Harsh Winds and Sovereignty

Laura Heming, Editor-in-Chief

October 2014

October has come in heavy.

It seems as though the cold winds have brought along with them heavier hearts for many of the people around me, including myself. I feel as though there have been cold, hard issues that God has been bringing into fresh light for me these past few weeks, and I often wonder if I can hold a steady grip on anything.

I’m learning more and more about the concept of seasons in this very popular and sentimental season of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, cozy sweaters and all that jazz. Recognizing different seasons in life is recognizing that sometimes life is just really heavy and really hard. The more life progresses, the more I see a colder world, and the more I see that my attempts to wrap myself in a warm blanket of relief seem to falter.

 I find myself crumbling under the burden of my saturated thinking. Leaves are changing, people are changing, and the very things I held in positions of importance are changing.

The other day, a close friend told me that if four years ago she were to picture what her life would be like today, it would not look like it does now. That is always how it goes, isn’t it? We have these big plans, these tidy, groomed ideals of what life will be, and we begin to realize that we can’t always make those things happen.

One of my favourite authors, Wendell Berry, talks about this concept in his book Jayber Crow. He says, “This, I thought, is what is meant by 'thy will be done' in the Lord's Prayer, which I had prayed time and again without thinking about it. It means that your will and God's will may not be the same. It means there's a good possibility that you won't get what you pray for. It means that in spite of your prayers you are going to suffer.”

Sometimes to suffer means to be in the will of God. Despite my confusion of why my heart is often heavy-laden with the hurts of others or the races that exist in my mind, I am overwhelmingly humbled. I am learning over and over again that suffering exists not because of a God who punishes or couldn’t care less, but because of a God that is never finished with making us new. God’s will is not always a big, unattainable mystery, but it often is. We are called to be present in the things we endure — present in suffering, present in rejoicing and present in moments of confusion and brokenness.

As you read October’s edition of the Crown, you may find there are many heavy issues that we have decided to bring to light and discuss. We as a team encourage you to allow yourself to feel remorse, feel anger, feel joy and feel confusion about these topics. We invite you to recognize that even as the world around us changes and seems to cry out for release, there is a redemptive healing in feeling things deeply and learning that God is, despite what we wish we could do to make things better, making all things new.