Take Heart

I try not to watch the news. It’s not that I don’t care about current events, but at some point I had to draw a line in the sand to protect my mental health.

It’s too much.

We were not meant to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. And even still, I’ve watched more news in the past two weeks than I have all year (maybe last year, too). I know something is worth noticing when my husband texts, “are you seeing this?!”

It’s too much.

This morning, I had some time to flip back through my journal, reading run-on sentences in barely-legible handwriting, trying to piece together broken thoughts littered with grammatical errors. It’s evident my brain is running on fumes, along with the collective bodies (and emotions) in Nashville.

It’s too much.

In the midst of last week, our church was preparing for Holy Week leading up to Easter. For the very first time, I noticed the tears Jesus cried over Jerusalem after his triumphant entry and greeting of palms and then the tears his followers shed in mourning after the crucifixion right before his triumphant resurrection.

Triumph into tears. Tears into triumph!

In case we didn’t believe the verse that says God draws near to the brokenhearted (Psalms 34:18), here He is proving it. He doesn’t move away from us in heartache, but sends Jesus instead!

At some point between then and now, I realized just how many times I’ve been returning to John 16:33. The influence showed up in my journal yesterday:

“This isn’t going to get better,” I thought.

But, take heart.

“I don’t have words, God,” I said.

But, take heart.

The hits just keep coming…

But, take heart.

Feeling the weight of Good Friday in the midst of our brokenness; in the tension of liminal space; in between all the prayers I’ve prayed, frustrations I’ve cried, dreams and desires I’ve hidden in my heart and in the messy lines of my journal.

God Almighty, you are WORTHY!

My mom shared recently that someone asked her, “How does Amanda keep going?” Short answer? I stack stones. I store up receipts. I keep my eyes open:

Promise after promise after promise. He is faithful through generations! And this is why my heart sings today. This is why I have peace in the middle of Nashville’s turmoil and broken hearts. This is why this Easter, I am Yes, AND; holding both grief and joy.

“No wonder my heart is glad and I rejoice! My body rests in hope. For you won’t leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one (and yes — we are holy; clothed in robes of righteousness! Isaiah 61:10) to rot in the grave.”

—Psalms 16:9-10; parenthetical commentary, mine

But, take heart!

I don’t have words for the past couple of weeks in Nashville. What I do have is gratitude for boots on the ground; people living with open hands and generous hearts.

I have a print hanging in my office with the Roosevelt quote, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Coordinating donations for the Covenant Presbyterian School staff was just something I could do, with what I have, where I am.

When I was drawing my friends names on this, I kept thinking, “always look for the helpers.” Every bit of light helps in dark situations and I am so grateful to partner with these helpers — linking arms across state lines from Washington to Georgia! — in bringing light on good soil to benefit the future of our community.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Karen Wyler says:

    Praying without ceasing for all of us❣️

    Liked by 1 person

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