Sorry for being MIA for the last month! Too many thoughts overwhelmed my writing. At last, I have found focus and inspiration!
I should give a shout out to my friend Jenni O who inspired this inspiration. She has been faithful to process with me each week during my time in Korea. I am truly thankful for her wisdom and friendship. This morning she read to me a quote from a book I gave her a while back ::: Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist. I never finished reading Bittersweet because I gave her my copy of the book when she was leaving for Nigeria. I remember reading this quote, but relating to it in a completely different way than how I do now. You should totally read it (don't just skim it - I'm so guilty of doing that). I really love how Shauna explains the bittersweet of change.
'The idea of bittersweet is changing the way I live, unraveling and re-weaving the way I understand life. Bittersweet is the idea that in all things there is both something broken and something beautiful, that there is a moment of lightness on even the darkest of nights, a shadow of hope in every heartbreak, and that rejoicing is no less rich even when it contains a splinter of sadness. 'It's the practice of believing that we really do need both the bitter and the sweet, and that a life of nothing but sweetness rots both your teeth and your soul. Bitter is what makes us strong, what forces us to push through, what helps us earn the lines on our faces and the calluses on our hands. Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, audacious, earthy. 'This is what I've come to believe about change: it's good, in the way that childbirth is good, and heartbreak is good, and failure is good. By that I mean that it's incredibly painful, exponentially more so if you fight it, and also that it has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand, which is where you wanted to be all long, except that you were too busy pushing and pulling your life into exactly what you thought it should be. 'I've learned the hard way that change is one of God's greatest gifts, and most useful tools. Change can push us, pull us, rebuke and remake us. It can show us who we've become, in the worst ways, and also in the best ways. I've learned that it's not something to run away from, as though we could, and that in many cases, change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty.'
A life of sweetness was my expectation of Korea. Why did I think I would accept the bitterness so easily or did I even think there would be bitterness? Oh how I have been fighting change with each complaint and negative thought I have. I like that Shauna said that "change has the potential to open you up, to open life up, to deliver you right into the palm of God's hand." That was my experience when I first read this quote for the first time (couple of years ago).....The change taking place in my life took me straight to the palm of God's hand. Why is this go-around of change doing the opposite? Why do I feel so much apathy towards the battlefield in my mind?
I can't stop reading the quote as I write this post. It is crazy how much it speaks to my soul. I want to combine the bitter and the sweet in my life right now....not just see one or the other. For me to find, breakthrough I must ask the Lord to help me to see change as a bittersweet good. "Change is a function of God's graciousness, not life's cruelty." If you read this, would you pray for me? I truly desire to see breakthrough in my life!!
This is my first day out of the first trimester! We just got to see the ultrasound of the baby moving in my womb and hear the swoosh of its tiny heart beat. Ahhh! Absolutely amazing experience for Dan and I! God is so cool! After we were done with the appointment, Dan made me laugh when he said, "well.... at least we know you aren't faking it." haha what a punk!