But this time, after almost two months away from the blog, it is really called for.
Wow! It's been a while since I last blogged!
The lack of blogging is not because God has not been working in my life. In fact, it's quite the opposite. This summer, God has taken hold of me- every last part of my body, mind and soul- and totally shook things up. Honestly, there is far too much for me to even begin writing about, and most of it is a little more personal than I'd like to share with thousands of readers....no offense, of course. :)
This season has become a bittersweet, painful, and tender time of allowing God to clean out the hundreds of cobwebs that have so taken root in my soul. While it is unbelievably unpleasant and at times downright unbearable, God has continued to promise that a beautiful reward lies at the end of this season. I am clinging tight to His promise that He will not leave me in this place of being raw and so miserably undone. In this season, I am choosing to blindly follow Him as he cleans me out, washes me down, and makes me more like Him.
It is a day to day walk.
Each day, God works on something new that has taken up an unhealthy root in my spirit.
Sometimes it takes more than a day, sometimes more than a week. And some things it's taken two months...and we're still not there, yet.
But, God. Is. GOOD.
And I know this season is not in vain.
Each time one of those ugly roots is cut off, I feel a little more of God's presence fill me. I feel a little less of myself. I feel a whole lot of relief. And I feel God's unrelenting love wash over me like never before.
He. Is. GOOD!!
Tonight, as I was driving home from a trip to the grocery store and a sweet dinner with my brother, I saw large billows of black smoke coming from a road nearby. My stomach dropped. I knew the road well, and knew it had to be a house or a barn. I quickly turned the corner to see that it was, in fact, an amish barn completely engulfed by thick, orange flames. It was a fire bigger than I had ever seen in my life and as we drove by you could feel the heat through the car, even though the fire was over a hundred yards away.
After passing, I slapped a quick turn, racking my brain to see if I could help in any way. Fire trucks were on their way and ten or so neighbors and passerbys were out of their cars and houses filming the scene.
(just for reference, I fought the urge to go up to each person that was filming, rip their phones out of their hands, throw it into the fire, and then usher them away from the scene...in the most Christian way, of course....but I refrained. Thankfully, God has taught me self-control. ;) )
Anyways, back on track, Lauren. The family of the burning barn was in the neighbors yard, looking miserably overwhelmed and distraught. I thought I could jump out and go comfort them, and just about as soon as I did I looked down the road to see about twenty to thirty amish men, women, and children biking and running to the family's side. My arms rippled with goosebumps as I admired the God-given community come running when their brothers and sisters were in need.
This fire has stuck with me all night. It's literally tearing me up in side. And I haven't been able to figure out why until just a few minutes ago.
I am that family.
I am sitting here watching God destroy a lot of things in His Holy fire.
I am overwhelmed and distraught, waiting for the fire to just be over, but knowing that even in this He has purpose and is so incredibly Holy and good.
And the beautiful thing is this: God has placed a community of people around me who have willingly run over the hill to be by my side to encourage, comfort, and facilitate all that God is doing.
And the even more beautiful thing is this: at the end of the fire, a new barn gets to go up. This time God is the architect who so graciously and lovingly knows exactly what beams go where. He knows exactly where to drill and hammer. He knows exactly what materials I need. He knows it all. And He is promising to make me a new and better barn.
And, boy, does that sound good.