surrounded by darkness in the truck...the black of night, the black of the truck and pavement, the black of my thoughts.
2 years ago Sam re-planted our flower garden in the front yard.
It was a a few weeks after our miscarriage and 1 week after some unfortunate news was leaked containting a list with my man’s name on it. At that time and in his words, the garden symbolized newness in our life and the growth our relationship would have from that point on. It wasn’t a very pretty season for us in general. We were broken. This garden: lush with new bushes, bright flowers, growing veggies, and other cute little additions was put together by Sam and his buddy...I wasn’t home and I was totally surprised when I saw it.
Fast forward 2 years...It’s the week of our 8th wedding anniversary and the garden needs to be revived again. Surprise, surprise. (We suck at taking care of plants.) Anyway, this time we did everything together.
as well as digging, trashing old liners, and watering
As I began to rake away the 2 year old mulch and weeds, I was reminded of the crap that has been stripped away from our hearts and minds, thoughts and conversations: dirt, weeds, sin, ugliness. God has taken away the old and replaced it with something new and alive.
It took us a few days to finally complete the garden and it happened to be finished on our actual anniversary. I was so excited and once again so overjoyed by God’s timing. What a beautiful reminder that HE is in control...not me, not Sam, not even the betrayal we walked through. Just God.
So, we went on a date and of course I had to post some pics from our night out with a little caption expressing my thankfulness for the path God has us on. The next day I began to feel the slightest feelings of discomfort in my heart. I can’t really explain it, but I knew it was because I had posted that picture praising God for “the best year yet".
I ignored the feeling and went about my day contemplating writing a blog about the garden experience. I just couldn’t do it. “How can I write about healing when I’m not feeling at peace right now??” But really though, how? So i didn’t. The next day my heart was even heavier. A few days went by and I was “in the dumps”. 1 week later I decided to talk to Sam about this sudden uproar in my heart. For some reason I decided to bring it up at like 10:30 pm (marriage tip: don’t argue, confront, or have serious talks with your significant other late at night.)
Anyway, the conversation didn’t really go as I had hoped and I went into yet another day feeling discouraged. Keep in mind, about a month ago I had my eclipse experience. I haven’t forgotten that throughout any of these weird, moody days. My head was like “HELLO! We’ve been through this! You already found peace about the situation. Stop doubting!” and my heart would argue back “I knooooow, what the heck is happening?! I can’t control this feeling when it hits me!” Those 2....they could go at it for hours. I knew in the back of my mind that Satan was not happy with all the public praising I’ve been doing. He wants to see us fail. I KNEW the right answer to this problem and yet I couldn’t quite avoid the naggy feeling my heart was having.
I confided in a friend the other night who prayed over me. Driving home from that conversation I felt so torn about what to listen to in the car. I REALLY wanted to listen to a podcast (I’m stupidly interested in what’s going on in the lives of reality TV people. I think it’s because we vlog and I somehow relate to their lives being displayed for everyone to see and I’m curious about how they respond to it all.) Anyway, I felt like I needed to turn on worship music instead. I battled this for a good 7 minutes before finally rolling my eyes and opening Spotify.
My go-to is always Bethel so I just clicked on the first song that popped up. I didn’t really pay attention to which one it was and once the music started all that came to mind were Jen’s adorable leopard flats that she wears sometimes when she plays this song during worship at church. I’m secretly jealous of how good she looks in flats (I have short legs and I think they make me look stumpy).
ANYWAY, I’m sitting there thinking of Jen’s flats and begin to realize the lyrics...”It is well with my soul”...I sang those words from the choir on Sundays as a teenager. They’re neatly written on a wooden sign in Juliet’s nursery.They’re written on t-shirts in just about any boutique you stumble across. The very thing I’ve been questioning lately: my soul. God has given me peace, answer upon answer upon answer, and here I am still doubting...inflicting pain on the very soul that God has redeemed and tenderly loved. I realized in that moment that I’m not doubting myself or my marriage or my husband....I’m doubting God. No good. One line says “Through it all my eyes are on you.” and that is one thing God has definitely done for me over the last 2 years...given me eyes to see what He’s doing and saying and working in my life. And it’s worked! I can often hear His voice and see very clearly what He’s doing with certain moments, feelings, and situations.
So here I am driving home late at night. Darkness is everywhere...inside the truck, outside the truck, all around me, even my thoughts were dark. I know the truth, but the enemy has been feeding me lie after lie to break down what God has built up. And if I’m being honest, he kind of has one foot in the door as these lies and thoughts begin to sit in my mind and hurt my heart again. So the song progresses...and as I’m belting out the line “It is well with my soul” for the 3rd or 4th time in a row (because, car rides = time to sing like I’m on American Idol) the words coming out don’t match up with the thoughts barging in. I’m literally questioning things in my life when God not only put it on my heart to listen to worship on this drive, but he directed me to the exact song I needed. Now I'm aware that I’m in the middle of a spiritual war right there in the truck.
"IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL" comes out of my mouth
“but what if blah blah blah” enters my mind....
”IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL” I sing even louder
“you’re not really at peace or you wouldn’t have thought x,y,z”....now I’m crying.
I began to shake my head at the darkness and proclaim this over my life and mind. It really IS well with my soul. God has shown me time and time again the answers and the path He wants me on. He’s taken the desires of my heart and wrapped each one in a shiny little box that’s just for me to open and relish in. Its up to me to continue to walk in that freedom and truth vs. succumb to the lies of the enemy.
I decided to listen to the song a second time after that weird battle and this time? Nothing but peace. Pure, sparkly, Jesus filled, breathtaking peace. It’s like being inside of a pearly bubble that I can look out of and see the darkness I was just sitting in vs. the bright bubble that now surrounds me. Ive said this before and I’m sure you’ll hear me say it again....God wants to and WILL heal you. He will meet you wherever you are....the grocery store, work, class, driving home in the dark...and he will take out the weeds and the dirt and replace them with hope and peace.
(notice how the new garden is fuller, richer, and the colors are deeper in comparison to the first one)