It's late on a Thursday evening when it finally dawns on me what day it is. And that one thought?
It's enough to make this overburdened heart beat a little giddy with relief.
The new month's still a couple hours from being born, but I'm not climbing into bed until I've turned every calendar in the house. It's the one hanging on the fridge, though, that I'm most aching to turn--the one emblazoned with Truth Names for every month of the year.
And I might've once been foolish enough to think I'd chosen those names myself, those pieces of scripture adorning all the pages. But January wasn't even finished before it was plain as day that God's the One speaking promises over the months of a life.
February's lived up to it's name and who says the shortest month can't hold the longest days on the hardest roads? All this waiting and hoping and holding on and being brave and taking heart when all you really want to do is run. Hide. Bury this hurt and this hope and stick your head in the sand and your heart in a box.
February's been a fight to keep breathing, keeping hoping, keeping holding on to the One Who Holds when everything else just falls to pieces.
And what comes next?
I'm just about weeping when I turn that calendar to March and read those words I already know are there:
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Could there be anything more joyous for the weary-boned and the weak-kneed and the wounded-souled than this? That what's coming next is different than what's come before? That God's making a way through the impossible dark and He's breathing life right into the deadest place?
It's three days after the turning of the calendars when we're about to take communion and I'm playing this familiar song about a mighty cross, singing of how the dead wood can become a Life Tree when a Savior's been nailed clean through it. I know all the words and I've sung them a thousand times, but this one phrases catches me off guard and I can barely keep going: "Love held Him there..."
It wasn't strength or determination or willpower or anger or even desperation that kept Christ on that cross. It was love.
For me. For you. For all of us broken ones.
Love held Him there. And love holds me here, too.
In the dark days of change and loss and struggle and uncertainty, it isn't strength or determination or willpower or anger or even desperation that keeps me from packing it in, throwing in the towel, and walking away from this whole mess of a life.
It's only love.
Love holds me together and love holds me in place. This place. Where He's asked me to stay, to wait, to hope, to be brave in the face of everything I fear.
And I say Yes because I'm loved and I'm in love and who wants to walk away when Love's asked you to stay? Who can bear to say No when you've waited your whole life to say Yes?
Yes to being loved and being held and being in love.
Maybe the first week of March still feels a lot like February. A lot like Winter and wounding and waiting. And maybe I'm still buried in the dark, hoping and praying and expecting something new.
But when you know it's Love Who holds you here, you also know this: Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.
And suddenly the quiet dark begins to feel less like a prison and more like a refuge.
More like Home.
Faith Jam is on hiatus for the moment, but since I missed posting on the topic of Love a few weeks back, I thought I'd write anyway. You can read everyone else's posts on Love over at FaithBarista.com.