The first days of January were fraught with tension.
There were these perfect moments, you know? These moments where the rain got caught in the soft light of a streetlamp as a girl in a white dress and a man in suspenders ran for the getaway car. Moments when all it took to feel alive was to sit in a chair with a cup of coffee, holding my boyfriend’s hand.
And then there were the ones that came later. The ones where we packed his life into a sixty liter backpack. Or the last prayer we prayed together before driving to the airport. And the moment he walked towards his gate, and I made myself keep walking, not looking behind me.
January was painful.
There were always better things ahead of me than what I’d leave behind; I knew that. But sitting in my car, driving away from the airport, all I could see was that bleak, difficult January. It felt like that day, that month, that season was never going to end.
I spent a lot of time walking along the edge of the lake, that month. The lake looked as drained and unfulfilled as I felt, and I gave many hours to the shoreline, just talking to Jesus. Or not talking, just trying to hear Him.
But things changed.
I watched as, month by month, the lake filled up. The rains came heavier than anyone could have predicted. Soon, I was wading through the shallow edges of what used to be a shore, and then, finally, climbing into a kayak to trace the edges.
The lake was different. And I was different too.
With each hour I invested standing on the lake, I began to fill up. My heart, bruised and angry, expanded and healed. I heard Jesus speak His promises over me–promises of health and fullness and life abundant.
In this season of absence and separation, He’s asked for my trust and given me the chance to choose it. When I’ve said yes, He’s given me a greater capacity for trust and a heavier–yet somehow less weighty, if that makes any sense–knowledge that He is going to come through.
It’s May now, and the lake is full.
There’s no shoreline at all, anymore, so some days I just sit at the dock and dangle my feet in. Sometimes I think about January and all the angst there was, all the uncertainty and fear.
But mostly I think about the lake, and how something that at one time seemed so empty now feels so alive. I think about how everything in this season has been so intentional, leading me back to His promises over me. And I think about how His banner over me is love.
And I think that this is life–and life abundant–but how I wouldn’t have understood the beauty of May without the bitterness of January. And I’m thankful.