The past couple of months have been brimmingly full, including a lovely trip to Scotland with barlow_girl in March, where we had the pleasure of meeting islandboy, kari_w, and laura_w. There are pictures and stories, of course, but digging them up is more effort than I'm up for just now—suffice it to say that we had a great time and would love to return. Much of the rest of the interim has been the marathon that is Lent while working in the church while trying to navigate unexpectedly rough waters in other parts of our lives. We're pretty tired, confused, and sad, yet we have the hope of knowing that our identities are secure in Christ rather than determined by our circumstances. He is the one who tells us what we're worth, and anyone else's assessment, right or wrong, is ultimately of little consequence. It's freeing when we remember, but we've needed to remember and be reminded in spite of a lot of other stuff, which is just plain hard after a while.
Lent is a great occasion for this kind of remembrance. Our pastors have been preaching along the theme "Help My Unbelief" through Lent, and that's very much been the cry of my heart in my better moments. There's less and less to believe in other than Christ and Him crucified, much as I might desire the comfort of something else to lean on. Even things virtuous and close to our Lord aren't Him, and perhaps there are seasons when He strips away the good with the bad, leaving only Himself. Not that my life is stripped bare in the least, but I'm still surprised by what He may choose to take away. I must come to grips with the fact that, whatever others may intend or whatever I may feel, He gets to do that (He is sovereign) and that He will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.
That's faith. Help my unbelief indeed, Lord, because You alone are sovereign and good.