Tuesday, July 31, 2012

to the one who's missing out

I said good-bye to my husband and son as they headed out to a birthday party. One that I was planning on going to, but ended up waving good-bye from the driveway while wiping my tears instead.

Since my health adventure began, my husband has been the designated (and delighted) parent to accompany our son to friends’ birthday parties because although I have been blessed with tremendous healing, the amount of energy required to pack up {my special diet} food “to go” almost always far surpasses my limited stamina supply. But this was the first time in the past two years when I felt up to the task!

As a bonus, it was at a local kids’ museum that our son loves, and there was going to be designated free play time to wander and explore, so it was a double win: Not only would we get to celebrate with a sweet classmate, we’d get to have a little family fun, too! Even simple outings are a rare occasion for our family (again, just because my food prep is so daunting), so the fact that I felt up to it was a huge deal, and we were all really looking forward to the special afternoon.

I started the day feeling fine, and started to pack up the “to go” bag around lunchtime. And about ¾ of the way through, I started to run out of steam. My husband arrived home around that time and began to help out, as always. And so I willingly passed the baton so that I could sit, catch my breath, and hope for a second wind. A quick one!

As departure time came close at hand, reality started to set in. And I didn’t like it. We started to explain to our son that I might not be able to join them. (The “might” part still holding out hope for some stamina to kick in.) He was gently pleading with me to go, sweetly explaining that it wouldn't be as loud as some of the other party venues, that it's okay if I just sit the whole time, etc. He just wanted me to be there . . . . and so did I.

I seriously contemplated going and just being a bump on a log per se. I know that would have been okay. But I started to realize that simply the going and the being would be too draining for me with how I was feeling. Which is hard to reconcile when I’ve HAD that stamina recently – so recently I could reach out and touch it. And hard to know how to explain all that to our son.

As he and my husband grabbed the birthday gift off the kitchen counter and settled into the car, I followed them out to say good-bye. And with his window down, my son again tenderly expressed how deeply he wanted me to be a part of the experience. I told him that I whole-heartedly shared in his disappointment, and waved good-bye while wiping tears as they drove off.

~ ~ ~

That wasn’t the first time I’ve felt like I was watching life from the sidelines. A bystander uninvolved, disconnected from life’s current. And as I was crafting this post in my head, I was struggling to know what truth to share with you that would help calm your aching heart. Because I know many of you have been there. You know how painful it is to not be able to DO, and that it’s an altogether deeper level of pain to not even be able to BE, especially with the ones you love most. So I wanted to encourage you to draw your eyes toward Jesus in the middle of the missing out, but I was struggling to find the one thing to share with you, a truth that you could hang onto.

And then, I saw this.

A masterpiece of beauty that God had painted outside my window after evening rain.

After sharing it with our Facebook community, I sent it to Lily. And as she took in the beauty of His canvas in the sky, she asked me:

“What do you hear Him saying as you gaze?”

I knew immediately that the timing of her question was orchestrated by God because just earlier that day, I’d read a post that challenged me toward that very thinking. Holly Gerth was sharing that she’s such a word person {as am I}, and that she tends to think that messages always need words {as do I}, but that she's wanting to hear God’s messages in His beauty around her:

“I’ve realized it’s not so much about what I’m seeing but about what it’s saying . . .”

After Lily posed the question, I started to think out loud with her. I said that come to think of it, the timing was God's . . . (Isn't it always?) . . . He had blessed me with a delightfully-encouraging moment just a little while prior, and so it was as if those colors amidst the dark shadows – those colors that broke through – were God reminding me that all is not dark.It was as if He were saying:
I am here.
I am in it.
And here's a gulp of refreshment to remind you.

And just to make sure I received His Hand-delivered care package for my soul, the Lord gave the same message to Lily for me. When she initially asked what I heard Him saying as I gazed, she also pondered what He might be saying to me. And before I started to think aloud with her, she sensed that He was wanting to tell me:

I am HERE.
I am PRESENT – with YOU.

And that He was wrapping Himself around me with those beautiful colors of accepting, comforting warmth.

Once again, tears streamed down my cheeks. But this time, they were tears of worship, not of loss.

And so, my friend, this is the comfort He offers you in those moments when you feel like life has left you behind:

He offers you Himself.

Every day, God surrounds you and I with stunning reminders that He is with us. Wordless gentleness to calm your aching soul.

Lift your head, my friend, and look for His vibrant colors of comfort in the dark shadows of the storm.
Tune your ears to listen for His still, small voice amidst the thunder that shakes your foundation.
Be still.
And know that He is God.

"For those who fear him lack nothing."
(Ps. 34:9)

Martin Luther once said,
“God writes the Gospel not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.”

Our Father is perpetually expressing the reality of His nearness to you, my friend. He pours out His beauty to draw your soul even closer to Him, to remind you that He is near.

Look around you.
What do you hear Him saying as you gaze? . . .

Help spread this message of hope to a hurting world by clicking here to share this post on Facebook! (Or click here to have Truth in Weakness posts delivered right to your in box.)

~ ~ ~


  1. When I first started reading this I was confused because I knew I'd read this before! But I know where I read it. I've been wondering how you are--haven't "seen" you around lately.

    1. why yes, yes, you have read this before. :) thanks so much, kristina, for having me on your mind. i haven't been as chatty lately just b/c i've been joyfully preoccupied with sharing simple summer pleasures with my son. (i mean, REAL simple. we're talkin' -- the library is our one wild excursion!) ;) but i'm so grateful that he is easily pleased, & that he truly savors simply the being. it's such a tremendous, grace-filled gift from the Lord.

      thinking about you, & wondering where you're at with your new venture,

      (and btw, i just now noticed that you're in the pacific NW. the last post that i wrote, "for when you have nothing left to give," where i shared my dream about my good friend who came -- that friend is from WA.) :)

    2. Glad you're joyfully preoccupied. Not a bad thing at all! Yep, I'm in the NW, though a little lower, in OR. My editing is on hold for now, I guess. I still need practice. I do have a lady who said I can edit her ebook once it's finished but it's not finished yet. I offered to edit our church newsletter but the lady didn't think that would work out. I applied for an internship that had writing and editing options but I got the writing! So I'm just writing right now.

