My head rests gently on the soft cotton pillow, the pale yellow quilt tucked cozily to my ears in the dark of a summer evening at Grandma’s house. My eyes gaze peacefully at the dancing fireflies my brother and I caught earlier that evening in clear glass jars. The sticky warm breeze rustles the dainty curtains and brushes my cheek as my gaze shifts out the window and into the vast night sky where countless more fireflies bounce and dance freely in rhythm to the far away train that lulls me sleep.
How many times in recent days have I wanted to capture that feeling, that moment of pure innocence and safety I experienced as a young child — to live my days wholly alive and sleep peacefully in a house fully enveloped in love?
I read through Psalms and see this same desire in David:
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
Psalm 27:4-5 (NIV)
David craves God’s presence and the safety of His home. He spent much of his adult days running and defending himself from his enemies. I share David’s homesickness, and crying out to God for protection, I, too, sense a nonstop running exhaustion in this spiritual battle as I long to rest in God’s house.
This current season of life feels weary as I struggle to find my place in the new church my husband pastors, to build relationships and use my gifts to serve. I awkwardly lean into various opportunities that just don’t click. A pastor’s wife role is strange to me, even after many years. I ruminate on imaginary expectations and how I should behave appropriately. I fear judgment. Past accusations cut deep, and my wounded heart still needs healing from old hurts I’ve struggled to let go of.
As a mother, I watch as my three sons grow fast into men. I ache to hold them longer and have so much more nurturing and love to give them before they fly free. All this brings a loneliness and lostness as I venture into new and uncharted territory.
In this current identity crisis I’m experiencing, I wish to be stronger. I wrestle down demons of insecurity, of not being good enough as a pastor’s wife or as a mother. I believe lies that say I’ve failed miserably, and I am exhausted from the fight.
But today I dwell quietly on David’s words. I cry out to God for rest. My childhood memories at my grandmother’s wash over me, and I feel again the sticky breeze of summer, the magic of dancing fireflies and the innocence of childhood. God’s rest and His presence meet me there. Tears form in the corners of my eyes, and I am overcome with emotion as the moment long ago gives me a taste of what God’s house will be like because in His eternal presence, we will be fully known by Him.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!
1 Corinthians 13:12 (MSG)
For now, I meditate on these images and Scripture as I wait in this in-between space, trusting God’s love and acceptance to carry me through.