I am sure of this: Rainy summer days were designed by God.
Well, all of the days are designed by God, but you know what I mean. We’re currently on vacation. At a beach house in New Jersey with six adults and five kids under nine. And today, it’s raining. This week is full of everything for us. We take things slow but there’s a lot of planning and as you’d imagine, lots of chaos.
Most of our time here is spent at the beach; long, sunny, sandy days. But at this moment, the house is silent. The older kids are at the boardwalk with the dads and my littlest one is watching a movie.
Sometimes it takes getting out of your norm to really see what God has been saying to you all this time. And today, to me, He’s saying:
“I’m really in everything.”
I hope I can convey in words how this feels. Because it’s grounding and freeing and everything else you’d ever need.
This year I’ve decided to accept and tackle anxiety in new ways. I’ve worked on having less stuff and creating more space. I’ve resisted the urge to continue… continue eating, continue shopping, continue working out, continue cleaning. I’ve worked hard to create spaces that allow for breathing room in my mind and my body. And I know God is honored by that.
I’ve also allowed more play. I’ve failed to resist the urges to continue and I’ve overindulged because I can. I’m continuing to learn that God is in the mess and the chaos. He’s in the loud, the laughter. He’s there with play doh and dirty dishes and undone piles. He’s present in the spontaneous and the full days that last way past bedtime. And I know God is honored by that.
We are constantly looking for ways to get more of God, aren’t we? We’re trying to rearrange our schedules, read the best books, say yes and no to the right things. We’re trying to do it right. We want to hear from Him. We want to do what would make Him proud of us.
And I’m afraid in trying to figure out where He is, we’ve limited His presence and diminished His ridiculously vast love.
I’m praying wherever you are, as you read this, that your heart would beat a tiny bit faster, like mine is. Because oh my gosh.
He’s in it all.
And not just in it. Not just present, like, in the same room. He’s active and moving and speaking and listening. He’s feeling everything you feel and partying with you and mourning with you.
In literally all of it. As I sit on the beach and watch my kids run and jump in the waves seven million times, over and over and over. When that feeling of peace literally washes over me and I feel like I can conquer the world. When all of life’s blessings seem to just manifest right in front of my eyes.
In literally all of it. As I text with my friend whom I’ve prayed for for two years now, who is still in a wheelchair. As I process through the losses of the past two years and the anxiety that I thought might take me out. When my worst, most embarrassing days are still crystal clear in my memory and I wonder who I’ve become.
And in all of it… I’m free.
I’m free to sit outside on the porch on the rain. I’m free to cry at things people might think are stupid. I’m free to laugh so hard I can’t breathe. I’m free to mess it up really, really bad. I’m free to experience grace as if God didn’t pour it all out on me yesterday.
He’s not one or the other. He’s not either quiet or forceful, He’s not either joy or comfort. Suffering and parties and solitude and rain and sun… they’re all existing in you, for you, on purpose.
A year ago, I made a deal with myself that I would blog once a week. It would keep me accountable, keep me writing. I’m thankful that so many of you read and encourage me. I felt the pressure to keep up and post, even on on vacation. And then I thought, “I can say no, even to myself.” I don’t have to. And remembered again that sometimes we need to be reminded of the super simple truths. We don’t always need to keep digging for something new. We just need to seek Him. God’s Word has stood the test of time with old words, and He’s still doing new things.
What do you feel is tying you down today? Are you suffering and longing for joy? Are you loving life and feeling guilty? Did you mess it up so bad, and you just aren’t sure how you can recover? Is everything beautiful and sacred? Or is everything chaotic and busy?
“Let me be clear, the Anointed One has set us free – not partially, but completely and wonderfully free! We must always cherish this truth and stubbornly refuse to go back into the bondange of our past.” [Galatians 5:1]
You are free. To experience all of life with the Creator of the world experiencing it with you. Whatever it is you need, or lack, or hope for… Our God is pursuing you with it. He works in seasons that are purposeful. The ups and the downs are weaved together in His perfect plan for you, exactly where you are.
“So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are His lovers who have been called to fulfill His designed purpose.” [Romans 8:28]