When life gets hard or messy I do this thing where I look backwards. I look into my past for all of the moments that God showed up, big and small, and I remind myself that He is here. He is always here.
Mark toyed with this idea of having a display in our home where we’d add pieces of stone or tile every time God worked, a memorial inspired by those in the Old Testament. God asks us to build memorials because He knows we’re not good at remembering, that sometimes He leads us out of slavery only to have us complain about the menu.
This is one of those seasons. I’m in a valley that I argue I shouldn’t be in because “Hey! I am following You! This shouldn’t happen to me!” and God argues back, “Yes, you’re following Me, and this valley is precisely the time to keep doing so.”
We don’t have that tile display in our home because, well, we’re lazy. But that doesn’t mean I don’t see memorials that our faith has built everywhere I look.
I see our home. We moved out of Mark’s parents’ house when I was 8 months pregnant with Otis. It was terrifying. Mark hated it, but I insisted. We moved into a small apartment with no real plans on how we’d ever own a home, or what our next step would be. A few months before our lease was up I called our realtor. I was sure that once I told the mortgage lady how much money we made they’d refer us to a homeless shelter, but Someone said to buy a house so I called. Between a recovering housing market and excellent rental history, we found a home. A home that has us paying way less than half of what it would cost to rent something similar.
I see our marriage. I obviously wasn’t around when Mark got divorced, but I do believe that our marriage is a blessing for how Mark handled it when his world fell apart. I believe Mark walked through an ugly season and had an incredible amount of faith that God would redeem the destruction. And He did. On anniversaries where every normal couple tries to out romance each other, we look at each other over a plate full of McDonald’s french fries and are awestruck by the peace in ourselves, in our marriage, in our home.
I see big debts that work themselves out. I see dreams of schools fighting to become real. I see jobs morph into callings. I see illnesses healed. I see ultrasounds of babies long prayed for.
There are so many times when I am tempted to look at all the ways it hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to and I have wanted to pitch a fit. Throw myself on the ground and demand an
different easier path, preferably something that Instagrams well.
The more times I see God in the details of my life, not just the retreats or amazing sermons or tearful praise songs, the more confident I am when I remind myself of His promises.
He promises His provision.
He promises His comfort.
He promises His shelter.
He promises His redemption.
He promises His healing.
He promises His protection.
He promises His guidance.
He promises His joy.
Like so many of you I’m in a season where I don’t know what’s next. I don’t know how this thing will grow and morph. I don’t know if I’ll like God’s answer. I don’t know how God will show up. But I do know that He will because that’s who He is.
Dear Church, let’s remember who He is not just because it’s what we heard about Him in Sunday School. Let’s remember because we have been given the awesome gift of looking around and, not just experiencing the miracles, but EXPECTING them.