Stuck in the Desert

Happy Monday!……….. Yeah… I can’t make myself believe it either. I started this blog less than a week ago and I find that each day is compounding on the last. I hope you are enjoying the journey. I intended to talk about my businesses and my family, I intended to give you tools, tips and tricks to help you. I figured, through the posts you’d get a sense of my spirituality, family, love….life. Instead, it’s been more like a journal. I’ve been writing down what’s been going on in my life. I’ve been putting my hurt and love on paper (screen) and letting the world know (if they choose) what’s up in my little corner.

That’s cool, I don’t mind. The writing kinda flows anyway. It was awkward at first (because I’m awkward) but, God is faithful and He’s generously providing me with inspiration. I can’t tell you how nice that is. He supplies what speaks to MY situation and by default y’all get to see it here. I pray it helps you too.

These past few weeks I’ve been dealing with a lot of trauma I’ve accumulated over my 25 years on this earth. You wouldn’t think that was much but, it filled up eight pages and sent me into anxiety attacks writing it down. I’ve been running on edge ever since. Now, this just means that I get stressed out easier than I have before and need to take more breathers than normal. I am letting a few chores go this week so I can focus on myself and my family. I’m indulging in personal, quiet time to keep myself grounded. My husband and I are practicing grounding techniques together to ease my mind. He’s amazing btw. While it is something we are taking seriously, I know that with time I’ll be back on track.

My therapist gave me a questionnaire to fill out and bring back next week so this morning I was reading up on dissociation. While my dissociation is not severe it is significant, needless to say that gave me MASSIVE anxiety.  It made me feel hopeless, lost, scared.

I opened my browser and went to biblegateway.com I asked God, what do I need? My heart heard, desert – wasteland, so away I searched. After a few tries, I came across Isaiah 35. I love the prophets. I love the language, the mental images they create. This chapter did not disappoint but then, God’s word never has. It speaks of death giving way to new life, parched sand becoming desert streams, weakness growing to strength and, sorrow fleeing from Joy. At face value this is Ah. May. Zing. but I’m a digger, I’m a researcher at heart and He knows this.

I first looked up what desert even was in Hebrew and in this instance it is midbar or pasture land. It is an area with no settled people, instead nomadic groups wander the area with their flocks and herds letting them eat the grass. Here there are no streams of water. It can also translate as wilderness. Moses and the Israelites wondered around an area like this on their journey to the promised land.

So then I wanted to know, what does God mean by desert? Obviously, in the literal sense we can all describe a desert. It’s hot and dry. It’s weird that this instance there actually is vegetation. It’s not all sand… What was God trying to show us, what does this mean? The desert is symbolic of temptation, solitude and persecution. It can also stand for the Jewish people who have forsaken God and nations who do not have any knowledge of Him. Just like there are different types of deserts, there are different trials we go through.

The most widely known story of people struggling through the desert is the Story of the 40 Years the Israelites spent in disobedience to God. The reason for the 40 year punishment was to allow all the old generation to die out. Israel’s disbelief had to die.  It has been studied and the trip should have only taken 11 days AT THE LATEST. These people literally walked in circles for 40 years. Freedom, prosperity and rest… all at their fingertips.

Through their struggles they developed insight into God and his character. As people we look at it as hateful, unfair, uncalled for punishment. It can be seen as abuse. But, just like I punish my daughter, God doesn’t take back what he gives out. He lets us see the consequences of our choices. Several times God was so angry he just wanted to start over but, Moses reminded him of his promises. God listened to Moses and was moved by his love for such disobedient, ungrateful people. He lessened his judgement even though none of the Israelites deserved it. God did not abandon the Israelites, he cared for them. He even sent Manna from Heaven to feed them. He had Moses strike the rock at Horeb to give them water. He wanted them to trust him. He wanted them to believe he would do all that he promised… Hence the name… PROMISED LAND. It took 400 years for God to fulfill his promise to Abraham. Not because of God but because of the people.

God spoke so much life into me today and I am so grateful. The desert brought about many opportunities to see God’s work. The Ten Commandments were given. The covenant was introduced and accepted. This was crucial for the coming of Jesus. John the Baptist lived in the desert and decreed the coming of the Messiah. Jesus entered the desert and fasted for 40 days before his ministry, and symbolically relived the journey of God’s people. After this he was tempted by Satan and refused.

The desert is both hurting and healing. It is preparation and promise. It is emptying out of one’s self and overcoming the obstacles that separate us from God. We are forced to look at our faith, our morals, our inconsistencies. Did I do this to myself? Did I deserve what has happened to me? Sometimes I believe I did and do. This is a lie. I haven’t fully realized the character of God. Why am I afraid? What does God say about that? Though this questioning takes me around and around in my mind, I’m still moving forward. I trust that my journey will not leave me on the outside. I trust that God will bring me into the promise land. I believe that Jesus died for me as Moses died for Joshua. He stood on the outside and passed on his staff. He said “not only I but you also.”

In a desert, people will set up around water, the well is the center of camp. My desert time allows me to fellowship with God from a deep place. He is my well and I greedily drink him in. It takes my breath and still I drink. He overwhelms me and still I dive in. I invite him into those dry, dead places. He’s bringing hope, healing and refreshing. I can smell the damp earth as the sky begins to open up. I look up to Heaven in expectation. Because of Jesus I don’t have to look for the Promised Land, it’s already been given to me. I stay by my well and watch as the landscape gradually changes. I diligently water the life around me and each day I can move further and further away from the well. I hear the thunder rumble and he tells me it’s coming.

The water will come and when it does be ready. It will flood you. There’s a reason “my cup runneth over”. If you begin to tread water it’s because the well is deep. He’s going to get you soaking wet and it is scary. It may hurt, your legs and arms may get tired. You may only tread water. Someone may need to help you. But that’s life coming to your wasteland. He is taking your weather beaten, dried out heart and soaking it.

Those scabs will come lose, the infection will seap out but when it’s over the wounds will heal. There will be scars and you will talk to Him about them. They will ache from time to time.

The journey is almost over. The promise is in sight. The storm clouds are forming. The well is ready. It will come down and it will be violent and real and raw. He’s there. You will lay beside the well and sob until you’re not sure where you’re tears start and where the water ends. You will laugh, you will scream. The thunder and lighting will crash and it will scare you. the wind will whip and you will shake.

When it’s over you will rise and everything will be alive and vibrant. Heaven touched earth and you were blessed enough to be a part of it. This is only the beginning.

All my Love,

Britt

 

 

Photo Credit: Mindi Head (unsplash)

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