“He split the rocks in the wilderness and gave them water as abundant as the seas;
he brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers.
But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the wilderness against the Most High.
They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God; they said, “Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?
True, he struck the rock, and water gushed out, streams flowed abundantly,
but can he also give us bread? Can he supply meat for his people?”
When the Lord heard them, he was furious; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, for they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.” Psalm 78:15-22
So here we are again. It’s been a little bit. I’ve tried to write out about six different thank-you’s to say what it means to see your response to my last post, but words just don’t really seem to do these days. Writing about my own journey with food was incredibly vulnerable for me, and your support and encouragement, and all the “me too’s” I heard make me thankful that God spurred me on and gave me the grace to write it. Your constant support of this blog and my writing reminds me all the time that this really is worth it and a gift from God. I couldn’t keep going without you. So thank you, thank you, thank you. Words just will never really do.
I’ve had the joy of spending the last week in Waco, TX visiting my love, and what a time it’s been. We laughed, walked, went to school, spent time with friends, and celebrated my 22nd birthday, among other things. And on the second morning of my 22nd year, I was overcome by God’s great and overwhelming compassion in my life. All day yesterday, I felt showered in love and was able to receive it in a way I normally don’t. I told Colt over dinner that this birthday just felt settled; I feel exactly where I should be. Peaceful. Joyful. Content. Thankful. And at rest. Time in a different routine has been good for my heart, and the presence of the Lord in every area of my life is good. I’m thankful.
And looking back on this season of long distance engagement, I feel the relief of coming to the end. I feel the weight of what God has formed in me, like I’ve aged a couple years. But it took a long time and many, many tears to get to this place of peace. Read: I’ve suffered through most of this deal and now that it’s ending, I’m beginning to feel the relief. And as I was reading Psalm 78 this morning, I was overcome by how much this resembled my life, and still does in many ways.
The Desert is the place we hesitate to go, or flat out try to reject. We want nothing to do with pain, suffering, discomfort, or any sort of negative emotion. But when we reject where God is trying to bring us through we quickly become blind to how God is trying to bless us, even in the wilderness, specifically by taking us through the wilderness. We start demanding that God prove himself, that he come pacify our desires instead of letting our lives and our stories bring us closer to Him. God didn’t want His people to stay in the desert for 40 years. He really didn’t. But they rejected his plan and mistrusted his heart for them and thus they found themselves wandering around in search of their Home when He was with them all along.
That question the Israelites ask (Can God really spread a table in the wilderness?) is one that I have asked so many times in varying ways over the last nine months of long distance: Is this really worth it? Is it ever going to get better? Can I really find joy and contentment when one of the biggest desires of my heart is gone, fully immersed in a totally different space and culture? Am I ever going to get my way? And what happens if I don’t?
And what I’ve had to come to again and again is the truth that God is speaking to me. It’s a yes. Yes, Mary Cate, I AM GOOD. Yes, I am good to you. Yes, I can spread a table, a full out smorgasbord, even in the driest desert of your life, because My Love and My Grace surpass all your doubt and fear and unmet expectations. My Plan for your life is good. You can rest and hope and trust and believe. You can have patience to wait for My timing, because I promise it’ll be even better than what you’re hoping for.
I want to be a woman who believes in God. Who believes God. I want to be a woman who trusts God. Who trusts in His deliverance. I don’t want to spend my life wandering in the desert demanding my “portion” when God is already waiting for me to open my eyes and the feast He has set.
His feast is waiting for us. We just have to see and receive.