    3. enjoyed hearing your update, kristina -- & that it sounds like you're at peace w/ God's timing for your editing. so may you continue to bloom where you are planted, my friend.

  2. This is beautiful Tanya. I well remember my own struggles with being unable to DO and having to just BE instead. What a lovely reminder that in that dark place that God is with us. Glad that even as you struggle on your own journey that He walks with you, encouraging you onwards, blessing your heart in the midst of it all. Hugs dear girl. xo

    1. oh, the blessing to hear your voice here, stephie -- thanks so much for taking the time to extend a virtual hug with your encouraging comment. i am so grateful that each moment of your own journey, the Lord was holding you, carrying you, nurturing you. and i rejoice with you at what great things He has done -- in & for you. what a sacred season you two are in right now -- take it ALL in, my friend. take it all in . . .

      love & hugs from across the ocean,

  3. I'm glad you got the beautiful sign of grace from the Lord. He is always present with us. And you were present with your family in spirit, even if not in body. Love exceeds our physical presence.

    Thanks for sharing this encouragement.

    1. "the beautiful sign of grace" -- that's exactly it, lisa. He surrounds us with an abundance of reminders of His holy presence -- the question is whether or not we recognize & receive them. i know i miss so many, so my heart longs to embrace more. to embrace HIM more!

      thanks so much for taking the time to share your encouraging comment, lisa.
      blessings to you & yours,

  4. Oh, dear Tanya, this is lovely.
    The deepest communication is often beyond words, isn't it? Even in our human relationships, a touch, a service, a wink . . . these touch places words cannot go.
    So it is that we slowly discover Him to be a God who wants to be *experienced* more than *understood.*

    (also, thanks for the awesome quote you shared on my blog!)

    1. "we slowly discover Him to be a God who wants to be *experienced* more than *understood.*" -- wow, kelli. once again, you have nailed truth so beautifully right on the head. YES! that is exactly IT. thank you for that.

      and you're welcome for the green letters quote. i just found out moments ago that the whole book is now online for free. so if interested, let me know & i'll be happy to send you the link!

      blessings to you as you wrap up your weekend,

  5. Wow, I truly understand what you are saying, I am feeling this way. Thanks for the encouragement.

    1. dear Lord,

      i pray for my sweet sister in the faith, denise, who feels like she is missing out, missing out on life. Lord, you know the pain she bears, you know the deepest longings of her heart. and i pray that you would wrap your arms of comfort around her in a strong and mighty way today. that you would reveal yourself to her in a new and glorious way. and that despite the feelings that loom in her soul, i pray that she would remember, Lord, that You are enough.

      and i pray the same for myself, Lord. my heart is constantly grasping for things other than You, when in reality, it's You that i long for, You that i need, & only You that can satisfy. work in our hearts, Lord. do what you want to do -- for our souls' good, & your glory.

      we love You, Lord, and we are ever grateful that we can come to You just as we are.

  6. Thank you, I needed to read this today as I am bored, down want to go out, do something but I am too un well to do so. I wish someone would visit but only a couple of people occasionally do. I lift the phone but no one was in and I'm fed up with missing out. Life has passed me by, is passing me by and as you say I'm watching others live from the sidelines. Thank you this was an encouragement today. God Bless. Behind The Smile.

    1. oh God, i pray for this precious soul behind the smile. Lord, You know the intensity of throbbing within this soul. You see every ache, every hurt, every corner of isolation and lonliness. and only You, God, can stop the hemorrhaging of this heart.

      and so God i pray that You would reveal Yourself in a powerful new way to my friend. i pray that You would bestow the deep healing and grace that is desperately longed for. and i pray that You would bring surprising beauty from the devastating pain from life's crushing journey. please speak to my friend in a personal way that is a reminder of Your presence, Your goodness, & that Your plans are NOT to harm, Lord, but to offer hope and a future.

      help us to trust You, Lord. despite everything that is or isn't around us, help us to trust.

      thank you so much for the gift of your transparency, friend. and i am so honored to walk through this difficult journey with you, even if only virtually.

      blessings to you, sweet soul,

      "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body."
      2 cor. 4:8-10

  7. I hear God telling me that I'm irrevocably loved and cherished. And it makes me weep with joy.

    1. hey there, jennifer,

      thanks so much for sharing your worship-filled comment.
      and sorry for the delayed response, but i was joyfully preoccupied last week with planning an 8-yr-old pool party that we hosted on saturday. :)

      it's always a blessing not only to read your encouraging comments here, but also to read your Jesus-drenched comments to others, like the one you left for michele-lyn today. "a daily act of surrender, I think, to turn the numbers upside-down and follow only the One" . . . well said, my friend. thank you for that.

  8. So very true! He provides refreshment and strength often in the worlds He's created and placed us in! The scent of the flowers, the beauty in the leaves.....Thank you for sharing and linking up with Simply Helping Him! Blessings!

    1. thanks so much for your praise-filled comment, misty. you're absolutely right about the abundance of His refreshment & strength.

      after i wrote this post, i discovered this verse:
      "the billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet."
      ~ nahum 1:3

      don't you just love that? i can't help but think about that now every time i look into the sky.

      blessings to you as well, my friend,


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...