time. Everywhere I look, I’m surrounded with negativity, and it’s so hard to constantly see that without adding to it.

Honestly, I feel like screaming a lot of the time. I haven’t had such strong feelings to just close my eyes and scream at the top of my lungs as often as I do lately since I was a hormonal teenager… but here we are.

After so many days with my wonderful, amazing, cranky, teething two year old, I feel like I need to get out for a bit or I’ll scream.

I leave to run to the store or even just a drive thru and see the absolute insanity that is life right now, and I feel like I’m going to scream.

As a hot blooded woman living in the Southern summer’s heat and humidity, every time I have to wear a mask for more than 5 minutes, I feel like I’m going to scream.

I get on Facebook and see one angry, hateful political post after another, and I feel like I’m going to scream. (side note: I’ve taken a Facebook break this month, and it has done wonders for my mind and spirit. 5/5 stars.)

I get on Twitter and see story after story after story of abuse and subsequent cover up of said abuse within Baptist churches, and I feel sick and sad and angry.

The overwhelmingly helpless feeling of these days leaves me feeling like I should scream just so I would be doing something.

I’ve compensated bottling up all those screams with tears. Lots and lots of tears.

I’m just being real here.

This year has laid me bare. I have felt exposed and raw, and that is always a hard pill to swallow. It has not been fun. It has been painful.

It has driven me to my knees in new ways. I have had to pray like life depended on it….because sometimes it does.

It has caused me to search the Scriptures to really find what God has to say to me about certain issues….one of which is the darkness and coldness of my own heart.

It has pushed me to examine my motives. Why do I do the things I do? Why do I believe the things I believe? “Because it’s what we’ve always done,” or “Because it’s just what I was taught” isn’t cutting it anymore. I need real answers to these very real questions.

It has led me to the foot of the cross over and over….because let’s be honest: where else can I go? And without fail, each time, my heart has been comforted with the truth of the Gospel.

The reality of what Christ has done for me is enough to stop me in my tracks, take my eyes off all the craziness surrounding me, and put my focus where it belongs.

There are no answers or peace or hope to be found by looking around at the chaos in this world. The only answers and peace and hope that can be found are in Jesus Christ and the world to come.

I recently saw this quote, and it seemed to so accurately describe where I am:

Trials and tribulations tend to squeeze the artificiality out of us, leaving the essence of what we really are, and clarifying what we really yearn for.

On the surface, this year has been the worst. But when I look beneath the surface, where things run dark and deep, where the real work gets done, 2020 may turn out to be the best.

I’m sure I’ve quoted this before, but Laura Story’s song “Blessings” is applicable here as well.

“…the pain reminds this heart that this not, this is not our home. …What if trials of this life, the rain, the storms, the hardest nights, are Your mercies in disguise?” 💙

No matter what comes, I want to keep running to Him.

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