I am taking a week of wellness. A time to allow my body to recuperate after being sick. This is hard for me, but I received truth in love from my friend Erin about needing to do this. Thank you, Erin, for loving me well and encouraging me to love myself well.
Right now, my house is a mess; mounds of laundry that need to get folded and put away, a messy kitchen, a disheveled porch. I have subbed out my fitness classes for the week, which is discouraging for me. Letting all of this go and resting is what my body is needing.
Letting go of this life is what life is about. Opening my tight fisted grip on the way I think circumstances should unfold. Not demanding to have my way in an attempt to secure happiness. This is an opposite view of a culture that says you should do whatever you want to make yourself happy because you deserve to be happy. If this view is valid then why do I know so many unhappy people who have accomplished what they said would make them happy?
I have learned that in seasons of suffering there is a sweetness. There is a happiness to be found in spite of the circumstances, rather than only finding happiness because of the circumstances.
Several years ago, my friend Kate gave me the book Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard. It is a story of a woman named Much-Afraid who goes on a journey to the High Places of the Shepherd. The Shepherd gives her two companions for her journey. The companions are Sorrow and Suffering. When Much-Afraid finds out who her companions are, she cries. How could her Shepherd do this to her? How could he give her Sorrow and Suffering as companions?
“‘Fear not, Much-Afraid, only believe. I promise that you shall not be put to shame. Go with Sorrow and Suffering, and if you cannot welcome them now, when you come to the difficult places where you cannot manage alone, put your hand in theirs confidently and they will take you exactly where I want you to go.’ Much-Afraid stood quite still, looking up into his face, which now had such a happy, exultant look, the look of one who above all things else delights in saving and delivering.”
He delights in saving and delivering me from the way I think my life should be. He delights in saving and delivering me from what I believe I need to secure my happiness.
Last night as the sun was setting, my son Will took these photos. These are not photos of a woman who has everything going the way she wishes, whose life is close to perfect, or is full of energy. This is a woman who is holding the hands of Sorrow and Suffering as she travels to the High Places of her loving Shepherd.
For this week of wellness I chose Philippians 4:12-13 for my verses: I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.
May this be true of me. Amen.