Friday, May 20, 2016

Gone Underground

Yesterday this beautiful image popped up on my Instagram feed. It was posted by Jen Hatmaker, my latest and greatest most favorite author, speaker and real-life-doer. 

It's as if she peered into the depths of my soul and spoke directly to my heart. I swear these words were meant just for me, today, right now: "Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year." 

This is powerful truth, needed truth, a freeing truth. We live in a society that tells us we must blossom and flourish all the time and then we cut ourselves down and call ourselves failures when our petals begin to fall. We reach rock bottom and are plum out and yet we try harder. We long for more sun. We thirst for the rain. But even these lifeblood essentials are worthless to us if our roots are diseased. 

The truth in the matter is that when our roots are unhealthy, our blooms lose their glory.

So sometimes the Lord calls us to go underground. It isn't a sign of failure. Sometimes it takes going under and blocking out all the other distractions of this world to really focus and hear His voice. I am in such a season. Some things long neglected in my life have been brought into the light and there is desperate need for some work around the roots. 

It is ugly down here. Dirty, messy and sometimes downright suffocating. It feels scary and uncertain and I long to taste the sweetness of spring, to come back up again for fresh air. But as Jen Hatmaker wrote in her caption for the picture above, there is a time for being underground, a season for being quiet and tucked away and still for awhile. And that's where I am at. 

I am at the point, much like the dead of winter I suppose, where I've been under for awhile and it still feels hopeless. When will we revive? We've been putting a lot in but there is little to show for it yet. There are times where I long for before. Things felt easier. Granted, I wasn't blooming at full capacity but at least I felt like there were some blossoms. 

In it all, the Lord continues to show me the power of honesty and vulnerability. He has demonstrated time and time again how He uses us (me even!) in the most surprising of ways, mess and all. Over the last few days, it is as if He has been taking me by the hand and telling me to SPEAK. I don't want to. I feel inadequate. I have found every excuse in the book not to. I don't know what I have to offer that hasn't already been said. But yet I can't quiet the conviction to share my journey. All I know is that I am a vessel and that God uses our stories for good.

A wise and wonderful soul saw me recently. The look of pain and doubt in my eyes was pretty hard to miss, I'm sure. I was feeling particularly empty and was losing hope that growth would ever happen. But then she did something amazing. She told me not to worry, not to despair. She told me that I'm drowning but that she has plenty of buoys. And that she is really strong and can help pull me aboard. And then she made the most touching request: she asked permission to be the one, during this difficult season of feeling hopeless, to hold onto hope FOR me.

Friends, these words were POWERFUL. Sometimes the season of being underground takes longer than we'd like. It is uncomfortably hard and we don't understand why we have to be there. All we know is that we'd prefer to be elsewhere. But this is where the Lord has us for today. And so I beg of you - can we please do something for one another? Can we offer each other the permission to go underground? Can we hand out loads of grace for the process when our roots are calling for some attention and can no longer be ignored? And lastly and most importantly, can we hand out buoys and hold onto hope for one another when the going is at its roughest? 

There is no doubt in my mind that the pain and hardships in this world aren't what Christ had in mind for us, His most precious creations. These are a result of sin. But I DO believe with all my heart that holding onto hope for one another is exactly what He had in mind for our relationships with each other. In his grace and mercy, He made us with an incredible capacity to walk alongside each other in the hard times.

Friends, are any of you with me? Are any of you in a hard season of being quiet and tucked away for a while? If so, if we are ever to thrive again, we must go underground and address what is happening underneath. And I give you the permission to do so. As we spend some time tending to our roots, let's do each other a huge favor and hold onto hope for each other. Springtime will return one day and we will bloom again.


  1. Oh Kelsie! I am so sorry things are rough for you right now. Your vulnerability in this space, your openness and humility absolutely astound me - in the best possible way. The very act of acknowledging you need a buoy and being willing to gratefully accept it from a friend is so beautiful and so important. You're in my prayers and I hope we actually get to see eachother soon. xoxo

    1. Thank you Kari! Your comment is an answer to prayer. I'm trying to be obedient and say what the Lord puts on my heart but I must confess that the insecurities RAGE as soon as I hit "post." Thank you for praying for us. One day (maybe when we are out of the acute phase), I hope to share the details of our story but for now, a lot of posts will go unpublished. ;) Yes! I would LOVE to see you soon!

  2. ps. I think this really touched me because I have had a lot of friends go underground without really knowing why or what was happening. I love that you described it and let the people who love you know that this is what you need right now.


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