Lately I've felt like this photo. After going through difficult seasons of drought and pruning and feeling stuck forever in the dirt, I've enjoyed freedom and beauty and the sun on my face.
In the midst of stress and busy-ness and still-tough circumstances, I have felt a oneness with my Creator and enjoyed the glorious perspective that comes from peace. Seasons like this are precious. For every moment He allows me to rise above my no-good self, I'm crazy grateful.
But this world is broken and glory is fleeting.
Just as I am feeling extra-radiant, the rapid fire of one harsh element after another pummels my blooming self. Nothing earth-shattering. Just a series of everyday-variety scattered storms not even on my radar only moments before they touch down. Suddenly I am a withered, near-unrecognizable version of my former self, face-down in the all-too-familiar dirt.
People push buttons. I react with uglyness, even if just on the inside. My inner monologues are eloquent and harsh and put offenders in their rightful place, this heart going from pure to punitive in 2 seconds.
My eyes gaze upon a pretty picture and the contentment I've striven so hard for vanishes in a cloud of envy and idolatry, this contented spirit going from have to have-not instantaneously.
I do for someone again and the joyful love and service I'd just grabbed hold of spirals out of control, colliding head-on with resentment and I-deserve-better-ness. We need some respect up in this place, I want to scream.
No longer beautiful or flowering, I can't believe I fell so far so fast. I want to kick the dog but we don't have one. I'm tempted to pull out sad coffee house tunes and wallow in maudlin melody.
But I know there's only one road back to the wondrous place I've just toppled from. A road whose well-worn path these calloused feet have traversed countless times.
Humility. Confession. Repentance. Praying for more water, more light, even more pruning...though I wince from the pain every. single. time. I beg for grace and strength and supernatural to rain down life abundant.
This withered soul clings desperately to the hope, the good and perfect promise, that mercies are new every morning...beauty from ashes propping me back up to my glorious place in the sun.