It's been a tough week. The house is quiet. The girls are at a friend’s house. My husband isn’t working from home today. I sit here in silence and it all catches up to me. There is so much sadness. There is so little explanation.
My world is mostly painted in optimism and joy. It’s a world I protect fiercely so that my strengths can be set free and my sorrows can be tamed. But when the weight of the world, the cynicism of those around me, the inner turmoil of my own sinful pride, and the realization I am not as strong as I always hope to be all start pressing in, I find myself in this place… Bogged down, depleted, and numb.
My mind is a file cabinet and I frantically search through every sheet, trying to connect the dots between my sadness and the surrounding circumstances, yet I keep coming up short. What is this feeling? A heavy cold blanket holding down the joy that just is bursting to come out. I know it's down there. But when I can’t name the weight, how can I call it out?
I look outside and it is snowing for the first time this year.
There are few things in this world—like the first snow—that send me to a place that feels beyond this world. A feeling that makes me only want to close my eyes and allow my senses to carry me there. It is peaceful standing in the falling snow. It’s cold and warm all at once, a mystery so beautiful that I cannot grasp just how it can be as such.
A mystery... so beautiful.
It’s that time of year where we hear of so much about mystery, mystery that’s mostly attached to beauty. The birth of Christ being the most magical and mysterious of all. There is also a mysterious power of the holidays that brings loved ones together or causes individuals to be generous when otherwise they might not be.
How can one type of mystery be filled with such gorgeous undertones while the mystery of the heart seems to be filled with so much filth? Could it be that God sees the mysteries of my heart through compassionate eyes because He is the Creator of all mystery himself? God knew, especially at this time of year when we contemplate the coming of Jesus, that we’d wrestle with the mystery and wonder wrapped up in the birth of His son. I mean, the very notion of a virgin birth is inconceivable and preposterous through human eyes. So maybe He’s okay with us sitting and wrestling in mystery too? Maybe He’s not intimidated by our unknowings and our questions? Perhaps He almost welcomes it because it draws us closer to Him?
In that weakness and inability to see beyond the doubts and confusion, can I trust that the unknowns are an equation He can solve? A sweet, gentle hand pulling me back into Him as He places each piece back into its rightful place and makes sense of the puzzle of my heart.
When the world tells us that we need to be strong, know ourselves deeply, and have the answers to all life’s problems, He reminds us to turn our eyes on Him. It’s okay to not have the answers. To sit in the mystery. To need and want and long for Him to carry us. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to feel numb and not understand how you could feel such depth when joy is all around.
I can promise you, it is not filth He sees. His Word tells us that in His compassion He sees us truly. He sees vulnerability. A spirit not too proud to be scooped up and brought back to life in however long it takes to fight through the darkness. He is not rushed. He cares more for our heart health than the image others might see. We are His children. We are who He sent His son to die for. And if it was worth it to Him to send His only son to die for us, than surely it is His joy to give us life over and over and over again daily. It is not too much for Him. You are not too much for Him. Our sadness is not too much for Him. Our unknowns are not too much for Him.
When it snows again, go out and stand firmly as the flakes trickle down. Stand in that cold, frigid air and embrace the beautiful mystery. Take in a deep breath of the paradoxical harmony of both cold and warmth and be reminded that He is warmth in the depths of our cold and numbing moments of sadness and grief.
But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand. Psalm 10:14a
The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8
*And if you want a little encouragement, listen to Lauren Daigle’s song ‘Inevitable'
Mary Kate is farm girl from Pennsylvania who found herself living in Australia and Colorado before settling down in Nashville with her husband, Dustin. In addition to parenting a spirited toddler, they run Plaid Owl Creative. mK is a family girl at heart - she loves to adventure with her family and invest in the lives of families of Creatives. When she's not traveling or hosting, you can find mK curled up in front of a movie with chocolate & popcorn!