It was amazing having my best friend, her fiance, and my lil boo-bear here.
It was excruciating watching someone I loved, this same week, go through one of the hardest times of their lives.
It didn't take long before I was feeling both drained and filled to the brim.
Drained of all energy, expended both in the making of beautiful, precious memories (carrying Abigail around Washington DC on my back, hiding under the covers with Khy, listening to Joe's sonorous Southern accent) and in grief, watching someone I love suffer.
Full of contentment (because my heart is never quite fully complete without my BFF nearby) and full of - not exactly fear, though that's a word I've used to describe it - but of gnawing, biting uncertainty.
The dichotomy of this week was indescribable. Immense happiness and immeasurable grief danced at my fingertips, never far from reach, and all I had to do was to reach out and grasp and the full depth of either would have washed over me.
And yet, floating in the middle, I have never been more divinely aware that I had a choice about how to respond to the storm of emotions whirling around me. I could choose to be angry, to be afraid - or I could cease, like a child, choosing a sort of surrendered helplessness, resting (literally, it sometimes felt) in the arms of Christ.
I can say with 100% honesty that the presence of God as Father had never been more real, more felt, more present to me than it has been this week. Especially in the absence of my earthly Father (who was hundreds of miles away on a business trip), I have never felt the peace of God so present when I needed it. Just as I was so aware of how close happiness and pain constantly were, the "peace that passes all understanding" was also near, almost silent, never shouting for my attention, but constant and available whenever I turned for it, grasping.
This week has been a snapshot of life - full of happiness, full of pain. Perhaps they rarely walk so closely, vie quite so vigorously for dominance, but I can say with certainty that I can see His hand in my life right now with a clarity I can only find intoxicating. In a way, I am basking in His presence, knowing that this level of peace and comfort is a gift offered to those who are in crisis, and (while I have no desire to live my life in a constant state of crisis), I know I will miss it when the supernatural fades back to everday grace, and the practice of faith begins again.
I am in a valley, on a mountaintop. I can see clearly, and I cannot see at all.
I am in the dwelling place of the eternal God, and underneath are His everlasting arms.
Those who sail the sea of faith find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark, and gentle winds grow strong.
Suddenly, fear is like white water pounding at the soul
Still, we keep on, knowing that our God is in control.
He has a reason for each trial that we walk through in life.
And though we're shaken, we cannot be torn apart from Christ.
No matter how the driving rain beats down on those who hold the faith
A trusting heart will always be a quiet, peaceful place.
Sometimes he calms the storm with a whispered, "Peace - be still."
He can settle any seas, but it doesn't mean he will.
Sometimes he holds us close, and lets the wind and waves grow wild.
Sometimes he calms the storm, other times he calms His child.