I have started many times to sit down and write this entry. I have needed to write but as each day has come and gone, I have failed to get the task done. The problem has been my heart has not been in it. Even my heart has needed to write longing to purge my soul and to lift my spirit but my mind has just not been able to put thoughts to paper.
That is until now……
Tonight was a night to celebrate, to get back into the game of life, out of the shadows, and into the graceful movements of life’s daily dance. I could feel the magic surrounding us, the excitement building and the feeling of life beginning to spring forth hope again. After eight months of living in the desert, traveling from one mirage to another… a spring with real water, real hope and a new beginning actually sprang up from out of the dry sand.
For months life felt as if we had landed in the sands of destitute and hopelessness. In the long darkness of night when rest was welcome but not found we listened as the wind blew and worked hard to tear down our tent. Many days we did not find shade but we did not give up! When life seemed to have thrown us the worst blow, God provided water and rest for our souls as He guided friends to our worn and beaten down little tent.
He did not leave us to perish in the wilderness; NO He took care of our needs. We were never truly alone and for those blessings I am grateful. I think of the Israelites who wondered in the wilderness for 40 years… everyday God provided for their needs. Every morning they had food, mania straight from Heaven, and water and shelter. Sure maybe He was not so keen to provide for their wants BUT you know our wants are not always good for us.
I will not tell you I did not question God during our wanderings in the wilderness. To be truthful I shook my head everyday and called out to Him, asking God why He seemed to be abandoning us. I was confused, scared and at times completely ready to give in to the outer darkness. I mean life has not been an easy road for me; I could have given in to the anger, and the madness years ago if I sit down and think about all life has thrown my way. I mean I would have a good reason to be mad at God if I wanted to right? Why should I continue to trust a God who continues to throw pain and uncertainty my way right?
As month after month Johnny was turned down for jobs, as the freezer grew emptier and even as we fought to save our home many times we were told to run, to throw the towel in, pack up and leave it all behind. And I will tell you we came close BUT (this is so my favorite word) we decided to trust God. We held true to the belief He loved us and believed no matter what befell us He had our best interest in His hands. What it was, well at the time your guess was as good as mine because I for sure could not see what it was! Yet despite all my doubts, God took care of each and every one of our needs whether it was food on our table, gifts under the tree or the roof over our heads. Every single need was met.
True we could have given up; we could have let doubt blind us from the path ahead but Praise God we did not! We held to His comfort and the lampposts guiding our way through the wilderness. Crazy right? But God is good and even though we may not understand why He does.
So again I say to you, tonight was a night to celebrate, to join the dance again. Tonight I saw hope fill the eyes of my children again and peace settle into our souls. No, not all our worries are gone, but when all is said and done I can tell you the winds have died down. We are safe within the outskirts of the wilderness in this moment. Right here, right now we are rejoicing in the gifts of hope and the sweet sound of stillness God has provided us.
I am reminded of the song, “Stand” by Rascal Flats as I wrap my thoughts up. In fact this song has been our families’ anthem the last few years. The words of this song have carried us through many long, dark nights from the breast cancer to the loss of our health insurance.
“Cause when push comes to shove
You taste what you're made of
You might bend, till you break
Cause it’s all you can take
On your knees you look up
Decide you've had enough
You get mad you get strong
Wipe your hands shake it off
Then you Stand, Then you stand.
Every time you get up
And get back in the race
One more small piece of you
Starts to fall into place”
I say when life seems to have taken all you hold close away and you do not know if you can hold on another day, YOU STAND, and TRUST, because when you emerge from the wilderness HOPE will set you FREE!