There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
– Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
I wish we could grab a coffee, you and I, and I could openly share the journey this family has been on during the past month.
But since we can’t, I’ll need to sum it up with a neat, little bow tied beautifully around the top.
I’ve walked through fire during the past 30 days.
And I wish I could say it was just one specific thing. It’s been several things. All forces of evil things.
There was once a time, back in the day when I had never opened my Bible, that I thought the Devil wasn’t real. He was some enigma that was created to scare us all into oblivion and certainly the world couldn’t be going to hell in a handbasket because aren’t we all so inherently good?
Yes. I know. Incredibly naive.
When those who knew better tried to tell me otherwise, that an enemy force does really exist and showed me the several places in scripture it was told to be so, I looked at them like a pigeon looks at everything.
Confused. Labeling them as a little crazy. Slyly looking at my watch to see how fast I could exit the conversation. Secretly wanting to launch into my imitation of the Church Lady from the old Saturday Night Live days and exclaim “Oh, I don’t know…Could it be…SATAN?”
It was like trying to teach nuclear physics to a first grader. An immature first grader.
But now? Oh, I believe it. I know it to be true. And I’ve experienced his wrath.
I’ve been walking through hell wearing gasoline panties.
Luckily, He proved again that He’s bigger than that other one.
Suffice it to say not one word has been written on the book proposal I was SUPPOSED to be working on during this past month of being out of the blogging world.
Once again, He had other plans for me.
It’s quite amazing how much work can be done in the refiner’s fire in just a matter of days. A week. A month.
My family is in a season of dying but being born. Of uprooting and planting. Of killing and healing. Of tearing down and building of weeping and laughing of mourning and dancing.
We are gathering stones.
I breathe in a peace that surpasses all understanding as I reveal this one thing: I am currently only embracing the four people who live with me. This doesn’t mean that I’m not loving my neighbor but it does mean I’m saying “no” a whole lot more and pulling out of almost everything extra.
I’m refraining from embracing anything else.
I’m keeping and throwing away, tearing and mending, shutting up and speaking, loving and hating the things He hates.
War is over.
We are on the road to peace.
So we straddle all of these seasons at once because I’m a slow learner and here at the Snapp house, we like to jump head-first into the deep end.
I know what He has is good.
But sometimes to get to the good we have to go through stuff that breaks our heart.
A heart that crumbles away in our chest until He can reach in and replace it with one that is purer, one with less black on the bottom, one that more closely resembles His son.
And like an open heart patient, my chest hurts. I have a few scars. There’s shortness of breath.
But what’s been replaced is a much-better version of the dying heart that was there first.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. – Romans 8:18
Joining in with Jen and the other Soli Deo Gloria Sisters…
I’m so sorry to hear that you and your family have been going through such a difficult time. Thanks for your reminder that God can bring good through all things. I too focus on my family when the devil and his evil seem to be all too present and active around us. Your blog has been a welcome respite for me and I thank you. I will be praying for you and your family.
Dear friend………..I so wish we were close enough that we could sit down and share coffee and share stories. I am so happy to hear that you are defeating Satan but sorry to hear you had to go thru all that you have. I feel so lost some times and know it is Satan taking me on a ride. I will be praying for you and your family and sending hugs your way too. Love you girl, K :)
hello- i have been reading your blog off and on for a couple of years now…and this last wk i have been visiting here often to see what ol mommy on fire is up to, and have been wondering where you had gone. i used to not believe in the devil either…but, as they say, seeing is believing. i heard once that we are brought into this world to encounter suffering and evil, so that we can overcome it, which makes us grow wiser. and we all want to be grow wise! don’t forget to forgive, and bless your prosecutors, even if it is through prayer only if you haven’t done so. it will make the healing soooo much faster. it did for me. and i didn’t know you were writing a book proposal! best of luck :)
Praying for you sweet friend. Call when you can and we’ll talk. Love you..
I am new to your blog, and really love it! I very much needed this post. Blessings to you!
I wish I could hug you. A big long hug where our hearts meet and know that this walking through fire and the scars? It is worth it because He is who He is and He is glorified through the hard stuff. Through the battle.
Praying for you Nat.
Love to you. <3
So sorry for your tough times. All I can say is you appear to handle with such a grace only God could give you. Never would have known you’re having tough times! Sending prayers your way.
Now on to the comical aspect of this…”we like to jump head first into the deep end”? If my little Snapp friends are doing that, you may not need my services any longer!! Reading it made me smile thinking about little Sammuel being so brave on Saturday venturing out past the flags. :-). Fun swimming with you Saturday!!
Ah, Natalie, I wish I had known you were having such a hard time. I’m sure there could have been some way we could have helped you. You’re part of our AHG family, and we love you. Please private message me and let me know how we can help. <>
I am so sorry that you have been going through the fire. I can completely relate, as I have experienced much of what you are talking about in the last month. Wow- wish we could chat and share hearts and lives in real life. I will be praying for you that as you find your way out of this trial you will find renewed joy and peace in your heart.
I pray that your heart will be filled with immeasurable peace today. Your post reminded me of this prayer that I’ve been praying for my friend out of the Beth Moore’s Praying God’s Word book:
“The LORD will do great things for me, and I will be filled with joy. I will sow in tears, then I will reap with songs of joy. If I go out weeping, carrying seeds to sow, I will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with me. (Psalm 126: 3, 5-6) O God, please help me to be willing to sow the seed of Your Word and water it with my tears, believing You even in the midst of this terrible pain. If I do, You will be faithful to fill me with joy again. You will faithfully bring a harvest forth from my life. My suffering will not be in vain.”
Oh how I love you girlfriend! I am so sorry for this fire you have traversed, but I know HE will bring you out beautiful on the other side. I so want to catch up with you, voice to voice, but my cell phone contact list is now blank! ugh CALL ME!