Desert Places

Today I'm spurred on by a discussion I had recently with a friend. She confided how she felt like she was enduring one of the driest seasons of her life.Hearing her talk brought me back to one of my desert seasons. It was like it was yesterday but so long ago at the same time. We were deep in a 3 year cancer battle. We were struggling. While we watched our friends joyously celebrating each new chapter of their lives we were stuck in the same run-on sentence of ours. Friends would get engaged-we went to the doctor. Friends would have babies-we'd have CT scans. Everything in our lives was placed on hold to help my husband fight an unrelenting disease. As a wife, that meant my dreams, hopes and desires were placed on hold as well. While others lives seemed to be moving quickly the pause button was hit on our lives. We were fighting a battle with everything we had day in and day out. We were young and our friends couldn't possibly relate to our trials. We were on an island. It was lonely. It was sad. It was confusing. It was hard. In the midst of it I felt like I was living a nightmare. A never ending one at that. Every ounce of strength I had was rapidly depleting. It was a dry season. One of the most difficult I've ever endured.

I wish we could grow during the fruitful seasons of our life as much as we do in the dry ones. Rarely does it work that way. There is something about being at the point of desperation that stirs growth within you. I look back at that point in my life and see, I was being prepared. God was shaping my heart. He was strengthening my character. He was teaching me. He was leading me. What I looked upon then as one of the driest points was actually some of the most fruitful. It was rich with mercy and deep in revelation. He was making me brave. He was showing me He was all I needed. He was faithful. He was there. In my desert places.

There were more to trials to come for me. Loss that would test me to my very core. But by then, I knew to my very core who I was. Who God was in me. The strength He'd given me. The fearlessness I walked in. The desert was preparing me for this season. And this season is preparing me for the next. And the next...

Don't be discouraged by where you are today. You may feel alone. You may not understand. It may seem dry. It may seem unrelenting. But it's a gift. The barren places are preparation for what He has in store for us. He is strengthening our resolve. And building our confidence. Not in what we are. But in who He is.

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