God's using the Cold Springs Fire to shape a lot of my heart in ways I didn't necessarily anticipate and to teach me more than I could expect.
He's using it as a reminder that I have no idea what all is going on in anyone's heart-- when I sit here, feeling like my heart is slowly dying a little, others might be feeling similar things for other reasons. And when my situation shifts, and I no longer feel this weight, I still will encounter people who are carrying unseen troubles. One of my favorite quotes says, "be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some sort of battle." This reminds me of that. How many times I treat people like they're not fighting anything, and how that absolutely breaks me when people do it to me right now. A reminder to be gracious always.
He's teaching me that it's alright to have emotional reactions and that it's okay to lean on community when that happens. (I never do seem to learn this lesson.) what a gift to have Sonlight staff as my community during this chaos.
He's also teaching me to focus on him and his abundant joy and protection. It's sometimes tough to see, but God is always good (the best, in fact), and my situations are the things that change and shift. When I focus on the fire and the potential and actual losses, I panic. But when I focus on his joy and his face, I'm stabilized. Not that feeling negative emotions is a bad thing, but rather they are something to weather with his help. He provides peace in this storm, to use some Christianese.
God's teaching me a thing or two about myself too. He's using this pain to point out the ways that I run away to corners by myself to sit with my wounds and bottle my feelings, and he's using it to point out the ways that community will have my back if I let them. That's a scary lesson for me.
He's reminding me of his goodness too--how I only want his presence right now! It's so good and so much more peace-giving than anything else, be that sleep or running or food or reading. As Psalm 16 says, I have no good apart from him.
I thank God that he's so good and big. That this is temporary-- "this too shall pass." Sometimes that's all I can cling to, and that's okay for now.