So if you’ve read my blog at all this semester, you’ve probably noticed one theme surrounding just about every post: me, in pain, learning painfully how to look at Jesus. Call it leaning in, call it losing my dragon skin, call it whatever. This semester has been a season of constantly feeling like Jesus has been stripping me of my skin leaving me bare, raw, exposed, suffering. The word that keeps coming to mind is Long suffering: Patient endurance, which kind of makes it more beautiful because it isn’t about the pain as much as it is about the waiting, the listening, the learning.
To be honest, I haven’t “patiently endured” as well as I would have wanted to. A lot of my conversations with God have been centered around the central mantra of “What the heck, God?” There’s a lot I haven’t understood. A lot of emotions I haven’t been able to give words too. It has just been a really raw season of my life, filled with tears and struggles to understand what Jesus is doing.
And then, all of a sudden, the pain just isn’t so bad anymore. The cloud has lifted. I feel a little bit lighter. Still very raw, but lighter.
And that’s the thing about following Jesus. He never said it was going to be easy or pain-free. Heck, it’s nearly always painful because I’m trying to die to myself daily and that is never an easy task. And to be honest I don’t even know if there has been a purpose to this season other than that Jesus is just teaching me and taking me to a deeper level, asking me at every turn, “Mary Cate, will you go just a little deeper with me? Will you trust me just a little more?” And it’s sweet actually, it’s kind of a dance. Like all I can do is place my feet on top of his and lock eyes with Him and let Him spin me, twirl me. It’s like my eyes can’t stay locked on anything else but Him. All else is temporary; all else is fading away. And in the spinning and twirling, bits and pieces of my flesh, my sin, my worldliness are falling off and I’m starting to look a tiny bit more like Him. It’s funny that this is what my entire life will consist of, baby steps, this pitter-patter, back-and-forth dance with Jesus. But He just seems so worth it, because He’s just so faithful. He just keeps proving himself incredibly faithful in every season of my life.
So I’m writing this just to say Thank You Jesus. Thank you for always being faithful; desperately, incredibly faithful. Thank you that I never have to fear that you’re going to leave me. I never have to fear seeing the shadow of your back as you leave because you are so steadfast. You’re not going anywhere, even in the hardest seasons of my life. You remain steadfast whether I spend hours with you or don’t get a single prayer in before bed. You are steadfast when I’m so wavering, when I feel like I’m drowning, tossed back and forth in the waves when my eyes were locked on you only moments before. You’re just good to me Jesus. I’m overwhelmed by your goodness in my life. I will praise you all my days because of what you’ve done, what you’re doing even in this moment. So thank you for being who you are, Jesus. Thank you that you fulfill your promises, that your word does not return to you void. You are making me new. You are giving me purpose. You’re just so good and I will praise you all the days of my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
“‘I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of savage beasts so that they may live in the wilderness and sleep in the forests in safety. I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the Lord, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.” Ezekiel 34:25-27