This week, y'all!
The contrast has been startling and for a moment or two (or 10,000), I was left dizzy and spinning.
Let's just be real here.
This past week, I have felt both extremes of just how blessed I am and also of the
Last Thursday, I stayed mostly unplugged and offline, other than to joyfully respond to birthday wishes or to annoyingly post snapshots of my celebrating.
On Friday, I logged on and took all of 20 seconds to regret all of those happy clappy Instagrams because - gah - How can I celebrate in the midst of violence and tragedy and Charleston?
I admit, my first thoughts were sadly about me... about how my posts and updates may have been perceived... about how they may have come across as clueless, or worse, uncaring... how they may have hurt.
But those who know me know my heart so I quickly silenced those lies. However the stark contrast still took my breath away and left me feeling a bit sucker punched.
As in, "How dare you!"
I have found that this is most often the language the enemy uses with me. It backfired this time because it shook me awake once again. This is not about me. (Obviously!)
But then, it is. Isn't that the whole thing? It is... it is about all of us.
My heart breaks for Charleston, for our country, for this divide and hatred and our (my) own ignorance.
Honestly, until recently, I didn't really know that racism was still a thing. I mean sure, in pockets and areas. Every once in a while a random event would cause ugliness to surface close to home. But I had no clue to what was so glaringly obvious to so many others.
For that, I am sorry.
And I am awake now.
I don't want to write about racism. Not because I don't think it's a problem or because I think it's too 'hot button' or whatever, but because there are so many others who are so much better informed, equipped, educated... who are already saying it! People I love and respect like Deidra Riggs, Alia Joy, Colleen Mitchell, Lisha Epperson, Preston Yancey, and more.
But I also think that I'm not sure WHAT to say or to do to bridge the gap and help heal the hurt, but I want to say and do something! I am pretty sure that I am not alone here, so for those of us in this boat - we must speak up. Just say something.
Say, "I see you."
Say, "I stand with you."
Say, "I'm here."
Can we be bold and just start from here?
Say, "I don't understand, but I want to."
Ask, "What can I do? How can I help?"
Our nervous silence does no good.
I read THIS , and it helped. These are doable steps --starts, really - and we have to start somewhere if we want to see and be the Change that is so desperately needed!
But the reason I sat down to write today is not specifically about racism or Charleston or #GoingThere, but more about the danger of doubt and how it robs us. I had this thought and I need to get it out and think it through and I seem to do my best processing when I pour out here in this space with you. (Thanks for that!)
At my summer Bible study yesterday, we started off with five minutes of silence as is our usual practice now. Normally, the silence comes quick and my focus is Him and I enter right in. But yesterday, well, as I said, this last week has been hard.
One of my girlie's lost a good friend... 22, in a car accident. He was 22. I didn't know him but from what I've heard, he was a gift to this world and everyone in it. Twenty-two, with an unplanned future weighing down and life was taken... robbed.
Friends and family are battling - just - life, man! Sickness and pain... from the uncomfortable and annoying to the real life-threatening kind.
Suffering is all around us.
It was near impossible to reign in my thoughts. I found myself giving way and making room for questions that can not demand an answer and Worry and Fear crept in.
Here's the thing about those guys... when you open the door to Worry, Fear is never far behind. But much like 'faith, hope, and love' - Worry and Fear travel in three's and Doubt is quiet, but he is always with them.
I felt Worry.
I recognized Fear.
But Doubt is sneaky. You may not know he is there until your thoughts and questions begin to sound a bit too desperate and accusatory.
As soon as I heard Doubt in my prayers, I cried out for help. Doubt is dangerous because he steals our hope!
Those guys are powerful and familiar and they know all my triggers.
If you give in to all three at once, --well, you get dizzy and lost.
Suddenly, I heard the Lord whisper,
I am always your True North.
This was all in just five minutes of quiet.
(Well, you know, 'quiet'!)
It reminded me of when God invited me to go somewhere loud and listen for silence. I'd been thinking of the challenge for a couple of weeks, but who wants to give up a cozy quiet spot on a secluded patio for a crowded room full of distractions? Still... I couldn't shake it and He seemed to be saying that Peace is a weapon and we must learn to hold on to it - even in noisy places!
So I went to Starbucks, and sat outside with what seemed like the rest of my town. I slowed my breathing and set my timer. I forced my focus to stay on Him. When the five minutes were up, I grabbed my pen and wrote this:
"In the midst of the noise...
all the chatter, business talk,
the Internet lingo, and Google Analytics,
the laughter and loud introductions,
I close my eyes and listen...
beyond the sound,
into the silence.
For it's always there, waiting to be noticed.
A breeze softly blows and I realize that
as much as I have not liked the wind,
in this land-locked desert
the wind is the visible way
that You catch my attention
and remind me that
You are here!
Like a road map, "You are Here!"
...and it helps me find my way!"
I wrote that on Wednesday... and the winds blew.
And then Charleston... and the car wreck... and the doubt creeps in.
And then on Tuesday, God reminds me that He is here.
He is our True North.
Like a map that I can't read, I don't understand this world.
It's worn and broken, wrinkled and creased in some wrong places. But when we slow and look, we will find markers along the way pointing to Him. He is here. He is our True North.
And somehow, this gives peace and grace
...focus and full breaths are possible once again.
And the winds blow...
Click to Tweet:
The Danger of Doubt and How It Robs Us by @KarrileeA
Peace is a weapon and we must learn to hold on to it - even in noisy places!
I am linking up with these lovely ladies this week: