The Other Side of Survival

1 Feb

One month into 2021 and everything already feels so different. It was like I was playing that childhood game where you try to hold your breath while driving through a tunnel. It is dark and you can see the light in the distance but your lungs start to burn and you don’t know if you will make it.


I’ve been on this meandering journey of seeing Jesus in the conversation and connections. Now things are speeding up. I am letting go of comfort all over again and embracing the way I was meant to live. For awhile I was drowning in anxiety, in motherhood, in distractions. Now I am finding truth and purpose in The Word. Now I can see again.

I still don’t know a lot of things, and that’s ok. I don’t know the quality of the world my children will grow up in, but I know they will be strong. I want to protect them and give them everything at once. I want them to be so much braver than I could ever be, to risk more for the Kingdom of God.

Risk it all for the Kingdom of God. On the other side of simply surviving, that is stirring, again. It started 12 years ago, maybe 18 if I am being honest, maybe even further back, 30 years ago when I was 5 and knew I was going to be a writer and change the world with my words. That was a heavy weight to bear, before I realized that The One who created me carried it for me. I shouldered other burdens too, ones that made me afraid of people and the darkness, that nearly silenced my voice figuratively and literally.

I feel that scared girl in me once in awhile still when I look at my 6-year-old daughter and I see all her boldness and beauty, that fierce spirit I wish I had when I was young. Despite all I have overcome, sometimes I still believe the lie that I don’t know how to be a good mom. I don’t know how to explain the world is so beautiful and so broken, with all of the morning bird songs and the cracks in our own voices from trauma and lies. I want so much more for her then I had. I want so much more for my boys too.

Motherhood feels like a great experiment most days. There are no how-to manuals, well, there are, but the manmade ones are mostly bullshit. No one can prepare you for all the heartache and longing and loathing and heart-outside-your chest love. The fierce fight that rises in you. The only thing you can do is walk in love and follow the Spirit.

I know maybe what Jesus is trying to teach me in this season is so simple. That parenting really, life, can be simple no matter how freaking complex this world may get.

We all just need to know we are loved. (John 3:16)

That we are capable of greatness. (John 14:12)

We all just need to know there is beauty in the world in spite of all the madness. (Ecc. 3:11)

We need to know that the hard days mean something, even if it is just one small step closer to knowing the heart of Jesus. (James 1:2-4)

We need to know that these momentary afflictions are creating an eternal weight of glory. (2 Cor. 4:17)

I have no idea what the world outside is going to look like tomorrow. It could be a utopia, or a desolate post-apocalyptical wasteland. It will probably be somewhere in the middle.

But no matter what, we know that this great adventure of life isn’t about never struggling. In fact, it is the opposite.

It is about finding joy in everything, because joy is real and it lives within us. (John 16:33)

Peace has a name. Jesus. (Eph. 2:14)

I don’t know what my government is doing or how corruption is going to keep running rampant, but I do know that I have nothing to fear and it is all because of Jesus. (1 John 4:18)

I know people need my words of faith and light right now in this dark time. (Hab. 2:2)

I know my children will shine like stars in the universe. (Phil. 2:15)

I am gonna teach them, as they teach me, the best thing you can possibly do with your life is love Jesus and risk it all for His Kingdom. (Matt. 6:33)

I see the light in the distance. It is beautiful and almost blinding. But I don’t even need to physically see. I am walking with Kingdom eyes now. I hold my children’s hands, grab my husband’s arm, and take a step forward. The adventure has just begun.

One Response to “The Other Side of Survival”

  1. JoKay Bednar February 2, 2021 at 2:27 pm #

    Thank you for sharing the depth of your insights …. that speak to our innermost being …. that is the Spirit flowing through your words. Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us.

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