I believe everyone could say their world is vastly different today than it was five months ago…. I mean honestly, doesn’t the world, some days, feel as if it’s literally turned upside-down?
For us, at Serenity Valley, the structures and animals of the farm still chug along almost untouched by this new way of life. But as I sit and reflect, I believe deep down, that our hearts will look back and review this as a big life-altering dot on the timeline of our life. (You know what I’m talking about???? …..Those timeline projects that everyone has to do at some point in school where you start from the day you were born and label the big events….. “lost my first tooth, had my first piano recital, lived through a global pandemic served up with a side of riots and political chaos”…….)
It’s true….there is so much going on right now: The virus, the civil unrest, the deaths of so many through both….. (Those are huge and not to mention gut-wrenching……) Then, there’s also the hiding of smiles with masks (and the fight that we see everywhere regarding whether they’re a good idea or not), the isolation, the separation of extended family, the political agendas leaking out at every opportunity, the social media dramas…..and the list goes on…..
They’re all so hard to wrap our heads and hearts around……And, I really have no answers… just lots of prayers offered up for EVERY ONE…on ALL sides of each issue……
But today, I’m sitting here on the porch listening to animals, looking at the garden, urging the cat off keyboard for the 9th time, taking time for a coffee break with my husband, hearing how our daughter’s first in-person college class played out, sticking ice down our son’s back for fun, and finding a bit of rest and retreat from the voices that try so hard to drown out the one voice that matters the most.
And, I’m taking a moment to remember that He’s also the One that ultimately has His hands on what is happening right now…..Going further: I’m trusting that He will make beautiful from the ugly that is attempting to have it’s own way during all of this…..
But, also in the midst of the global changes we see happening, my life personally is changing as well…… Prior to the pandemic, I was working in the field of drug and alcohol recovery, working with women at a most vulnerable time in their lives to offer hope, love, healing from trauma, and parenting support in order to help them start breaking free from the generational chains that have bound their families. Suffice to say, it was an honor to be a part of such great work.
But, as the pandemic hit, changes to schedules had to be made, and I, glad to have some time with my family, took a furlough and began to stay at home here on the farm. To be honest, I know these events were an extra sweet detail from the Lord because I would not have been strong enough make the decision on my own.
But, over the months prior to the pandemic, my health had progressively been, shall we say, “acting up”…… I went from working and then being active with the family on the farm after work… to working and coming home to rest on the couch for the entirety of the evening…..my family and the farm were starting to only get the left-overs…. And, on top of that, also prior to Covid, my husband took on a new role in his company which changed from part-time travel, to “most of the time” travel.
And, all these progressions of life totaled into some much needed decision-making as I just wasn’t able to keep up anymore. So we ultimately, a month into furlough and after much prayer, made the decision for me not to go back to work in order to be able to travel with my husband as it looked to resume shortly.
But, as seems to be true in most cases in life, God had different plans. My husband’s travel didn’t pick back up….(and honestly I’m super glad to have him home still). And my health didn’t get better. It’s gotten worse. I have good days and bad. Last week, I was able to be up 4 days in a row. Then the last two have been spent in bed in pain…… and some weeks it’s the opposite.
I have been working with a great doctor and hope to have more answers soon. But even without answers, the Lord is teaching and comforting so much.
When we first moved onto this farm, I overwhelming felt God’s voice giving us this farm and letting me know that this would be a place of His rest for others. And, He also gave us our farm verse.
Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28 NIV
I always thought it meant that God would provide opportunities for us to be able to offer others His rest ….and I still hope and pray for that all the time.
But for now, as I sit on the porch, thankful to be out of bed this morning, and understanding that He may provide healing to my physical body (which of course, would be AMAZING)……. but also recognizing He may not, too. I once again read our farm verse, this time in the Message version:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me- watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.Matthew 11:28-29 MSG
The mental battle right now is difficult. I’m not going to lie.
When I’m in bed, I keep telling myself what a drain I am on my family. When I’m up and being productive, I tell myself it’s not enough. I look around at the farm renovations that could be happening if I had more energy and think what crazy people we must have been to take on this big of project…… and so on…..
But, my sweet hubby last night reminded me that he finds joy when I rest. He said it makes his new role even more worth it to be able to provide this time of healing and that I don’t have to live up to any expectations right now.
And today, the Lord reminded me that He is offering me this time to “recover my life”….which may or may not mean a healthy physical body. But, it does mean rest….true rest in knowing someone way bigger and stronger will carry the load in order for my heart to be light. I don’t have to be “productive” according to the world’s standards right now. It means that since God loves me, I am enough. He sees something redeemable in me….not just on the days that I can clean the house or be up and about. He loves me.
And, in fact, He also says:
But, if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.Matthew 23:12
Well, myself doesn’t have much to offer right now. But, maybe that’s what makes this time so beautiful…. because God is promising that we can shed all the personas we wear, the acts of pushing ourselves to be like others, or pushing ourselves to be productive by others’ standards in order for us to “feel valuable”….. it’s not needed and in fact just another weight to drag us down…..
I don’t have to be anything other than God’s child, now when I don’t have much physical strength, and also later when by God’s grace, I heal back up. My life DOES matter because God has created me for His purpose. And in being myself, right where I am, He’ll make that beautiful too.
My prayer in sharing this story is to offer hope to someone who might also be struggling with worth and value.
We are bombarded with comparison living on so many levels everyday which, if we let it, carries a weight that we weren’t meant to carry. Galatians 5:13 states that we were “chosen to be free”.
God wants so much for us to live freely, not measuring our worth by anything other than being His child.
And my prayer is that if you are struggling to find answers, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Him who cares….but also to us, here at the Farm because we care as well. We are glad to pray WITH you and continuously FOR you. Feel free to click the link below to get in touch.
And, as always, we’re so thankful you are on this journey with us, and we’re sending you many