It was exactly one week ago at the kitchen sink that I saw it.
Lance’s car pulling into the driveway. Two whole hours early. (Complete with the sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach.) I immediately knew. All those prayers we prayed for God to make our paths straight and clear? He had begun. He just closed a door. He had just made one thing end in order to bring about something else. And as we grappled with different emotions and tried desperately to take deep breaths, PRAY… and we had an audience. They were playing with dolls in the next room.
We put forth every effort to remain upbeat and joyful, so as not to frighten them… the older is SO perceptive. Especially in those next few hours. At one point, she found me *hiding* in the pantry, questioning the next step. She said, “Mommy. I LUD (love) you. Do you KNOW that I LUD you? I do. I LUD you A LOT.”
That was the first of many instances this week that God artfully used the beautiful, innocent love of our children to pour balm on our exhausted and tentative hearts.
And not just through our children. God has brought encouragement from every. single. corner. of our world. Everyone we have come in contact with has been so kind. So thoughtful. So quick to want to help. So generous. The amount of kindness we have been recipients of has been so much more than a huge blessing. It’s been HUMBLING.
Yes, this causes us to realize what great family and friends we have. But more than that even, we realize (again) how great our God is. Every little thing, keeps saying. “I love you. I’m faithful. And I love you.” Every well-timed song we hear, ministers to us in our season of uncertainty and causes us to stop. And worship the God who saw this coming. He heard our 3 years of frustrated prayers as we prayed for an open door. He heard and He acted FOR us.
Undoubtedly, we have… moments. Moments when all we see is the sudden turn of events and our complete inability to change things. I was having one of these moments on Friday. Alone for an hour, I tried to fit in a Dr’s appointment. I walked into the reception area to check in, and was directed to a new girl I hadn’t met before. There, plain as day, taped to her computer was a tattered strip of paper, with one verse–
“The Lord will fight for you and you shall hold your peace.” Exodus 14:14
YES. Because when you watch your husband faithfully work and strive and struggle and then be let go… You NEED a God who fights battles and gives peace.
Every little thing He uses to comfort us– it stops us dead in our tracks of frustration and causes us to stand awestruck at what He is doing. Because we know HE IS WORKING.
But when we’re in the thick of it, we falter. We see what’s in front of us, which is a little foggy, and we strain to see clearly… until our eyes ache from squinting to see the clarity that just isn’t there. Not yet.
But, Oh He is Faithful! Faithful to keep gently reminding us.
Through His Word.
Through sermons that seem so well-timed, that surely there is a wire-tap on our phones, feeding our pastor his next topic.
Through the generosity of others.
Through the girls.
Yesterday while leaving church, Lucy (in the backseat with her craft– A paper world she colored and taped the day’s Bible verse to.) Any idea what the verse was? Jeremiah 29:11. And from the back seat, she said, “Mommy? Daddy? God said, For I know the plans I have for you!!!”
This being after the beautiful sermon on trusting God and surrendering to His will–
We just looked at each other and shrugged while laughing around the joy of knowing we. were. LOVED.
Today, I picked Lucy up from school and pulled over to buckle her in. I opened her folder as I always do, and spotted a post-it note from her sweet director.
“NO Tuition due for October. Payment made by an Anonymous donor.”
Meanwhile, from the backseat, I hear my little encourager sing– (and please know, I could not make this up.)
“Oh how He loves you and me…. Oh how He loves you and me…”
I did NOT hold myself together at that point. It was just too much. Too much love lavished on us by people who want to bless us. Too much grace poured out from our Father. Too much hope in knowing He is at work. Too much anticipation as we watch what He does next.