Sunday, July 8, 2012

Summer Battle Grounds

My blog has a familiar cycle of writing, whether in fullness or lack. When days are brimming with laughter and I'm living with a smile on my face because it's reaching outward from my heart, I find myself more apt to write. When seasons are ripe with learning and I'm pressing into God for the treasures buried deep, I find myself more apt to write. But when storms come and the rain falls and thunder rattles the windows of my soul, I tend to turn inward to process, and I'm far less apt to write.

Battles have a way of disarming my words and my desire to hold onto those memories. I live each and every one of those hard moments, after all, and if I was really honest I'd confess my belief that living through them is enough for me. Keeping them forever through the written word never sounds appetizing.

Plus, in the past year I've become determined to absorb the wisdom of choosing correctly between "speak now" and its fraternal twin "forever hold your peace". Speak now seems to come quite naturally, but it's in the holding I find my strongest opponent. So I waffle between writing or not, wondering if I'll look back and wish I had not sounded like such a complainer or see a journey of perspective that leaves me grateful? Choices. It's always about choices.

These past few months have felt like a constant competition between joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, courage and fear, firm foundations and slippery slopes. It's been a Jekyll and Hyde kind of emotional ride for me, and I really have no one to blame except myself. The daily choice is mine, always mine. Look up and fill up and believe in the inherent goodness of God or focus on the circumstances in front of me and listen to their taunting "what if's?". There are days I choose wisely. And there are days I ... do not.

This week has been an uphill struggle for me. Normally the sunshine season represents freedom and playing and lazy days to read for hours and the opportunity to enjoy endless summer days. It's about vacations and lakes and laughter. But with finances already pulled tight and no new freelance jobs on the foreseeable horizon, the weight of lean resources coupled with an abundance of free time does not make for a breezy summertime equation.

My soul is desperate for an escape route--one that will provide time beyond these four walls. I want to tack some memories to a vacation wall in my heart and label it "Summer 2012". But that hope is dim. Money does not solve all problems and is not the key to all happiness, but the reality is that doing and going and experiencing almost always have a price tag tied to them. Not always, but almost always.

I am surrounded by tweets and wall posts of movie and amusement park excursions, season passes to water parks, family dinners to fun restaurants, trips to sandy beaches and airline flights to out-of-state destinations. Family after family is filling their summertime scrapbooks, and if I'm 1000% honest, I'm envious ... heartbroken really. It's not the same brokenness of losing love or a loved-one, but of losing something you love.

While most look to indoor activities when the mercury rises, I bask in the heat. I am a lover of all things sunshine and summertime and the potential this season holds; it's this potential that my heart is losing grip of and mourning more with each passing day. Instead of looking forward to the long hours of daytime, I find myself wondering how we're going to pass them.

September, school and schedules will be here before I know it and my fear is that I'll look back to this season and it will not have been marked with any sort of family getaway, big or small ... not even snapshots of one day on the lake, with memories of adrenaline filled screams and the hysterical laughter that comes with trying to stay on the tube as it flies out past the wake of the boat.

More importantly, I'm longing for a breakthrough in my heart and in my soul; the kind that turns me around in a second and effortlessly abolishes the discouragement that clings to me. I've experienced it often, that powerful touch from my Creator that changes my perspective even when circumstances remain intact, especially in this current season of life. But I'm still waiting and in that waiting I'm left to wonder if breakthrough isn't sometimes just a matter of choice--of turning away from the world and turning towards God? If this silence is not my teacher of discipline through discretion? If breakthrough is not so much a matter of what I see but of how I look, of authority and not affect?

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