Yesterday was the four year anniversary of the weekend I moved up here. That Sunday in 2018 was one of the saddest, grayest days of my life. And I’m not sure I’ve ever felt the degree of aloneness I felt that afternoon as my dad and brothers drove back “home” and I walked to the edge of my new city’s border, asking myself, “Is this it? Will I ever feel at home?”
The rain fell on leaves that had passed their peak colors. The rain fell on the backs of the two horses on the edge of the city. The rain soaked the hem of my pants and spotted my glasses. The rain gently plopped off the oak leaves I walked under. And on and on I walked. Until I finally walked back to this new place that was to become my habitation during non-working hours.
It is so easy for me to want to view and recount life through the sprinkle of ash that has fallen on my years. But there is a far better way to tell the story.
Writing about Psalm 121, Eugene Peterson asked this question, “Do you think the way to tell the story of the Christian journey is to describe its trials and tribulations? It is not. It is to name and to describe God who preserves, accompanies and rules us.”
In the midst of Kara Tippetts’ battle with cancer, she wrote a book called And It Was Beautiful, recounting the beauty in the middle of the excruciatingly hard. That’s what I would say about these past four years. They have been beautiful.
Each of our lives carry sorrows and pain that cause us to lament these questions to God, “Are you sleeping? Do you see? Have you forgotten me?” But he has never fallen asleep on us (Psalm 121:2), never forgotten us (Isaiah 49:15–16), and will never let us fall (Psalm 94:18).
Underneath all of our days are the everlasting arms of the eternal God (Deuteronomy 33:27), holding us up, sustaining us, and coloring all of our lives with a radiance that’s only possible because of Jesus.
And it is beautiful.