Archives For Time

Braving the September Blues

Carissa A —  September 24, 2017 — Leave a comment


“Help me to navigate September’s stormy sea with grace and resilience, resting on my divine captain, Jesus Christ.”

–an evening prayer, 9/6/17

I have the September blues.

It’s a strange feeling. There’s something about the euphoria and adrenaline of a new semester plummeting to the dread of impending reality. Even summer crashes hard on the rocks of academic responsibility.

Septembers are odd. Unlike the delight of crisp October, September finds itself in that underwhelming portion of the year between rising action and final denouement. No more are jubilant beach days glittering and glorious, with life seeming like a constant adventure. Instead, now I find myself stuck in the hamster wheel of senioritis.

The drowsy blend of heat and syllabus shock.

The discomfort of settling into a new social rhythm.

A strange, September-bred existential dread.

When I often don’t know why I’m upset but still I sink under the weight of a mind fraught with care.

Hurricanes. Earthquakes. Brokenness all around.

Even in my most cynical moments, I know this too shall pass. The September will conclude, the metaphorical sun rises, and I journey on, aided by a steady, supernatural hand. Even my own frailty doesn’t prevent the God of time from having His way with my life.

Fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you, I will help you,

I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

–Isaiah 41:10

Everything God has given me is lightyears beyond what I deserve. His mercies are new, September will end, and His grace prevails.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.”

–Psalm 34:8

His grace is daily flowing for me, because of Christ’s atonement. Sufficiency and efficacy are twin facets in grace’s multidimensional beauty.

September has been rough. Crying out for help, resisting it, fleeing and fearing, praying and persisting. Where is it at? Elusive contentment, heart-rest, abundance of life?

Christ is the one who sustains––ad infinitum. He is all in all. Salvation, peace, and bravery are all found in Him alone––now, and every September until we reach that golden shore.

“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;

His going out is sure as the dawn;

He will come to us as the showers,

as the spring rains that water the earth.”

–Hosea 6:3

Gazing Toward the Future

Carissa A —  October 3, 2016 — Leave a comment

fullsizerender-11


In quiet moments, my mind revisits cherished memories – like a late-summer swim in the dimming waves of a San Diego sunset with a kindred sister in Christ.

Gliding through the water, we faced the distant horizon of the sea and the horizon of our futures. Sunset orange, crimson and purple melted down to light up the ocean around us.

Brilliant colors in the sky faded into dark blue, and our voices sailed over the waves in soul-nourishing conversation. We became misty-eyed as we pondered the mercy of God in light of our insufficiency.

We are prone to nautical wandering – we truly don’t know how to navigate the ocean-like immensity of the future.

Time is an ever-fluctuating and vast sea with an unreachable horizon of tomorrow. Still, we feign knowledge of the unknown future because of our natural craving for control. Desperately and hungrily we reach, longing for a sure stability of safety.

We might as well try to conquer the ocean. Time is unforgiving – she has no concept of care for individuals caught in her flooding tides.

But the Eternal One alone commands the sea of time. 

“Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” –Mark 4:41

He is all-merciful and all-powerful, even over the inevitable and oft ominous currents of time. I aspire to be a woman always basking in humbled wonder at the great magnitude of His providential and sustaining mercy – even when the future looks like a murky expanse.

Looking back, I remember the taste of rippling, moonlight-drenched waves, the depths of His faithfulness, and the arrival of hope. I see a season of euphoric joy sometimes eclipsed by shadowy pain and sorrow.

Looking forward, I gaze toward the horizon of the future. I do not know what it holds, although I seem to glimpse fragments–a journey to India, a not-so-far-away college graduation, and post-education ventures into the exhilarating unknown.

I do not need a precise awareness of what my future holds because I know the sovereign One outside of time. The Alpha and Omega who knows the beginning from the end in His timelessness.

My grandmother’s words return to me: “You may not know what is to come, but you know the One who knows.” Security in the face of a fast-approaching future is only found in pursuing Him, the One who holds all the waters of time in His hands.