Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Here's the 4 Words I've Said a Million Times During the Pandemic








Hello there, my friends!

I wasn't going to write today.

The washer is going strong, the dryer spins hot.  I had big plans to drag all the tiresome winter clothes out of drawers and the tiny closet and stash them in garment bags in the guest room and my big ol' childhood mahogany dresser in the basement.

The sun is shining bright outside, just beckoning me for a walk in its warm, healing rays.  My muscles ache for a quick stride, a good stretch.

I have a few notes I want to write and a pile of tasks to get done and I'm hoping that something delicious will spring from the freezer for supper.  Maybe, maybe not.

But all that aside, I have something to tell you.  The four words I've repeated over and over again in recent months.

I  .  Just  .  Don't  .  Know

It's odd when you finally listen, when you pay close attention to what's repeatedly whispering from your contemplative soul and pouring from your lips in a huge percentage of your conversations.

I've lost track of how many times and to whom I've said this to.  My husband, my sister, my girls, my mom, my faithful readers, my dearest friends have heard this mantra ad nauseum.  And they've often repeated those four words right back to me in one way, shape, or form.

When I finally paused long enough to listen to my repetitious musings, I realized that those words are absolutely true, appropriate, and helpful.

Taken one way, they can be a sign of bewilderment, desperation, powerlessness, hopelessness.

But a better way is this.

I  .  Just  .  Don't  .  Know can become a lovely offering of faith and trust, a calming, blessed release up to the only One who truly knows.  The Omniscient One.  The Holy One.  The One who holds all our lurking doubts and persistent wonderings and rapidly evaporating summer plans in His most capable, nail scarred hands.

There's so much swirling around in my life that I don't have a clue about anymore.  And acknowledging that reality has taken the pressure off to somehow wave a magic wand, to forecast the future, to waste any kind of valuable time and energy trying to calculate every choice and decision that's coming down the pike.

And in this sacred realization, a sweet peace descends like a Dove.

One day at a time.

All will be well.

'Thou art my God.  My times are in Thy hands.'
- Psalm 31:14-15

Linda
*

trusting God with

46 comments:

  1. I just don't know is not a bad thing for the Christ-follower to say, especially when it is followed with "But He does." As a pastor I sure have wondered when we will meet again and what it will be like but He knows. I miss everyone but also know I am connecting with them in other ways. I just don't know the impact...but He does. thanks for your vulnerability Linda. I didn't know...but He did. :)

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    1. 'But He does.'

      Exactly, Bill.

      And that's good enough for me.

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  2. And who doesn’t love honesty?? Those four words say it all and I look at them as an offering of grace for the season. I’m glad you wrote today because sharing your heart speaks to me every time. Love you friend!

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    1. I love how you put it, Mary, 'an offering of grace for the season.'

      Grace, that unmerited favor. Yes, please, Lord ...

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  3. Those words have been on my lips a lot as well. I honestly have no idea what's next, but I do know this: He promised to never leave or forsake me. He promised me abundant life. And He promises goodness and mercy are going to chase after me.

    It's enough to know that!

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    1. Jerralea, yes!

      This is when all those Scriptures, all those old hymns come back to minister truth to our uncertainty, doubts, and fears ... and we get recalibrated yet again, by the Spirit's working in our hearts and minds.

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  4. I have got the certainty,
    and I have got the strength
    to last out this absurity
    no matter what its length.
    I have got the gnosis,
    I have got the answer,
    even though prognosis
    is that I'll die of cancer.
    Yeah, maybe it's the truth,
    and maybe 'they' are right,
    but I yet live, and that's the proof
    of the dog that's in this fight.
    It ain't the size of yonder pup;
    the one who wins will not give up.

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    1. Yep, you live, friend!

      God's not ready for you yet. Keep up the positive attitude, keep influencing others for God, keep that pen going.

      All your fans cheer you on and we will continue to pray you through ...

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  5. "I just don't know . . ." In writing to my oldest granddaughter today, I said something to that effect as she is so anxious for us to come visit with them in SC, but then I reassured her that even though we don't know when all this will be over, it will come to an end and we will be reunited. Yes, as Bill said above, we don't know, but our heavenly Father does.
    Blessings, Linda!

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    1. Yes, this is hard being away from our grandchildren. We haven't seen our oldest 4 in Maryland since Thanksgiving and there are no plans in sight.

      I'm hoping maybe we'll see the youngest 2 soon? They're only 3 hours away.

      God knows. I'm good with that.

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  6. I have said it too! Many times! Truth is, "I just don't know". But praise the Lord He knows! He sees the big picture and all I see is the little picture. I have found myself on several occasions almost overwhelmed with thoughts about what tomorrow holds. But, I am reminded that God holds my tomorrows and tomorrow hasn't come yet. One day at a time sweet Jesus. Lord help us all Linda. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

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    1. Cindy, thanks for the needed reminder about keeping the big picture front and center. It's too easy to get stuck in the right here and right now.

      'I know the plans I have for you ...'

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  7. Yes, I've said this SO many times too! And also "It's out of my control."

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    1. Ain't that the truth.

      It's kinda freeing to remove oneself from the driver's seat ...

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  8. Yes--I've felt the same way. I've so often thought of Jehoshaphat's prayer in 2 Chronicles 20:12: "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you."

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    1. Love that prayer.

      What better person to keep our eyes on than Jesus Christ. No politician, no pundit, no sub-committees.

