I actually really like lemons.

It’s true-I do.

You can use them for cooking or slice them up & throw them in some water. So versatile, those lemons.

I saw this sign while out and about, and it got me thinking about lemons and lemonade.

IMG_7769

#hipster

How sometimes the lemon can truly be sweet, and in my opinion, the lemonade is occasionally bitter. Or how in life, we think we want all the sweet but that is actually a pretty bitter way to live.

 

All sweet produces not only cavities or stomach aches but in life, entitlement or arrogance. Without the bitter, how do we savor the sweet? I believe to my very core that we need both.

There are some lovely books on this topic by truly talented authors. One is “Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet,” by Sara Hagerty and the other is “Bittersweet,” by Shauna Niequest. (Both linked below.)

You want to know what’s a scary prayer, “Lord, Your will be done.” Because we are out of control. We have zero control over God’s will and what He is going to do. When I think about the times in my life I have yielded to God’s will, He has done beautiful, sweet, praiseworthy things in my life. He has also allowed for some of the most difficult things in my life. I’m sure the same could be said for you.

Asking the Lord to do His will when my Nonna was sick with cancer, when I didn’t get the job I wanted, when I faced true rejection in relationships. Asking Him to do His will when I went to college, moved back to Columbus, starting to work at a middle school, and forming a new community. The bitter and the sweet.

The sovereignty of God is that He is consistently good and never ceases in being good. His way is always better than ours.

It’s not easy to remember that when the bad feels too bitter to bear. Loneliness, anxiety, unanswered prayers, waiting, and inevitable grief.

& then I am reminded again. The sweet is always sweeter after the bitter. The sunrise is always more beautiful after a few dark days.

I love the show, “This Is Us” for many reasons, probably enough reasons for another blog post, but this clip talks about the bitter and sweet of life. (Specifically around 3:20).

What bitter things are in your life right now, where God and you are taking them to slightly resemble lemonade? Is it work related? Family related? Friends? Significant other related? Or maybe all of the above related?

I don’t know about you, but for me sometimes it’s all of the above. The bitter sting of singleness, of “will I get to be a mom?”, of disappointments and dreams not yet achieved. Sometimes it’s being bitter with myself and that the person I want to be around least in the day is me. I can only fill in the blanks of your own bitter, and the pains in your life that no matter how hard you try to make them sweet-they just aren’t.

No amount of “everything happens for a reason” can settle that kind of hurt in your life.

This is the part where words fall short. Where I can’t spin this into crap and call it comfort. Because we all know life can be overwhelmingly bitter, and honestly just sour.

What I can encourage you in only, is keep seeking the good. Keep looking for the glimpses of it. Dig through the dirt as long as it takes to find a little gold. It’s not ignoring the bad and pretending it’s all good–no, it’s seeking the good amidst the bad. God always brings redemption into a story somehow.

Maybe after all, the lemons can begin to taste oh-so sweet.

 

Bittersweet by Shauna NiequestΒ 

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty

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