learning peace.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Disclaimer: While I am not sure why I have to share this with you, I feel prompted to in order to create cohesion on the blog. Back in March I share the story of the heart of winter: survival to really be open and honest about our struggles, but not for the sake of sharing struggles, but for the sake of showing others that there are things that are hard that God allows us to experience. I did receive a little bit of negative comments and it really crushed me and my journey. So I stopped writing. However, over the last 6 months while my blog has sat virtually silent, my heart has roared and raced. My desire to be authentic, real and share the suffering that God is walking me through has been vibrant and humbling. Yet, I simple was afraid to share. My heart wanted to join the writers of #write31days, but anxiety and fear crept into my heart and soul. I froze. This last week I have been prompted by God to share authentically. To be honest no matter the cost. For the soul purpose of God being glorified. 

I am a word researcher. I spend the entire year researching and learning about one word. Often I read books about the word I have chosen to learn about, do a word study through the Bible, and generally that single word is chosen out of sheer desperation, simply because I need my life to be saturated with it. This years word is PEACE.

I wanted to know God's peace.
To breathe the peace that God has to offer.
To experience the peace that only God can bring.
To allow that healing through peace to formulate the thoughts of mind, heart and soul because I was desperate.

Our family needed God's peace because God has been taking us on a journey of suffering and I deeply wanted it to end. I thought I could work my way out of the suffering and anxiety. I was feeling broken. Exhausted. Desperate. I simply wanted to feel the peace that I knew only God could give to me. The problem was, as I began desperately to understand peace, I was failing to trust that God will give me peace.

While suffering may seem like a harsh word, one that is set aside for those with cancer, health issues or a spouse who has walked away, I was reminded that we all suffer in different ways. God takes us through different avenues of suffering. Ways that are unique to each of us and create this desperation that we cannot describe. Sometimes suffering comes from consequences of our actions and often it comes out of something that we have no control over.

Our family is a season of winter. A season where we are depending so deeply on God, that we cannot quite explain it in words. For the past year and a half, we have been looking for a new church. Our ministry here in Idaho has been different then any other ministry we have ever experienced. (Different does not mean bad.  Different simply means different.) To be brutally honest, it has been hard and beautiful all at the same time. God called us clearly to Idaho almost 4 years ago, but he called us to leave Idaho 1 1/2 years ago and yet, we have not seen God specifically call us to a new place of ministry. Our elders at our current church have been such a blessing. They have prayed for us and encouraged us and walked beside us the ENTIRE 1 1/2 years. It has been so precious and beautiful. However, that does not negate the fact that we were called elsewhere, not knowing where that happens to be, and we are still in the same place that God made clear we needed to leave. Sense why we would feel the suffering? Why things would be hard? God has called us from a place and given us nothing to go towards. So, while it is not a terminal disease, it has been a constant state of unrest. Desperate pleading. Tears. Fear.

In search of knowing God's peace I began to search God's Word. Asking the Holy Spirit to directly show me the words he so needed me to read.

Isaiah 55:10-13

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,

so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the LORD,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

In the moment I read these 4 verse I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that God was going to use our story to bring himself glory. God is creating a beautiful future for us. He is fighting for us (Exodus 14:14)... we simply need to be silent. He will triumph in his amazing grace (Isaiah 55: 13)... we have to wait and watch. To show honesty, so that we can proclaim the faithfulness that God has given to us, having walked well through our time of waiting (Psalm 40:3). He will rescue us (Psalm 40:1-2)... we must remain patient. He will restore, confirm, strengthen and establish us (1 Peter 5:10)... after we have suffered a while. He cares so deeply for me, for our family, that what he allows us to walk through, will never return void and empty. He is working to establish us. To accomplish his purpose. And from that we will shout for joy (Isaiah 55 10-11).

In all of this, I have found peace. As we are waiting to hear from a church in North Carolina, not knowing what there decision is going to be, I have struggled with knowing that peace that God has so faithfully revealed to me in light of our year and a half of waiting. Last week was almost tragic to me, BUT GOD (praise Jesus for those two words) has shown me two things. One, he will give us restoration, confirmation and strength... establishing us exactly where he wants us to be. Two, another day of waiting is simply another day to pray for clarity and direction.


  1. Summer, I just wanted to say that you write beautifully and your words are so encouraging. Don't let negative people silence your voice, because what you have to say is so worthwhile. Your brave authenticity shows people that it's ok to be real, it's ok to be imperfect, and it's ok to share your imperfections and struggles with others. I will be praying for continued peace that passes understanding and clear direction for you guys during this time of transition. God bless you!

    1. Thank you so much for some of the sweetest words ever. I have been so encouraged to continue to write, so show an authentic way to live, hurt, seek Jesus, and love others well. Thank you so much. My heart is truly thankful for your encouragement.


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