From Below the Mountain Top

26 Sep

A few weeks ago I sat around the dinner table with a wine glass in hand toasting to the past and the present. These friends and I had reason to celebrate – we’d been back from the World Race for one exactly one year. As we clinked glasses, broke bread and reminisced about the best and worst of times traveling around the world I looked around and marveled at how different life is this year.

That night I sat at the table across from a friend who the year before I was starting a brand new relationship with. This year though, we’re just friends. It seemed like yesterday our African diet consisted of the most simple carbohydrates and we lifted cans of just ok african beer. On this night the food was rich, abundant, and nutritious and the wine flowed freely. Just over a year ago we were dirty and disconnected from the world as we were having crazy adventures in Africa, but that evening we were freshly showered, our cell phones by our plates so we could Instagram at any moment, sitting around a dinner table in small town Georgia. Yep, life is different.

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I sat at that table with friends that have become like family reflecting on the incredible year of transformation we experienced overseas together as well as the year that’s passed since then.

This was a year of transformation too, but not the same kind. Not the mountaintop, snap a pic and tell the story without saying a word kind of transformation. This year has been different. It’s been the gritty, subtle, in the trenches kind. The looking for Jesus in the middle of the muck kind. The kind that in the center of it you don’t think anything is happening and then suddenly you look up and are astonished at all the Lord has done while you were busy searching for Him.

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In some ways I think maybe I’m still in the middle of that. Maybe that’s why it’s been so hard to write lately – to tell the story of this year (you may have noticed the lack of posts.) Because the last year has been gritty. And subtle. And different than I ever expected it to be. Everything has been filled with nuance – my relationship with the Lord, the way I’m growing, the decisions I’m making. It doesn’t feel glamorous and to be honest, sometimes it doesn’t seem significant. And so it’s been hard to share the story.

But I think that it’s been in this place of nuance that I’ve started to encounter God in a new way. That I’ve started to see Him for the actual Constant that He is. Because the truth is He’s not just a Top of the Mountain God. He’s in the dirt and the grit and the grime too. He’s in the mundane. It was easy to see and feel and hear the Lord when I was preaching at a different revival every afternoon in Africa. Or when my life was being turned upside down every time I encountered another broken child.

But what about those days that I just sit and stare at the ceiling and wonder where God is and what the hell He’s doing in my life? This year has had a lot of those moments. And I think it’s actually moving me more toward maturity and fullness and intimacy. Because I’ve learned to meet Him there, too.

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It’s not that this year hasn’t been good. Oh, there have been some sweet moments. Lots of joy and laughter and feeling so grateful and filled up. It’s been a good year. But it’s just been different.

I’m thankful for the year that’s passed since coming home from the Race. I’m thankful that the Lord has become more real in the every day. That he’s spoken to me in whispers and small ways. That even when I was in the trenches, He was there.

So here’s to that kind of transformation. The kind that happens when we aren’t looking and when we can’t see it. The kind that happens in the subtlety of everyday life and the grit and the trenches. It’s different than the mountaintop, but it’s just as good, for its own reasons.

Cheers, and happy (late) anniversary, B Squad.

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2 Responses to “From Below the Mountain Top”

  1. Katie Swan September 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    Love this Renee. Looking forward to gleaning from you in the months and years to come.

    • Asher September 27, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Sweet blog!

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