So many things have been on my heart (and mind) lately. So many unanswered questions are spinning around in my head. Yet in the middle of the whirling thoughts and my crazy life, I want to live for you with my entire being. I want to be one with you. I want my heart to ache when your heart aches and I want to cry when you cry. I want to laugh when you laugh and smile at the things that make you smile. I want to be so in tune with you that nothing else can get in. Right here and now I feel you. Here in my backyard as I look at the palm trees and the clear, blue sky I can feel your love. I can feel your presence right now all around me. In the midst of my spinning and out of control world, my life has stopped right here and I can feel you sitting with me. Earlier this afternoon it stormed outside. The sky was filled with big, gray clouds as rain poured into my backyard. The electricity flickered on and off. Lightning cracked and rumbled and thunder boomed overhead. Now the storm has stopped. The sky is a painting of shades of blue and wisps of light, fluffy clouds. The lake is completely calm and the palm trees are standing perfectly still. The scene is beautiful--it could be a postcard. Just two hours ago there was a completely different picture in front of me. It reminds me of my life and what you have been teaching me lately with the whole concept of beauty from pain. My life has been a roller coaster of ups and downs. Great experiences and constant uphill battles. But, I think that's how life is supposed to be; although, that doesn't make pain less intense. I mean, why do people hurt other people? Why are we the instigators of pain and hurt? I know the answer...sin. There is sin in the world. Don't get me wrong, my life is not a depressing sob story. The reason it isn't is because I have you. I want to be with you more and more every day. I yearn and thirst for you. When I don't focus on you, life starts spiralling downward extremely fast. I know that I go through pain to grow, but sometimes it is still hard in the midst of it. It is hard to keep my eyes on you. When my life is filled with gray storm clouds it is so hard to visualize the clear, blue skies you are leading me to. When I don't look to you for my confidence, my life seems to be filled with big, black clouds and I know why. I know the lesson of beauty from the pain in my life. You have been trying to impress this lesson upon my life for a while now. The people around me will fail me. People I have thought really loved me and cared about me have completely disowned me. People that I have trusted have decided that they don't want to be a part of my life anymore and that hurts. I have failed myself....hello, I am the farthest thing from perfect! But, through this pain I have seen that you have never left my side. The only constant in my life is you. Wow, I am just letting that sink in. You have never and will never leave me! You have held my hand and wrapped your arms around me through the storms of life and the sad thing is that in the middle of the pain I questioned you. I angrily asked why you were allowing this to happen. I know that you patiently whispered, "Trust me and just hold on." Psalm 23 is so true. When I was hurting you were hurting. When I rejoiced you rejoiced. Pain is really something that we should rejoice in. Pain has brought me to where I am today. I wouldn't have the same passions I have today if I didn't go through the pain I went through yesterday. The best thing about pain is that is has pushed me so much closer to you. God, thank you for sticking with me. I can see those blue skies coming. In the middle of the storm clouds I will trust you and simply praise you through the storm. I love you.
(Adapted from Emily's Prayer Journal. September 2, 2007.)