Sometimes God uses doors slammed shut in our faces to lead us to better beginnings. But that doesn’t mean that the bruises aren’t still painful.
Rejection has been a continual darkness and despair hanging over our heads in the past few years. Yes, we’re provided for and extremely grateful for the gifts and opportunities that we have received. Still, rejection continually knocks on our door and wiggles into the dark spaces of our hearts. The discouragement, disappointment, and hurt run deep. Really deep.
And yet, we’re still here. Despite a desperate desire to flee from this place, we aren’t leaving. The Lord has made it clear that we must finish the work we’ve started here.
Soon, we’ll be shaking the dust off of our feet. But how will we be faithful to complete this season well in the midst of anger, hurt, and confusion?
In Placemaker, Christie Purifoy writes,
“We believe that a time will come when God will restore everything. The full scope and meaning of that restoration are beyond my understanding, but I finally have an unshakeable hope for broken bricks and fallen trees and every last treasured thing we lost in winter. Go ahead and love, I whisper to my heart. It won’t be lost. It won’t be wasted.”
This season and this place feel like one, long winter. Our time here has been marked by loss and grief, barrenness and darkness. It doesn’t help that winter really does stretch for so many months of the year and that the hope of sunshine is fleeting.
The worst part of winter is that final stretch when the snow melts away, but cold winds sweep in. Brown, dead grass and empty trees mark the landscape and mud blankets the ground. Mud is fresh and messy and right now we’re up to our ankles in it.
The mud of this disgusting, wretched place has sucked us in and clouded our dreams. This is a place with no welcome, no care for creation, and no space for outsiders. There is no future for us here. How long will it take for the mud to turn to dust? Hopefully just one more year.
God is in the business of restoration and redemption. A string of losses and endings are clearing way for the new birth of spring. While the mud dries, we will continue to love, believing in faith that it won’t be lost or wasted. We’re grateful for friends who have walked through the mud with us and brought joy and life that we hope to carry into the next season.
Faithfulness to this place means loving it through the rejection, the mess, the winter, and the mud. But as soon as the mud turns to dust, we’ll be shaking it off our shoes and searching for spring elsewhere.
Because winter doesn’t last forever. Just four years.