fruit with seeds

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a hundred words that mattered to me.

Hundreds of days and people and places worth capturing in prose went by, and words left unwritten twisted up in knots behind my shoulder blades. I fell in love and barely wrote a line about it that was simply for the sake of remembering. In the meantime, I wrote tens of thousands of words and wondered the whole time if they mattered to anyone. 

As a discouraging academic year drew to a close, I searched for some sign of change or renewal in myself since I first traipsed barefoot across my stately college campus. At the end, the person I saw was weary and distant; wilting despite a steady watering of Coke Zero. We spoke more that semester of chapel attendance than of the Gospel. My own priorities, regardless of how clearly I articulated them, were disordered and blurred by discouragement, anger, and shame. 

I have done nothing well,” I said in the spring. Maybe I was right.

But I’d be amiss to turn the page without reflecting on the chapter, resentful of certain sentences and ignorant of their place in the whole story. Experience provides the structure for wisdom, and the sure way to waste a season is to leave the skeleton of experience untouched by the substance of discernment and gratitude.

I’d rather have hands that build.


3 thoughts on “fruit with seeds

  1. dearest Noelle, nothing in God’s economy is wasted, even seasons of exhaustion. sometimes you won’t be able to see the purpose behind it until much later. but God has a way of using us in brokenness, in weakness, so that He remains strong. take heart.
    after my freshman year, I felt much the same way, but i can see now that He was using all the discouraging and confusing and frustrating events of that year to my good and my growth… even though i felt at the time like i didn’t grow at all.
    take a season of rest, of re-charging: sometimes it is necessary. rest is established by God, and it is good. many blessings… praying for you.

  2. Dear Noelle,
    Some things don’t change: your uncanny ability to express the ineffable and heartfelt, though long unexercised, has not diminished.

    I don’t have any words of wisdom or comfort I can offer you, though I wish I did. All I can do is commend you for the hard but noble perspective you are taking, and urge you to hold fast to it. The fruit may be bitter, but the seeds will yield a harvest of righteousness in due time. Stand fast, friend.

    Also, I know this will look familiar:

    “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” ~ 1 Cor 15:58

  3. I relate so much to this. My past year in college felt like nothing but discouragement and reaping a very empty, rocky harvest. It was so hard to see the good in it and how the Lord could have intended it or used it at all. But He has been teaching me so much about recovery and trials and their importance in our refinement and their rich contribution to our life story. Though times grow difficult, He is always faithful, and I’ve found personally that these difficult seasons have made me appreciate who God is all the more. Take heart! Better times are on the horizon.

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