This time of year always takes me by surprise. Summer generally ends with a sense of refreshment of beauty, a time of looking forward….birthday and anniversary celebrations, and holidays are on the horizon. Lately, there is another season mixed within those beautiful times….a time that I am finally beginning to wrap my mind around…. It is a time for true deep down heart change as my husband’s hours move from ‘some-what’ normal…to anything but. His general hours may keep him at the office late…but, he’s generally home in time for our family evening meal together. And I’ve shared how this dinosaur travels his office…and keeps Daddy’s heart close to our children’s. But, nothing can ever prepare me for this time of year…..that without fail leads to days and nights that only provide glimpses of my friend, my leader….my confidant.
And I’ll admit, as I walk this journey and find my identity more and more in Christ, I find that this bond with my husband is so incredibly important for our home. The hours take their toll, yet they are a blessing……they are the blessing of a job that provide the ability for me to be home with our children….and delight in the beauty of our wooded back yard…..where he gently uses the ax to cut wood for a weekend dinner – gently shaping it….as the Father shapes my heart…chiseling away the sin and debris…caused by sin…. More often than not, I keep my sorrows and hardships to myself. There are so many in greater need than I…..and my old self used to seek that ‘pity’ party….sharing how hard my life was….so, I hesitate to share any of it now…in this life as Christ is teaching me (oh so lovingly through reading 1 Peter with my HelloMornings Group)……
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-13
He has surrounded me with sweet friends….all facing their own trial. Some sharing out loud, some in the quiet of words shared over sweet conversations. There is beauty to be found in a community desiring to lift up – not self-seeking or self-serving…..and remembering Christ is Lord of all, and He left us with a beautiful example……of a life suffering trials, yet glorifying the Father…..through rejoicing and not being surprised….
While I fall so short of His beauty….I find peace in my heart, as I grow with the understanding that He will complete the work he began in me….that this life truly is a journey and the destination shall not be reached here…in this temporary life. Perfection shall not be attained, but the beauty of His grace and mercy surround me….with my beautiful friends who join with me in prayer…. and we rejoice!