If I could detail everything God has done in my spiritual walk recently, you would not have the time to read it. If I had the time to put words on paper (or screen), I would write a book. I've written some words this month, but nothing that could amount to a book, though it is a start. Maybe. Some day, I just may get all my thoughts of the past few years of my life into order and produce something worthy of the reading public. That would be a dream come true!
In the meantime, I share snippets here when time allows, or I write in my private journal. Years ago, when I first heard of blogging, I thought I could never do it because I couldn't replace my journal. Then I realized, it doesn't have to. There is something to be said about pen and paper. I intend to never give it up.
So...recently, God has been on the move.
God asked me if I would be okay if a specific circumstance came to be.
In the blink of a second, my mind raced through all God has done for me. The little things and the big.
Delivering my family from the possibility of unjustified physical separation.
Giving me discernment in choosing curriculum.
Carrying me through months of what I can only remember as despair.
Two beautiful, healthy babies who are wonderful companions.
I remembered hospital rooms, nurses, courtrooms, lawyers, a clear and chilly December morning, snow falling on evergreens outside the second story hospital lobby, numbness, brain fog, that feeling of not knowing if I could physically place one foot in front of the other, dizziness, panic attacks, anxiety...
And as I drove down 2nd Street that rainy morning, I said out loud, "Yes. I will be okay."
I knew I would hate it, but I knew I would be okay.
There were other things God asked of me recently, some of them easier than others. I had to go get the old wreaths I had placed on my parents' graves. I stood in the cemetery knowing the Lord was asking me to worship then and there and not wanting to do so at the same time. I convinced myself (partially) that it was all in my head. As I turned to leave, I noticed a stone I must have looked at 100 times and never read. The few lines from "Great is Thy Faithfulness" were staring at me.
Knowing that worshiping the Lord through music is how I feel the most intimate with God, I knew what I had to do. It wasn't in my imagination. God wanted me to obey, not because He insistently needed me to worship Him in that moment, but to prove to myself the answer to what He was asking me.
"Are you okay without them?"
Of course I am. Jesus is enough. All I need. I quietly choked my way through a couple verses of the old hymn, but I sang with my heart full. I thought of my mom suffering through months of treatments and worse months of pain and that last month of no treatments at all and the excruciating pain and ungodly symptoms.
"Thank You, Father, for healing her. Thank You for making her perfect."
"Thank You for taking away all of Daddy's pain."
This is a true test of thankfulness. These are the hard thanksgiving moments, when our gratitude counts the most. These two things I have said before, and I have meant them at the time, but there are moments when I find myself just wanting my parents back so desperately that I take the words back. I needed this reminder from God this week. Worshiping and offering this true sacrifice of thanksgiving, something I did not, could not fully understand until last December, this is what Thanksgiving is all about.
I know I am okay, and I don't want to give the impression that I am still deeply mourning. This was all in the course of an afternoon or two. I still think these wandering thoughts, and sometimes in the midst of the everyday circumstances that are trivial in comparison, I get lost in the lesser things. I complain to God.
About the mundane and everyday, about the things that are hard right now, and the things I don't want to happen and the things that I wish would happen.
I tell Him when I don't understand, and I know He can take it. I don't need to understand. We are never promised that we will understand, and I know this.
Trust. That's my problem. I forget to trust. Or, I tell myself that I just don't know if I can trust anymore. Can I trust this God of mine to do even this? This big deal? This humanly impossible thing?
Of course I can, so I give it to Him, and I give it to Him again and again and again.
Yesterday, I read the book of Habakkuk. Chapter 1 verse 5 says, "watch and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told."
I knew the Lord planned for me to read that exact verse yesterday. I felt it in my soul. I copied the verse into my journal. I probably read it over ten times. I prayed the verse, and then I went on with my day, teaching the kids this and that, doing what needed to be done.
Then my husband called.
That seemingly impossible thing? God took care of it. Months of wondering about the impossible, praying together, asking others to pray, and then beginning to wonder if God might not answer the way we wanted.
But He did answer. Exactly the way we needed Him to, bigger than we could have imagined.
Because my God does that. He is who He says. He does what He says He'll do. He cares for me, and He cares for you. He is all we need.
I stand overwhelmed by this God of all wonders, the Most High God of the universe, who cares for me.
And I fall in love with Him a little more. I cannot help it. I am all His because He made Himself all mine.
Watch and be utterly amazed at what the Lord will do in your lifetime. I promise, if you stand on your watchtower and wait patiently for Him, He will show up, and you will be astounded.