Are You really carrying me?
I'd heard it in poems and songs. Even in His own promises. I'd felt it first hand, too, in all the dark days, months, years of a life.
But on this day, I didn't feel it. Hadn't felt it for weeks, maybe longer. Only the heaviness of being weak and small. Only the fear that I'd fallen and wouldn't be able to stand again.
And I asked Him. Because I needed to know.
Are You really carrying me? Because it doesn't feel like it right now. It feels like I'm just lying here on the floor. And I want to believe, but is it true? Are You really carrying me?
There weren't any answers that night. Only silence. And fear. And exhaustion.
And I wondered if it would always be like this. If I'd be able to believe in His arms beneath me even when I didn't feel them. If I'd be able to trust in the moving forward even when it felt like standing still.
But I didn't have to wonder long.
A new day dawned and I picked up the gratitude journal. The same one that had lain shut for 7 full days because I couldn't see the gifts, couldn't even find the strength to look for them. And on this new day I didn't just find the strength to count the graces--I also found the joy.
And as I recorded blessings, beauty, God in all the moments, I heard Him answer the question my weary soul still asked.
This is Me carrying you.
In this year I've named Faith, I've learned one more thing I didn't expect. The one thousand gifts, the endless stream of His goodness--these are the Arms that hold me always. And this counting of His Grace, this chronicling of His Glory--this is me being carried.
869. Sun high in the sky, blankets of beauty spread out on the deck
870. Leaning over the ladder top to capture art on camera
871. Blood-red coleus leaves, beauty at the grocery store entrance
872. My own personal baking and dancing party in the kitchen
873. Feeling better after all the dancing
874. Strawberry-almond cheesecake bars baking in the oven
875. Chai tea tasting with Dad
876. Wrapping up gifts made with love
877. Movie night with a cup of chai and a piece of cheesecake
878. Smell of rain-soaked sidewalk warmed by afternoon sun
879. Daily trek down the walkway in slippers to peek at the peony buds
880. Sun after rain--always this!
881. Dad who takes my car to the shop, spends his day waiting
882. Birds squabbling on the neighbor's roof
883. Lasagna in a skillet
884. Dinner too good not to write about
885. Money in the bank to pay for car repairs
886. Car fixed, ready to take me where I need to go
887. Plans made for tea with a friend
888. Test results finally, finally, finally returning
889. Blue sky after days of rain
890. Planning birthday surprises
891. Hard things making a little sense, anxiety abating
892. Wandering through plants at the store, searching for the perfect gift
893. Stopping to smell the roses...and the honeysuckle...and the lilac!
894. Finding a daylily still holding secrets
895. Driving around a friend's neighborhood ridiculously lost--and still laughing
896. Welcome hugs and laughter when I find my way
897. Needing to borrow a shirt because there's too much sun for a sweater
898. Tea party for two
899. Purple socks with crazily-colored cats--from Boston!
900. Sharing a bit of life after too many weeks apart
901. Sitting out in the sun with wedding albums spread out on my lap
902. Wandering the yard in search of the perfect spot for the daylily
903. Hands in the dirt, new plant in its new home
904. Goodbye hugs, lots and lots of them
905. Making plans to share life again soon
906. Driving home with the windows down and the sunroof open
907. Last cheesecake bar to end the day
908. Cats playing with bottle caps, cord ties, anything else that isn't a toy
909. Mountain in full view at 6 am
910. Pale blue irises with yellow spots of happiness
911. Sky without clouds
912. Digging out summer clothes from the bottom of the drawer
913. Mountain filling the rear-view mirror...
914. ...and then turning the corner to find a western horizon of snow-capped mountains
915. Holding a new baby in my arms for the first time
916. Not being able to stop smiling as I gaze at his sweet, sleepy face
917. Sharing the couch and a bowl of popcorn with an almost-four-year-old godson
918. Pizza and root beer to end a perfect summer day
919. Riding in a convertible beneath another cloudless sky
920. Closing my eyes against the sun and wishing every day could be this beautiful
921. Lunch with Mom at a sunny courtyard table
922. Chai frappuccino to celebrate the heat
923. Afternoon nap with Buddy Cat curled up against me
924. Heat remaining long after the sun hides in the clouds
925. Sun reappearing at evening's end
926. God Who answers hard questions
927. God Who carries me always