Love is (Louder)

When I woke up yesterday morning I remembered two things.

1) It is the anniversary of my elopement escapade. (I performed the ceremony)
2) It is tax day. And my taxes are done. phew.

The day carried on like every other Monday. Opening up a dusty inbox who had been closed for forty-eight hours. Prioritizing tasks, scouring the internet, posting updates, acknowledging the death of one of our authors. And then a little blurb about a bomb at the Boston marathon.

what? I thought to myself. there’s no way. 

Quickly jumping over to Facebook and twitter, I scanned my newsfeed. Just a few posts – including posts from friends from high school posing and smiling for the camera pre-race.

Oh my gosh… 

As the day unfolded and more updates came in, I watched with a confused nation as police, first responders, SWAT teams, military, off-duty cops, and anyone not wounded lept into action to aid those who had been hurt. Several times I felt tears trickle down my face. The sheer tragedy of it all. The precious people who lost their lives and limbs because of a senseless act of terror.

Fear was oozing from the media.

But then the hope started bursting out through the shattered cracks. Stories of people rushing into the smoke. Runners finishing the race and heading to the hospital to donate blood. Bostonians opening up their homes, cars, couches, restaurants, internet, whatever they could to those affected.

Slowly, fear was quieted and Love started shouting in its place.

Because what we can always count on is that Love is Louder. If you look at any great tragedy that has shaped our nation – assassinations, 9/11, school shootings, disasters, you see darkness win for a moment. But that is all it gets. A moment. Darkness never gets to win – in nature or in life. Death has no victory. Evil doesn’t get the gold medal.

It took split seconds for people to react selflessly. They carried, they fought, they held on, they covered, they loved, they stroked, they encouraged, they bled, they reassured, they reunited, they protected, they never gave up. They became the Hope of Glory within moments of a shattering event.

So while Monday was horrible and devastating – it was also beautiful and hopeful. Take heart, dear ones, because He has overcome. The old has gone and the new has come. We are made new.

Death doesn’t get the final word because LOVE IS LOUDER.

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Saturday

Saturday morning I woke up and blinked my eyes a few times.

My spirit felt heavy.

Knowing the night before was Good Friday but Easter Sunday hadn’t yet come, I sat in the middle of Saturday. I’ve never paid much attention to Saturday until this year. So I let myself sit in the middle of it. I imagined what it must have been like for disciples to wake up to Saturday so many years ago.

Were they confused? Hurt? Shocked? Humiliated? Afraid?

All of the above?

I can only imagine the range of emotions that passed through each of them at any given second. All of the things they believed so long about Jesus. The truths. The sacrifices. The public ridicule and family rejection. They gave up everything to follow Him and yet here He was destroyed by men.

How… disappointing.

He let them down. He failed them.

And I’m sure they questioned everything they knew. Their own judgment. The things their families had said when they gave it all up to follow this man most thought insane. They had every logical reason to think all hope was lost.

Because I’m sure those twenty-four hours of Saturday were the most grueling intense hours of their existence. Friday was heartbreaking and tragic and scary. And Saturday? Saturday was just dark.

But as I’ve heard it so eloquently put, heaven was only counting to three.

And two to three can be the longest pause we’ve ever experienced.

Sunday was an unfulfilled promise. Sunday was a hope and a prayer. Sunday seemed unreasonable and crazy. Sunday was too hard.

So they continued to live in Saturday.

How many Saturday’s do we have in our own life? We experience some tragic circumstance that shatters our world, makes the noon day sun dark, and the ground start shaking. After the shock wears off we’re left in Saturday. More often than not our Saturday is not twenty-four hours. It can go on for weeks, months, even years.

The beauty in our story though is that we know the ending.

We know that Sunday comes. 

The disciples? They didn’t. They didn’t know what daybreak had in store for them. They didn’t know that the dawn of Sunday meant the end of every night. It’s easy to get lost in the heaviness and confusion of Saturday. To feel swallowed whole by the intensity of the darkness. To question and cry out. To wonder if all hope is lost.

But as the dawn broke early that morning, and the world slowly opened its eyes, Sunday became a fulfillment and not just a hope.

And that one Sunday shows the faithfulness of every Sunday to come.

The Loudness in Silence Day something

I’m not even sure where I left on these. Needless to say, I haven’t been doing so great. My commutes have still been silent but I’ve checked facebook a few times. There you have it World. Full confession. One night in particular stands out. I made a bad choice which then led my thoughts to spiral out of control . I decided to just call it a night and head to bed. The next morning I woke up and spent a few minutes reading Jesus Calling. If you haven’t heard of this devotional, I’d highly recommend it. It’s been huge in my walk with Christ. Anyways. The next day as I was reading, the first line was “don’t rush my blessing.” It hit right where it needed to hit. If I hadn’t made that bad choice, I wouldn’t have had the interaction that I did, and I wouldn’t have been crazy ;). At the end of the day, I’m still a crazy girl with a silly brain. The LORD has been so faithful about showing up in the midst of my silence. It’s been refreshing and eye opening. I’m excited to see what He continues to do.

The last few weeks I’ve noticed an increase in attacks. Attacks on things I thought were settled, lies whose voices I silenced long ago, arrows aimed at the deepest part of my heart. All of it. Not just on me but aimed at those I love as well. It’s been rough. We’ve all been pulling each other through the trenches. Hoping to stay alive. I have a feeling this is in direct proportion to the proximity of my trip to Africa. Y’all I leave in 6 sleeps. One week from right now I’ll be about to board a plane in Atlanta for a 16 hour flight to Johannesburg. I can’t believe it’s here. The things on my checklist are slowly being crossed off and I’ve already started writing the playlist to my trip in my head. When Brooke Fraser’s song “Albertine” first came out, I knew that one day I would listen to it as I was flying over the ocean to Africa. And that day is almost here. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it’s almost time to go. Have I thanked you all lately? Those of you who have been praying for me, those that gave so generously that I was OVER the amount I needed, those that have encouraged me and asked me questions? For being a lover of words, I don’t know that I have enough words to express how grateful that you all have made this dream come true. I am truly humbled and awed at the out pouring of love. I can’t wait to tell the stories of Africa. I’ll try to write a few more blogs before I leave and when I’m over there. I’m not sure what sort of internet access I’ll have but I want to keep you updated.

Is there any music that is an absolute MUST for my flight over or back? I’d love to hear suggestions.

The Loudness in Silence Days 17-19

Okay I am totally slacking on this thing. Yikes. The last few days I’ve just been failing miserably. I checked facebook, I listened to music, I let myself be comforted by noise. But I’m not going to throw it all away because of that. I’m STILL learning lessons in the midst of noise creeping back in. I won’t be dissuaded because I’ve made mistakes. I got to spend a bit of time helping out at a family retreat for people who are affected by disabilities. I wrote a blog about it here. Also, the improv group I’m part of had our FIRST show tonight, and y’all it was AWESOME. One of the best outlets and gifts I’ve been given is to be part of this group. I’m learning so much from the others in the group and It’s been a blast. I feel incredibly blessed to get to do this, especially in a way that gives a very special group of people a fun night. So so fun.