“We got this!” I proclaimed as my family ventured out on our first of what has become our daily walk in quarantine. In the moments after shelter in place was broadcasted nation wide, I felt surrounded. For the past year there has been a gradual stripping of my life's “works”. My identities, routines and hustles I had placed my hopes in were now gone. On December 22, 2019 what had departed slowly was now completely stripped. That day marked the final shedding that felt like a death. Loss of community, occupation, dreams, my beloved vehicle of purpose and proximity of friendships for our kids. We lost financially, emotionally and physically. Obedience to God for us meant stepping away from leading the church we had started. The work we thought would be for life, but now felt like death. So, on the day the world was asked to stop-- I welcomed you all in. I no longer felt alone in my grief. You were all joining me there. Into isolation, into solitude, into the hidden places where I’ve felt exposed with no productivity to hide behind. Nowhere to go, no one to see, “We’ve got this!” I have discovered good in death.
This quietus we are all experiencing is not natural for any of us in this life. It’s hard for our big, beautiful minds to conceive. But this past year that I have labeled failure by my ministry output standards has taught me where to look. When the world was still spinning, I’d been asked to stop. My obedience led to loss and in that depleted place I’ve seen God. His tenderness has drawn me closer. His love pursued me in my unwanted circumstance. I am out of sight on purpose. God’s growing me away from the crowd. It’s easy for me to live for what’s right in front of me. I can quickly come up with a new dream I want to create. My next accomplishment, the next great event, my fresh thought for my family’s future all in Jesus name. But is it His applause we are seeking or is there a reality we want to escape? Is it easier to chase the dream, pursue the promotion, go toward the crowd than to sit in this silent space?
God has ever so gently called me off the platform where my work has been noticed. He's invited me to an untold space, a place of pause in productivity. A place I don’t have to work so hard to try and make my mark. There is good in death.
Perhaps this season of isolation, where we feel hidden is actually an opportunity to be seen. Maybe it’s a halt to hiding behind our to-do lists, google calendars, achievements and accolades. Maybe it’s a chance to come out from behind our titles, our positions and our desired outcomes and simply sit. To be stripped of what has numbed you, no longer noticed by the ones who used to fill your day. Alone. Alone but seen. Seen by a God who does not need your performance or your growing Instagram profile. Loved without expectation, embraced with no need for bottom lines. Noticed because you are his creation and not for the difference you can make. Maybe this is a break from our tireless consumption of the things this world offers to taste a piece of heaven in deep soul rest. Maybe, just maybe, there is good in death. I welcome you to join me. I think “We got this!”