While sitting here with the cursor of my computer blinking, I can’t help but ask myself, “Who am I writing this blog for?” My immediate answer has to be that I don’t think I necessarily know. But, I do know the failed attempts to create meaningful sentences that could be strung together to make coherent thoughts has been a repetitious occurrence throughout my entire adult life. To create pictures and art with words has always been a means to and end for me. The means to find understanding and assimilate information by using words that lay bare explicit details of the deep longings and yearnings in my heart becomes overwhelming at times, but is necessary in order to end something. Which, I have found is respite and healing for my verbal processing type personality.
With that being said, let’s talk sunrises and sunsets. The summer of 2015 was the year for sunrises and sunsets. Dawn to dusk. I awoke every morning with the desire to feel the warmth of sunshine flush my face as I soaked up the golds, oranges, reds, pinks, and blues. His hand spill ed these pigments onto the canvas that He so delicately created, which would explode in the vast Kentucky morning sky. With sunrises comes new dawns. New days. New chances. New life. The sunrise of my summer brought with it an awakened spiritual growth that was seeped in God’s grace and mercy. You see, my husband and I lead the college ministry at our church in Covington, Kentucky. The students we fell in love with for the second summer in a row brought a sweetness to my sunrise of summer. The high mountain tops, deep valleys, and straight and narrow plains these students walked through allowed me to see the sunrise from different topographical locations. With it brought great dependency upon the Lord, which grew my faith in exponential ways. Sanctifying moments where difficult choices needed to be made, scripture being sought through, and with Holy Spirit drenched prayers allowed God to create a new sunrise of beautiful spiritual growth in the lives of these students as well as my own. God is pretty awesome like that. By allowing me to be a spectator to this amazing growth in the lives of our children (my Isaiah 54 children is what I call them), I was able to see a beautiful sunrise unfold as the minutes of my summer moved the sun higher and higher into the sky until it became late in the day where the sun reached its highest peaks. This is where the most work is done, but the chunk of the day when you become too tired to continue with the work… You know what I’m talking about… that 2pm lull.
The 2pm lull for me was the time in the summer where I didn’t think I was capable of continuing the work that God had placed me in. The areas of growth and sanctification in my children become moments where I knew I couldn’t depend on myself to walk through this with them. It had to be God’s Word, His Spirit, and He alone to do the work. Prayer…. it was real during this 2pm lull. But, how beautiful it was to depend on His Spirit to overcome deep difficulties.
Every day ends with more color. More opportunities to see and experience the beauty of God’s creation. The sunset… The sunset for me is my least favorite of the two. The day ends, but there’s still so much to be done. It’s beauty overtakes you and causes you to rest in its impeccable resting place. The end of the day. Surprisingly I do not like the proverbial sunsets of my life. Including the sunset of my amazing summer that God so graciously allowed me to experience. The sunset of this summer was wrought in goodbyes as students left for school, starting back to school myself, and deciding where discipleship relationships needed to be dug a little bit deeper. The sunset brings finality to a day… If I am not careful I can be overcome with emotion when it comes to the “ends” of experiences such as the one I had this summer, where tears and crying can overtake me. That brought me to another thought. Was I experiencing EMOTIONALISM or HUMBLENESS? Whether I am fixated on self, or fixated on abiding in Christ will determine my state in these two areas. Emotionalism is where I am fixated on self and my own abilities and accomplishments. But I had to ask myself, “was the overactive tear ducts that seemed to take place the night I said goodbye to one of my children who was leaving for college that was only an hour and a half away emotionalism?” I started to dissect my own emotions in this. Was I engaging in emotionalism? The reflection process over what had gone on in this person’s life caused tears to well up in my eyes once more. I then realized that I was most definitely NOT engaging in emotionalism, but was completely FLOORED by what God had done in her life in 3 short months. The sanctification process that God had started in her heart was overwhelmingly amazing. And I got to be witness to it! There was a humbleness that caused the tears.
So, sunrises. Sunsets. Inevitably they point to the seasons of life where there is growth, ending of time, and new opportunities to start it all over again the next day. My God is good. He is faithful. His Word is true. All the while, we get to be a part in this great painting of sunrises and sunsets that the Lord, with His immeasurable grace and mercy, allows us to experience on a day to day basis. Season to season. Summer…