As I write this, I’m in a house full of boxes. Again. It’s been a familiar theme for the last 25 months. Actually, the word “house” is a nice upgrade to the Atlanta apartment that we called home. A house is no longer something I take for granted.
As I considered whether or not to blog during this season, I came to the place of hoping that, though my circumstances may be different from yours, my words might collide with some part of your own journey and the Lord will use them to encourage you. So, as we finish the last leg of our journey before landing back home, I thought I’d share some of my life lessons as I go, yet again, to get a new driver’s license in a couple of weeks.
1. People Matter
I didn’t realize it, but I’d been preparing for COVID for all of 2019. Moving to a large city with very little pre-existing friendships made for a lot of quality time with Chris and Mo. “Quality” is a term I use loosely; we weren’t the life of the party for a good part of that season as we (together and separately) had to walk out our new reality. I think the kind man at the dry cleaners might literally have been the one person who wished us farewell when we left Atlanta… unless you also count the four men who robbed our car. Ha! But there are a handful of people from both Atlanta and Cleveland whom my soul needed to encounter. My life is different because our lives intersected.
Even if you’re limited in the number of people you’re connected to, whether by COVID or other circumstances, invest in the ones you do have and watch for who God might bring into your path. They are rarely by chance.
2. Environment Matters
It isn’t just the people you surround yourself with that matters, but the environment, too. God created beauty. It reflects His creativity and there’s something about it that brings peace to our soul. Regardless of where you live or work, find ways to put yourself in God’s creation. Breathe it in. Find a beautiful garden to walk through. Find a walking trail. Drive your car to a park and sit in the air conditioning while you enjoy it, if you must. Even in places you have to be every day, a few hand-picked flowers in view help remind you of the majesty of God’s creation.
3. God Matters More
I guess you expected this from a pastor’s wife… dare I say, a pastor. But if we remove the labels we each receive, we all boil down to people with needs to be loved, protected, and provided for. There were times on this journey when life felt suffocating. Everything was so heavy. Ever been there?
There were times when I really wondered if God heard me, but I made a decision to live by faith that which I’d been able to see for much of my Christian life. There have been many good years for me and for you. Why would we begin to doubt when we have a season of struggle? I decided to put all of my weight and burdens on Him. Sometimes I did it well and sometimes I took it all back and tried to carry it myself again. But He didn’t disappoint me. And He won’t disappoint you. If you’re in a season of struggle, He is what matters most. He won’t let you down. Together, we can keep our eyes locked on Him and anticipate the promised land.