Where Have You Been?

Goodwill Tent

I have a bit of an addiction. I love thrift shopping. I have been known to plan shopping trips around the closest Goodwill (and Starbucks), and I frequent the one down the road from me quite a bit. It was on a rare occasion that I recently managed to drag my kids with me. Usually, what I hear as I scour the many hangers looking for someone’s cast-offs for a hidden treasure is groan after groan from the Marshall Monsters. But on this day, I heard squeals of delight as my daughter happened upon the above tent. For my little girl, it was a must-have. A place to hide from her brother. Camp out with a book. Hide her most precious of toys.

For me….well, it was a reminder of all the tents in which I have hidden in the last few months.

The tent of a demanding internship that had me consumed with work day and night.

The tent of schoolwork that had me plugged into my computer into the wee hours of the morning.

The tent of “busy-ness” that had me grasping for any ounce of alone time!

Tents of impatience. Tents of hurriedness. Tents of to-do lists. Appointments.

Tents of despair. Loneliness. Criticism. Self-doubt. Disappointments.

Tents that had me wondering-where in the world was I going? Where had I been?

Tents I tried to pitch all by myself. Without any help from Him. Placing Him at the bottom of the to-do list. Until He was wondering where I had been.

Yes, I was busy. I was overwhelmed. Depleted. Wordless. Exhausted. Lost.

Search for the Lord and for His strength; continually seek Him. 1 Chronicles 16:11

But, not once did I remember this? Did I call to Him in my weakness to ask for His strength? Did I call on Him for rest when I was tired and weary? Did I call on Him for wisdom when I needed His words?

No, I pitched my own tent. Like an 8 year old girl. Camped out with my will, while God desperately yearned for me to let Him in.

And, while it took a heart wrenching wake-up call, and some grief…I finally came out of hiding. I got out of my tent and I called on Him.

And, finally the words came again. The ones locked inside all those tents I pitched. The ones that had covered my weary heart. The ones I desperately needed to cry out to God. The ones for strength, guidance, wisdom, and grace.

So, what tents are you pitching today? Where have you been hiding? Come out. Call to Him. Tell Him what you need. He will give you the words. He will give you the strength you need. He will give you rest. All you have to do is ditch your tent.

2 responses to “Where Have You Been?”

  1. A great analogy with the tents January! How we all DO love to pitch our tents and shut out everything and everyone. I know the journey was difficult, hard, and long and yet though you may have felt alone, look how quickly He responded! He never leaves us alone, just sits in silence waiting for us to whisper or cry out for Him to rescue us from ourselves! Thanks for sharing your testimony of grace. ~R

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