Hi friends and welcome to the Arise, Beloved blog. We have an amazing team of writers behind this blog and our desire is to speak truth into the lies that cripple us and shine light into the darkness that isolates us because we believe that now, more than ever, the Church desperately needs women to be restored so that the world can be set ablaze. Our hope is that you find comfort, solace, and peace in knowing that you are not alone, you are not too far gone and there is ALWAYS hope to be found.
By Megan Byers
I’ve been living at home.
They say more and more 23-year-olds move back in with their parents after college, and your girl is one of ‘em.
I always thought I would do “great” things. I thought I would go live a life of grandeur and adventure, a life not in the city or house I grew up in, but in a far off place. I also imagined I would get married right after graduating like my parents. I spent a year in Georgia, adventuring in my “far off place,” but the Lord called me back home. In the time I was away I missed out on my little brother literally growing up. He was about 5 feet tall when I left, but 5’10’’ when I got back. I have to look up at my younger brother.
Really, if I could sum up my life after my mission year, it would be humiliating. I don’t have a “real” job. I live back at home. I am single. In the eyes of the world, I am an unsuccessful 23-year-old, lumped into a statistic.
But in the depths of my heart I know I am more than that. While the world tells me I am a failure, the Lord says I am right where He wants me.
There is a song that my friends and I listened to a lot during our mission year: “Lean Back” by Capital City Music. We would scream the lyrics while we cleaned camp, when we were hanging out, and sometimes while driving into town. I remember flailing my arms and stomping my feet every time I heard it. That song was an anthem. Over time I got used to the lyrics and it just became a song that filled me with nostalgia. The song came on as I was driving to the chapel one night. I almost started to cry, but it wasn’t because my thoughts were flooded with memories.
“You’ve brought me here to rest, and given me space to breathe, so I’ll stay still until it sinks in.”
Those lyrics started to sink in, that’s for sure. Jesus practically screamed at me; “I BROUGHT YOU HERE TO REST! See all of those empty spaces in your life? I am giving you space to BREATHE. So you’re gonna sit here until you learn how to rest again.”
My life may feel humiliating, but that feeling comes from the unrealistic expectations I placed on myself and the Lord. The “great things” I envisioned myself doing do not discount all of the truly great things the Lord is doing in my life that I cannot see. My blindness prevents me from seeing how being called to this place of rest is a gift.
I have been restless in this season, aching to move and grasping at what the Lord has not yet given to me. I have spent too much time listening to the voices of the world calling me inadequate, lazy, or unsuccessful for being back at home. Resting doesn’t mean I am not doing anything, it simply means I am attentive to the movements of the Holy Spirit calling me into seasons of action and rest. I am frustrated because what I desire and what I am living aren’t matching up. I am impatient because I believe in the voices of the world. If I didn’t believe them, I would have no problem just resting with the Father. I would have no problem sitting in the ache of the Cross. I would have no problem breathing in the Spirit.
Oh the ache!!!
Resting, truly resting, includes learning to sit in the ache of the Cross. Christ experienced a deep ache, or longing, during the Crucifixion. He invites us into deep intimacy through our experiences of longing.
He longed to be consoled in His suffering. He longed for all of humanity to love Him as He loves us, for every lost soul to repent, for every sheep in His flock to join Him in eternity.
Not only was the Cross a place where Jesus experienced longing, the cross was humiliating. He was wrongfully accused and publicly shamed. He hung on a cross, naked, for all to see.
The ache and humiliation I am experiencing were given to me so that I may learn to rest. I am being formed and prepared for the next season of my life. The world has wrongfully accused me of failure, but I am listening to the Lord and following Him where He leads me. The more I try to grasp different things, the longer the wait seems. God would never punish me by making me wait longer, but the more I keep resisting the harder it is for the Lord to work in my heart.
So I place myself at the foot of the cross. I learn from Jesus how to long for and do “great things” in the face of humiliation. In prayer, I take up a posture of receptivity by opening my hands. I breathe. I rest in the arms of my Father, and I know I am right where He wants me.