I have always loved Fridays.
In elementary school they meant eating out with the promise of cartoons the next morning. In high school Fridays meant no immediate homework pressure and sleeping late. As a young professional, the end of the week meant a break from the pace of keeping up with two jobs - I only had one job to go to on Saturday. As a young married woman Fridays were date night: dinner out, a movie, long meaningful talks, and the joy of making breakfast for us the next morning. For a brief period later in marriage, Fridays meant dinner with my family while my husband worked the night shift on patrol with the city police. A little later Friday date night returned. And then I moved five hours away from everyone and everything I knew.
I moved to pursue a doctorate in a field that I loved. My husband and I bought our first home and it was precious. It was the perfect starter home, just the right size for two, cute kitchen with my dream fridge, large master, an attic, a backyard, shrubs, and a Bradford pear in the front yard. I would work as a graduate assistant and have the same income I had at my previous full time job. He would surely be hired soon by the local police department and join me on this new adventure. That was over 30 months ago. He is still there and I am still here. The job market has not opened up so that my husband can move. And I am still working on the degree.
Most of the Fridays in between have been a far different experience indeed.
Fridays took on a harsh new identity. While they meant the end of the work/school week, they did not have the relief of homework pressures. No, Fridays meant the beginning of reading, writing, and studying. I could certainly relax a bit that first evening, but there was often no one to share it with. I could sleep late, but there was often no one to make breakfast for or sip coffee with on Saturday. And so Fridays morphed and became days of dread filled with loneliness, despair, doubt, fear, anger, and confusion culminating in torrents of tears.
Until September 30, 2011 - the Friday I was found.
I had taken the day off work because I was emotionally exhausted from my week. On Thursday I had argued like an idiot (yes that’s what I said – an idiot) with my husband, shouting my loneliness and despair - living out of a misery-loves-company reality. A scenario that had replayed countless times as if cued from YouTube.
But He still found me.
I cried out to Him and He met me in a mighty way. I had been reading Emily Freeman’s Grace for the Good Girl for a few weeks. She talks a lot about being found – as opposed to hiding. His words through her were ruminating. I had also been reading Beth Moore’s Breaking Free: Day by Day. She talks a lot about freedom – as opposed to bondage. His words through her were also ruminating.
Finally, it all came together. Truth broke through the lies.
He reminded me of who I was:
And because of that, I could hold my head high – no matter what.
This was Truth. A fact. Unarguable.
No life circumstance would change this. No amount of time living alone would lessen it. Obtaining a degree would not intensify it. Days of doubt and unbelief would not take it away. Mountaintop experiences of faith would not make it more true.
It was simply the Truth. All I had to do was believe it.
“Believe even when you do not feel. Know even when you do not see. He gave the life of His Son to demonstrate His love and power. The time has come to believe.”
Beth Moore, Breaking Free: Day by Day
Suddenly Fridays began to take on new hope, new promise, new life, and…
Rest, sweet rest.
Rest in knowing who I really was.
Now I can’t say that I’ve lived in a perpetual state of belief and rest since then. No, I’m still human. I still pick unnecessary fights with my husband. I still seek validation in the latest romantic comedy, compare myself to other women, and long for what I don’t have. I still exchange the truth for a lie.
I no longer think those ridiculous choices define who I am.
Instead, I am reminded of being found on a Friday.
Would you join me here on Fridays, and maybe even some days in between to talk about being found? To find rest in knowing who you really are.