      Delete
  9. Oh Linda, I'm so glad you did post. I love your reflection on how those four words "can become a lovely offering of faith and trust, a calming, blessed release up to the only One who truly knows." Thank you. I'm so grateful He never changes, and we have a Solid Foundation in Him.
    P.S. I just have to tell you something... Our library has devised a way where we can still pick up "real" books. :) They contact us when we have books on hold, and we need to make an appointment. They check out the books for us and put them on shelves outside the building under the eaves with our names on them. They make appointments 10 minutes apart so there is no contact, even with them. I'm so grateful. I don't think I'll ever get used to electronic books. Love and blessings to you!

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    1. Yes, the libraries are starting to open, Trudy! Yay! Even with restrictions, I'm all in! Come Tuesday we get back in the literary groove around here. I just can't wait ...

      ;-}

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  10. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Proverbs 3:5.

    God bless.

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    1. And the older I get, the more I realize how little I really do know.

      I'm grateful to be more in love than ever with the only One who holds us in his loving arms ...

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  11. Makes me think of Juliana of Norwich who said, “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” She was a Roman Catholic woman who lived in the 14th century. She is quite interesting to learn about even if you are not a Roman Catholic.

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    1. Yes, Juliana of Norwich was a saint indeed, friend. We are wise to glean from the godly wisdom of those long past.

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  12. First off, Linda ... I really could use a freezer that springs forth delicious things. :-) Second, there's so much freedom in your four words. If we don't know, we can't be in control. But our heavenly Father IS in control, no matter what the news or the naysayers or the people on Twitter suggest. I'm with you ... taking one day at a time is the only way to move forward. So glad you posted this, dear friend.

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    1. Lois, when you find that freezer, let me know so I can grab one, too!

      And I'm long done with endless newsfeeds, gloomy naysayers, and Twitter folk. Moving on from all of that and aiming to make decisions based on 'power, love, and a sound mind.'

      Yes, please.

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  13. There is so much freedom in saying that, isn't there? We don't need to know, and God will let us know on a "need to know" basis. That is truly enough for me. God bless you, sweet friend. You are such a dear encouragement to us all.

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    1. Oh this is so brilliant right here, Cheryl --> 'And the older I get, the more I realize how little I really do know.'

      Talk about freedom from having every answer right at our fingertips!

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  14. I just don't know is a wonderful admission these days. Doesn't it feel good to let go of all that responsibility of "knowing"? I love that as an expression of faith.

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    1. Laurie, thanks for this affirmation that this is all 'an expression of faith.'

      Yes. If ever our faith could be stretched and expanded, it'd be right now. God's calling our names, isn't He ...

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  15. If I had a nickle for every time I have said those same four words, you know the rest of the saying :) I'd be a rich woman. There is so much I don't know and yet, it is so freeing to just those words aloud. While I may not know many things, I know the One who knows ALL things and in this I find my peace and comfort. Thank you for your encouragement today!

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    1. Ah, yes! A beneficial way to make some extra cash!

      ;-}

      And yes, Joanne, He is our only peace, our only comfort, the kind that touches us deep in our souls. I'm so grateful ...

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  16. Wisest words one can say, I just don't know.

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  17. I am glad you posted too. Love this - it is almost a prayer isn't it? Said it often myself in surrender to God. Thanks, Linda. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

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    1. Yeah, you're spot on. This is the perfect prayer, Jean.

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  18. Amen! I just don't know, either. But that's ok. I had a old-lady temper tantrum a few days ago when I discovered that Canadian border would remain closed. But really, it's ok, and I just don't know. If I can't drive to see my grandson, I'll fly :). It's probably cheaper anyway ;).

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    1. Old-lady tantrums are so attractive to behold, aren't they!

      But we'll give ourselves a bit of a pass for now. It's ok.

      You might be the only one on that flight, Anita. You can close your eyes and pretend you're on a private jet!

      ;-)

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  19. I'm glad you posted, Linda. Your words blessed me today. I think I'm still struggling to completely give up that desire for control, but as there really is no end in sight for certain restrictions here, I know the only way to find peace is to admit that I just don't know and rest in the fact that God does.

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    1. We're really longing for rest, Lesley, you're so right. Our minds are too easily wearied at this point by even the thought of no end in sight.

      God knows where we each are as we make our way forward. In His arms we find consolation and peace.

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  20. I loved these four words " I just don't know " as I too have wrestled here ... at times(and especially in the beginning) - I thought through this "new" time my disposition was on a seesaw - either just below the median or just above ... there would be many restless nights - thank god not so much anymore ... I appreciated that you put the thoughts - which wasn't quite clear - into words ... and even more so - that God's got this ... Faith, trust, calming, blessed release to God ... A sweet peace
    One day at a time ... thank you Linda

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    1. Dear Unknown, whoever you are - I fully appreciate your image of the seesaw! Some are still on its endless up and down motion ... others have moved on to the merry go round that never stops or the slide that plummets downward only to drop us on our butts.

      I want to swing high and touch the sky and soak in the sunshine's warmth, knowing that He offers that sweet peace with new mercies every morning.

      I hope you are well ...

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    2. I like swinging high to the sky to God ..
      Thanks Linda - ellen

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  21. I'm so glad you choose to write. There is a comfort in those four words. Especially when they point us to the One who DOES know. I love that these four words can be a lovely offering of faith, hope, and trust. Thanks for this perspective, Linda!

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  22. I have said those words a lot these past few months and not just in relation to the COVID19 virus. When are you coming back to the states? I just don't know. There are no flights in and out right now. Where are you going to live? I just don't know.... And on it goes. It has been a sweet season though with extra time in the word and God has given me a peace that has me content for now. I can though feel a tug as we get closer to when we planned to originally leave. Many blessings to you and your family.

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