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Photo by discutant, flickr

 

there have been a lot of things to love about this year that is rapidly drawing to an end (two weeks left of school!). i have loved living in south nashville for the past year and discovering all the love that this part of town has to offer. i don’t know what the future holds and it’s a little sad to imagine never living in south nasty again. the thing i will most definitely miss most about this part of town is the ag center. it’s like my secret, private park, and she has become a good friend. during my run there this afternoon, i realized how much i have learned and loved this place.

i first met her in the hot july heat of moving to nashville. i met her full of snakes and mosquitoes and sweat, and i developed a happy friendship with her.

i watched the leaves change. i ate picnics on her lawns and read books while watching horses graze nearby. i sat at the banks of her creeks and i met with God on her trails. i went after school until it got dark too early and then i went every weekend. if it sounds idyllic, that’s because it is. if you were ever going to see a unicorn anywhere, it would be at ellington agricultural center.

and then winter came. i ran in the rain and in the cold and in the mud and the dead branches, but i ran less and less. i’m humiliated by how utterly i abandoned going outside, running, and meeting God on those trails, but i hibernated during the winter.

it was hard to wake up from that hibernation, but yesterday i finally went back for a run. to my delight, there are wildflowers growing on the hillsides and the irises in the iris garden have, for the first time since i have lived here, bloomed. on my run today i realized how much i have missed the presence of this sanctuary in my life. i have always felt God’s presence most when enjoying his creation, and this afternoon i found myself praying that he would keep others away from this place for just a little while longer, so that i could run through the woods in communion with my Father and without distractions. i sang and i ran and i talked and i embraced. and He came through- i saw almost no one else the whole time i was running.

the branches are so full of leaves and new life right now that they can’t support the weight. it’s like during the winter of no leaves they forgot how heavy this was, and they’re bending across the paths and bowing low to the ground. that’s how i felt running through those woods today- heavy with new life, new excitement, new adventures, new encouragement. it’s weighty and worth it, and i bow low in honor and thankfulness for the new life on my branches.

 

Come broken and weary
Come battered and bruised
My Jesus makes all things new
All things new

Come lost and abandoned
Come blown by the wind
He’ll bring you back home again
Home again

Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
The dawn is upon you
Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
He makes all things new
All things new

Come burning with shame
Come frozen with guilt
My Jesus, he loves you still
Loves you still

Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
The dawn is upon you
Rise up, O you sleeper, awake
He makes all things new
He makes all things new

The world was good
The world is fallen
The world will be redeemed

So hold on to the promise
The stories are true
That Jesus makes all things new
(The dawn is upon you)

Listen to the song here

And hold on to the promise: the stories are true, that Jesus makes all things new.

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