So Why a Living Room?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Day #31. Wilderness Like Eden.

So I'm still on my joy hunt that started about 30 days ago.  I'm going to stop blogging about it after day #40, but I think I might keep this mental perspective for as long as I can, for the rest of my life.  It's been really fun to challenge myself to find joy where it might not be easily seen, and to really savor the joy that is more obvious.  I love love love this scripture and I feel like it describes my summer so far:


 Isaiah 51:3-- For the Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.  


Wilderness like Eden.  I really believe in that.  I know that it's possible.  God can make even the most awful situation filled with joy.  How?  What was so great about Eden?  Well, He was THERE.  He was WITH Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden.  And if we let Him in, He can be with us too.  And when He is with us, we can see things for what they really are, and He can give us the eyes to see our circumstances and our lives in a way that will bring us joy. 

Is this too philosophical?  Here are a few real life examples of how I've felt the Lord turn my wilderness into Eden. 

Situation:  I'm 14 years old.  My 17 year-old sister and best friend is killed in a car accident.  I'm in a wilderness.  Over time, God turns this wilderness into Eden.  I draw closer to my parents as we cry together, pray together, and remember together.  I gain a testimony that families can be together forever because that reality means more to me now.  I am able to focus my mind on the things of eternity instead of on shallow, temporal teenage stuff during some of the most formative years of my life.  I learn how the scriptures can provide personalized answers to our struggles as I cry my guts out and find peace in John 14, Mosiah 2, and Enos.  I heard once that "God loves us enough to give us the very trial that we cannot handle without Him."  I believe that.  And you know what the end result is?  If we seek Him, He will come to us--and He will make our wilderness into Eden because we will feel his presence.

One more? 
Situation: My second child is born.  The hoopla is over, the help is gone, and I am on my own. I am exhausted, in physical pain, and struggling to adjust to caring for a newborn at the same time as chasing around an active toddler.  I miss my old life--the one where I could go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted, where I got to sleep all night long, where I got to take a shower every day whenever I wanted, and when my whole life didn't revolve around a teeny creature needing to eat a few ounces of milk 10 times a day.  WIL-DER-NESS.  But you know what?  He made my wilderness like Eden.  I prayed for strength.  He helped me get from the end of my rope to the end of my day.  I prayed for my mind and heart to be changed.  He helped me to feel noble about my sacrifices to be a mom.  He helped me learn to spend less time DOING and spend  more time BEING.  He helped me become less focused on myself and more focused on someone else.  He taught me how to lose myself in the service of others, which is the greatest secret to finding joy.  I remember one day sitting at lunch with my boys--I think Jake was about 2 months old.  We hadn't gone anywhere that day, we didn't have plans to go anywhere, and I hadn't showered yet.  And yet somehow, in that moment, I looked at my kids and thought to myself, "I am the luckiest girl around.  I get to be with these guys every day, and learn how to become as a little child."  He made my wilderness like Eden. 

So, this summer is not as dire as some circumstances, but in the midst of a huge life transition and being away from my husband for a long time, I feel like the Lord has made my wilderness like Eden.  He has helped me simplify my life and just focus in on a few key things.  Without lots of distractions and busy schedules, I have been able to exercise, read the scriptures, teach Ethan how to play the piano and read, and just spend time playing with my boys.  As I have tried my hardest to stay grateful and keep looking up and finding joy, I have felt a tangible kind of strength and perspective and my eyes have been opened to what the Lord is trying to teach me. 

 "For the Lord shall comfort Zion; he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody..."

 

1 comments:

Candace said...

"He helped me get from the end of my rope to the end of my day."

I LOVE that.

I love you.