This Little Light of Mine

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There’s a lot of truth I haven’t shared because I haven’t figured out how to package it. A lot of truth doesn’t fit well into tidy blog posts. It’s too messy for that kind of thing.

Sometimes it’s just easier to leave the loose ends of my life out of the picture, sometimes literally (hello, Instagram) and sometimes by hiding behind the guise of curating my life, behind the lie that half the truth might be more beautiful than all of it.

I think God wants to shine light into the dark corners of our lives, not pretend they’re not there.

I like to imagine God’s light as blinding, enveloping and other-worldly bright. And I believe it is, and will be. But sometimes, on some days, it feels like a little flame flickering under my breath.

I can see it, but barely.

I want to write about that little flame — the everyday, in-the-thick-of-it, not-so-pretty truth of it all — even if it’s flickering. Writing about it is taking in the oxygen to make it stronger and brighter. It’s an act of defiance against the shadows, refusing to hide in the darkness. It’s an invitation for you to sit with me around the glowing and growing fire.

It might seem small now, but it’ll keep us warm.

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Resigned to Growth

I resigned from my job yesterday. Officially, in an I’m-leaving-by-July kind of way.

It wasn’t a secret. In my interview, I told my future employer I was called to San Francisco and could leave as quickly as three weeks from that very day. He said I could leave in three days, if God told me to. I got the job.

Three days turned into three weeks, and three weeks turned into a year. One crazy year filled with, “Am I supposed to be here?” and “What are you teaching me, God?” and “Oh, that. Can I learn something else?”

It’s been a season of pruning, which sounds exciting until you realize pruning can mean sleeping on an air mattress way longer than anybody ever should, sharing a phone with your wife, and going without a car until you could save up enough money to replace the one you sold to pay for Discipleship Training School.

Pruning sounds invigorating until it means confronting what’s wrong in your world instead of running from it, leaning into your doubts instead of pretending they’re not there, and confessing all of your sins — even the dirty, embarrassing, do-I-really-have-to? ones — to another person and finally being fully known, knots and all.

Pruning sounds feel-good spiritual until it means shedding both infected branches and beautifully green leaves, both sagging boughs and delicate newborn tendrils, until you’re a scarred-up, sap-leaking, stump-covered trunk, painfully bare and wholly exposed.

Nothing left. Nothing to hide. Just me.

It sounds painful, and it has been, but there’s nourishment too. There’s sunlight, rainfall and calming breezes. There’s His Word, His peace and His presence. And there’s Life, rising from within, birthing stronger branches and sweeter fruit.

Do I know what’s next? Not exactly. I just know I’m growing and the Gardener is good.

The old is gone and new life is springing forth.

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