Life happens in seasons.
This has been a hard season to name, to process. A professor yesterday referred to these last five months as "the semester from Hell." Does admitting I could relate tell you anything? Does it tell me anything?
Yes, it has been winter, in every sense of the word. If things were not already dead, they were dying. But I can't stop at "the semester from Hell." My hope is deeper than that. My anticipation is greater.
By the grace of the One who is sovereign over even Hell, this season has become "a semester of hope." I say "a semester" because I want there to be many more seasons where my Lord is so tangibly present, even if that Presence sears tears to my eyes.
His Body is never closer than it is in pain, and in the joy that comes in the morning after the endless night. The hurting brothers and sisters I have walked with, hands gripped in the suffocating dark, and those who have walked with me will possibly be the closest friends I have throughout all of life. We have seen things of each other that remain hidden in perpetual joy and unhindered ease. This depth is paradoxically only revealed in the dark places.
I've been surprised by grace, and by my own heart. That sacred place is His domain. He is working there, and He has allowed me to see that through the stinging of this season as I would not have otherwise.
What will the coming season teach me? No fear? Continual hope? Radical trust? Selfless love?
And this is still my theme of 2013.
Romans 12:12 - "... rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer..."