Wednesday, May 28, 2014

May Mingle: Shannon - Peace and Rest

Shannon and I met at college. When I first started at Vennard, her room was right across from mine, but I didn't really get to know her until after she and I were both married and living off campus. Shannon is one of the sweetest people I know and I wish I could have gotten to know her better when we were in school together.

More from Shannon can be found here.

Peace and Rest

Hello Readers!! My name is Shannon and I've known Krista for over 10 years! We attended the same college, and even played a season of basketball together! Oh yes we did. We've both seen a lot of life happen in between!! I was so honored that she asked me to be a guest blogger! I honestly haven't blogged in forever…so it was nice to have an excuse to write again! With so many things on my mind lately I didn't know where to start…so I went with my gut and here's what I have to share with you all today!

Hard times…they fall on everyone. You can take a look at Facebook somedays and be overwhelmed by the amount of hardship that goes on in the lives of your friends…let alone the world. It's kind of been one of those seasons for us as well. Although I hate to complain,because everyone has their struggles…and quite frankly some are much worse than mine. 

However no matter what you are going through, these kinds of seasons wear you out, break you down and you start asking that question everyone wants to know… Why me, why now, WHY?! 

During another difficult season in my life, God really put that question in perspective for me. As I gazed out of my window last week, hands in dirty dish water, asking Why me? Why now? That same perspective came to me just as fresh as the day it was first whispered into my heart. No one wants to go through hard times…I mean we would all look at you as if you were crazy if you did! But in my experience there is nothing better at drawing you closer to God, than times when you are at your lowest,your weakest, your most vulnerable. Granted it's a process…in that time you might get angry, or even resentful toward God, I know I have. And honestly some of the best advice I ever received was if I was mad at God, to allow those feelings, go to Him with those feelings-to really let Him have it! Because quite frankly, He can handle it. That simple revelation that I could go to God, even with my anger opened up a whole new realm of our relationship. 

However with my hands in dirty dish water, kids screaming, me whispering "why" underneath my breath…I remembered W.H.Y. Let's rewind to 2006, I had just suffered a miscarriage of twins…and could have lost my own life in the process. I was physically broken, emotionally broken…and spiritually hungry for answers. A week after that painful day I was scheduled to give my Senior Chapel. At the college I attended with Krista, it was a requirement for graduation. I was one of those crazy ones that was looking forward to it since my freshman year! However I didn't realize it would fall on such a hard time in life. But in our weakness is where He shines…something I've come to learn in life. I had the option of postponing, but I felt that I needed to press on. In that week between, still in the first stages of grief, I kept thinking about why all of this happened… And then, it came to me, like a sweet little reminder that He's got it all under control…Wait on God, Hold on to His promises, and Yield to His will…W.H.Y. Sometimes we don't understand what in the world is going on. We can be in the midst of hardship, wondering how in the world did I get in this mess? We can be looking in the rearview mirror wondering what the heck was that all about? But one thing is for certain…He is in control. Sometimes we have to wait to see the purpose in whatever struggle that may be weighing us down today…but we always have His promises to hold on to. The promise Jesus gives- "you don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will." (John 13:7) or the promise that " Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5), or this one- "Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light." (Matthew 11:28-30) There are so many promises…ones that hold joy, rest and peace. It's what faith is all about, and in that faith we must Yield. What we are going through may not make sense to us…but we have to have faith that His will is greater than what our eyes can see. We have to remember that He wants the best for us, that His love is all encompassing, soul fulfilling, and joy giving-even in the midst of struggle. 

When Krista asked me to be a guest blogger my brain was full of so many things I didn't know which way to go…but once again God whispered this into my heart. To me it's a familiar song, maybe it is for you too, or maybe it's something new that you never heard before…either way I don't know what is going on in your life dear reader…but I can almost say with certainty that at least one of you feels worn, weak and weary. And my hope and prayer is that what was whispered in my heart 8 years ago, last week and many times in between will speak to your heart as it did mine. That it will give you hope in times of trouble, and remind you that because He is risen, so can you be.

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