Paul and James and crazy ideas like joy in trials

in so many ways i am exactly back to where i started last October, begging for daily manna, in most ways i never left.

i started Philippians this week and I am thinking about Paul. From JAIL, Paul talks about EAGERLY expecting and hoping for this DELIVERANCE, for this PURPOSE to be shown to others and himself. FROM JAIL, Paul is spreading love and living big. FROM JAIL, Paul is resting in CONFIDENCE that the work he started out there in Phillipi is not going to be lost without him but carried on because He believes that God carries on good work until completion. Paul did not take a pass under hard circumstances. Paul did not throw in the towel because how he thought it would work out didn't work out. His faith increased, his hope increased, and even, beautifully, his team increased. He believed in the work that would carry on by the open-hearted fellow believers in Phillipi. I am happy to say that included some pretty great women too. (Just as a sidenote, including back then the women were a significant part of the church and spreading the word about Jesus).

anywho, i find myself lost in my circumstances again, jailed up in my own right by these things that were supposed to be, by my loss of knowing whats next. And a lot of days i want a pass. a pass from being helpful or cheery or engaged. a pass from fully entering my days as a mom or a wife. Yet i feel so sure these are the exact days i should live most mindful of all those around me.

My girl needs me to pick up my head, look in her eyes and stay engaged with her heart and play. My man needs me to not have fear-filled thrashing evenings where words are daggers and suddenly our team is split. i want to be EAGERLY expecting and hoping all the while living today if not in the masses (which is most certainly not where my life is right now) but alive at home. i cannot hunker down until resolution appears, because joy can come right out of this home regardless of circumstances. and my people here need me in life now.

I am not beating myself up, i am encouraged. honestly. i am reminded. "Consider it pure joy, to endure trials of many kinds," says James 1:2. Trials produce perseverance. And trials reveal who we really are. That we are getting pretty familiar with in these walls - trials reveal a truer self because less guards remain standing - so the anxiety, the idolatry, the insecurity - its revealed. it comes out even to ourselves and of course to those around us, and while it most surely isn't all ways pretty in these walls, we are FAR closer to our TRUEST most faithful hopeful God design-selves than we have ever been. And in that place i find the strength again to ask for courage to EAGERLY expect and carry on good work even now. with my girl. with my man. and with dreams of what we can offer out there.