I wrote this over my last breakfast in Poland. It’s unpolished and true. I sat in the square, watching horse-drawn carriages roll slowly by, waiting for the trumpeter to sound the hour atop St. Mary’s tower, alternating between scribbling my thoughts and reading a sweet gifted book and missing my pilgrims who had just departed and wanting to cry from utter joy. God is tender and He is passionate. And He’s given me back the gift of lasting joy.
I’ve begun to taste a deep, deep joyfulness. And when I begin to taste joyfulness, all I want is to open my mouth wide and ready my taste buds. Even if it means missed hours of sleep. A growing hunger in my stomach—for it is spiritual satiety that I ultimately seek. If it is loneliness I experience, it is a joyful loneliness that God wants for me. There is never a time, never a season of life, that God does not want me to experience joy. I can’t say that I understood this in the midst of the cloud, being tossed about by the wind, a secret turbulence growing in my heart. Not knowing when it would end, believing by desperate faith that it would. The end came. And with the end, a beginning. A restoration of former joy, but one that surpasses what came before. If He wants to give me a future full of hope, that means a present full of hope, too. He has taught me to choose to believe. It’s not very romantic, no. It’s not being swept up by a beating heart, propelled by an excited expectation. It’s a restfulness in the present. Like floating in a calm lake, following the clouds as they pass slowly by. It’s a being held. Not feeling God’s embrace, not hearing His gentle whispers, not sensing His hands catching the tears as they fall from my trembling chin, but knowing. Just a dark, quiet knowing. And now I see, that’s all I needed.