Let it be


At the beginning of 2007, I had plans for my life. These dreams included a variety of comforts: relationships and love and meaning, income and stability, smiles and music and laughter. I dreamed of a tidy existence, from a job that I loved all the way to a front-loading, designer-color washer and dryer. I had mastered the art of keeping everything under control, including my reputation, my caloric intake, and my hair-do. I was fun at parties. People liked me. I giggled and grinned and elbowed and had terrific posture. Let’s be honest: Annie Parsons had it goin’ on.

But all of a sudden, through a variety of circumstances, I found my plans dissolving. I panicked as I thought, “My life is so not turning out the way that I planned.”

And then and there, Jesus took my hand and said, “Follow me.”

For the past year or so, I have been on a bizarre journey – one in which I have felt alternately fully alive and totally numb, inspired and despairing, buoyant and lead-like. I gave up my life of comfort and security, heading out into the unknown and keeping my eyes open for whatever I was supposed to see.

Most of the time, I have had no idea what I should be looking for.

Those closest to me have sometimes been confused. I have been confused.

Do not be fooled by my usually-sunny blog persona. I must tell you that I am currently walking through a hard, hard time. I would call it a “rough patch,” except for the fact that rough patches don’t include inconsolable sobbing and emotional paralysis. Rough patches do not include sitting at a green light, staring straight ahead, oblivious to the fact that I am blocking traffic. No, this is more than a rough patch. This is the desert, arid and lonely.

But I am beginning to suspect that this is not an accident. No. I believe that I have been led into this desert for a purpose. I have been progressively stripped of all of the things that I have looked to for meaning and comfort, and now it’s just me: poor and wretched, but somehow beloved. Can it be?

We live in a culture with a quick-fix mentality: when the going gets tough, shoot some tequila and buy a new pair of shoes. (Yahoo!) But maybe sometimes we’re just supposed to dwell in the desert – to engage the hard questions and to develop a thirst and to simply let it be.

I believe that I have not been abandoned in the desert. I believe, I believe, I believe. This is a season. And when it’s over, I will look back and see the fingerprints of God all over every part of the journey.

Hosea 2:14-15:
Therefore I am now going to allure her. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards, and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came up out of Egypt.


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  1. Greta on March 31, 2008 at 2:48 PM

    Oh Annie.

    Love love.

    I will see you in less than a week and will be able to give it to you properly then. Love you.

  2. anna on March 31, 2008 at 3:16 PM

    annie. i do not know you, but i do know annie alldredge, and found your blog through hers. i read your writings regularly and always appreciate them.

    i just wanted you to know that verse is one of my favorites… in fact, hosea in its entirety is one of my favorites. and annie, it is true. HE will allure you, pursue you, and never leave you there.

    writing about the darkness mixed with the sunshine is always more real. and here’s to being more real. it is better than the alternative.

    and nice to kind of meet you. finally. :)

  3. Anonymous on March 31, 2008 at 4:26 PM

    “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid… I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” John 14:27,18
    … it’s a still, small voice – but oh so beautiful when it speaks! You are LOVED.

  4. kristy on March 31, 2008 at 5:08 PM

    annie – this speaks to me more than you know. your words, again, are my own. my heart is with you. so are my hopes for your endurance and longsuffering faith. <3k.

  5. Deborah Barnett on March 31, 2008 at 5:53 PM

    Sweet Annie. I love that you are brave to share the darkness and not just the light. You are quickly becoming one of my heroes… and I don’t mean the Annie who “had it all goin’ on”… but this Annie… the Annie who faces the darkness head on and says, “You may cloud my days but you can not consume me”.

    Curious… have you ever read “Dark Night of the Soul”? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Night_of_the_Soul


  6. kimberly on March 31, 2008 at 7:39 PM

    Maybe this is horrible… but I am a bit envious of you. I know that God is the God of sunny days too, but I am so far from him when it is sunny… I long for those storms so badly…I can hear him so much better and I find so much more…life. even though it sucks. it feels better to me and I miss it when it’s calm. I hope that doesn’t make you feel worse! but you are right in knowing that he will use this time…

  7. Allie, Dearest on March 31, 2008 at 8:34 PM

    That passage in Hosea was my “word from the Lord,” if you will, in 2004, when I went through the hardest time of my entire life. I knew that God meant me to walk through that–and knew that he would bring me to a different place afterwards.

    I hope his peace is with you tonight.

    You are very beloved.

  8. Colleen on March 31, 2008 at 9:38 PM

    We should have lunch soon. Please email me. colleen.norman@gmail.com.


  9. Anonymous on April 1, 2008 at 1:04 AM

    Hey! I dont know you but I happened upon your blog through another photographers blog. A few weeks ago my church had a discussion about how being sad could be a good thing, and in those times of darkness to listen to what God might be trying to say to you. It might be something worth listening to… http://www.marinerschurch.org/pages/weekendvideomessage.html select the folder why. and then click on sadness on 3/9/08.


  10. Case and Los on April 1, 2008 at 11:33 AM

    To echo what Deborah said above, I say with all due respect, St. John of the Cross is the shit! Dark Night of the Soul is great.

  11. Larry McCallister on April 8, 2008 at 9:12 AM

    Annie, I came across your blog entry and was drawn to your quotation of the Hosea passage. This is one of my favorite sayings in the Minor Prophets because there is a beautiful play on words. Achor in Hebrew means “troubling.”

    “…and the Valley of Troubling for a Door of Hope”


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