Be still, my soul—the Lord is on thy side! Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide—in every change He faithful will remain.—von Schlegel
This morning I’ve had a bit of Solitude and silence. I needed it because…..well, because. I’ve lost focus. My mind has been so scattered in the past month that I can’t even find my focus. Today I gave my house plants a haircut to get them ready for their new home. They really needed one. I promised they would like it in their new place and we move next week.
I started to think about basements. We’ve been living in a friend’s for the last three months. It is a lovely basement with lots of light, big windows and comfy chairs. It has been a great place for transition and it has been a place of refuge. Little did I know that I would need it so much. I’m so grateful for the time here and for our lovely hostess who seems to love taking care of us. Little did I know that I would need that either. But God knew. It’s been a bit of a rough journey, lately.
Thinking back about 35 years ago, for a period of about 10 years, basements were another kind of refuge for me. Maybe they are more alike than I know as I ponder. During that past time, starting with a period of what would been labeled post-partum depression, I lived most often in the basement (the old dark kind with small windows and very little light. I went there whenever the wind blew because it was then that I would have great fear and panic attacks. The thought of a tornado terrified me. It was mostly that, I think. One period of time my depression was so bad I couldn’t get out of bed. I was afraid of God. I didn’t know that he loved me. I was afraid that he was chasing me, which he was by the way, but not for punishment because I was so weak. I was later diagnosed with a chemical imbalance, with low serotonin that kicks in after long periods of stress like the last two years has been. Although, I’ve learned to manage this fairly well, I can feel it around my edges. No telling what might have happened without this refuge. And without God.
When I started to get better, I eventually learned that God loved me so very much, that a community is vital, and for me that meant Christian community because the power of the Holy Spirit has been so present in those in which I have been involved. I know that God is always present with us whether we know it or not and that he always means good for us and not harm. In my mother-in-law’s last years, she lived with us for awhile. One day she said to me, “Doesn’t it seem that when the Holy Spirit gets ahold of you, it’s like a tornado has slammed into you?” Suddenly, I knew why wind and tornadoes had been my fixation when I was running from God.
So what’s with all this reminiscing since we’ve heard it all before? You may ask. It’s because that’s where my pondering of basements took me. And because it’s one of my stories of God. We need to be reminded of them from time to time and we need to tell them. And because my edges are a little ragged and I wanted you to know. Also, because I need to tell you, at least one more time, that Jesus loves you (and me) and there is nothing that we can do about it at all, ever.
Lord, you are far more than we can ever comprehend, yet you still reach down and give us things like sunrises and coffee and friendships. Thank you for your grace towards us that is so evidently poured over every aspect of our lives! Amen. ~ Renovaré