several years ago Jesus showed me that the way it was going to be with He and i was something like dancing in a wide-open field of wild flowers, joyful and free. and that’s the way that it was, just on the other side of a long season of suffering and then being healed by Him. He gave me respite and new life.
several months ago, one morning in the prayer garage, He gave me another picture of us dancing, only this time we were dancing on a massive expanse of rock, cracked here and there, an occassional flower bravely blooming in those cracks. “we’re still dancing together, but this time we are dancing in harder places,” He whispered to my heart. my Jesus, how i love you. for continuing to dance with me. and for giving me a forewarning.
right now, this word feels like it’s being proved true. this season feels very much like it’s about dancing on rocky ground.
it’s not circumstantial so much. we’re settled comfortably in our home, we adore our hazel girl, we have good work to do, we have strong relationships and good health. but in a much deeper place, a place a watching world doesn’t see, He is turning up soil of our marriage and the soil of our calling, and pulling things up for us to have a look at. that has not felt pleasant.
as i whined to Him about it a couple of weeks ago, He reminded me of that picture of us dancing on harder ground, and He reminded me that it isn’t without purpose. that the reason it feel so unrelentingly difficult is precisely because it is deep, transformational, and foundational. it is important work, and work that He has not for one second lost control of, lest we despair. no, He’s directing it. and the resistance is in my weariness, my weary heart that says “really, do i have to do this sort of hard work again, God? didn’t we already spend years in therapy and prayer rooms working through all my junk? didn’t we get it all taken care of?”
because after a honeymoon season wears off, there’s stuff that gets exposed: about intimacy and hiding, about reacting to the other based less on who they actually are and more on soul impressions you’re falsely putting on them, about honoring and loving one another even when you’re angry or disappointed, and about judgements, with-holding, and selfish motivation.
and because once you start stepping into your life work and calling, which happens to be ministry, there’s stuff that gets dragged up there, too: about unworthiness and fear, about abdicating responsibility and wanting to hide, about functioning under the pressure of living a life that is watched, about feeling like a phoney, about feeling like you have to prove yourself, about lacking self-discipline and vision.
none of this goes away easy. none of it is a quick fix, and if we tried to make it so, it would come out sideways somewhere else, i am sure.
so i’m giving Him permission — as i call to mind how gentle and true His scalpel has been in the past — to go ahead and keep uprooting, keep applying pressure, keep pursuing my heart until He accomplishes His will in me. i will go there. i might cry about it from time to time, but i will go there with the One who has never released me from His gentle lead, no matter what sort of terrain we’re dancing on.
and the best part is knowing that on the other side of this, we’ll be standing on SOLID GROUND that you find only after you’ve struggled through the swamp land. what will be left standing will be enduring and we will be able to trust it confidently. that’s worth it.