Things fall apart.

Rejoice in hope.
Be patient in affliction.
Be persistent in prayer.
Romans 12:12

UntitledI wrote those words on the chalkboard above my kitchen sink months ago when it felt like a big area of my life was out of control. It was a reminder, a focal point, an anchor to pull back my thoughts when they traveled too far down a road of what-ifs and questions.

I put it there, above the sink, because it was a place I spent a lot of time, a place I’d be sure to see every day. But truth be told, as worries eased and the year stretched into summer, it became a comforting presence. I knew the words were there, but I didn’t read them every day anymore. And I didn’t let them penetrate my heart. Maybe a part of me thought I didn’t really need them because, after all, things seemed to be going fairly well.

But as Yeats once wrote and Chinua Achebe borrowed for the title of his book, “Things fall apart/ The center cannot hold.”

Late last week, it felt like things fell apart all over again. And early Saturday morning, when I’d awoken from a fitful sleep full of grief for dear friends, the words seemed to jump out at me again.

Rejoice in hope. Don’t forget who I am.

Be patient in affliction. I promise you any suffering I allow you to go through has a purpose. Suffering has a purpose for all My children. I have not forgotten you.

Be persistent in prayer. Seek Me. Talk to Me.

I don’t want to get into specifics about what has happened. It suffices to say that some dear friends of mine were dealt an unexpected blow that changed the direction of their lives. I’m not angry or pessimistic or afraid, even. Just sad. Sad for friends. Grieving the joy of their daily presence in my life and the pleasure of collaboration. I may not understand, but I haven’t lost hope or focus.

Rejoice in hope.
Be patient in affliction.
Be persistent in prayer.


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