Last night I tossed and turned for hours. My stomach was in knots, I felt feverish and I knew I was fighting something. When I woke up at six this morning, I knew I was checked out for the day. Thankfully I was able to fall back asleep for a bit but finally woke up for good. I dragged my aching feverish body upstairs to find some water and possibly choke down some toast. In the midst of my mild despair, I decided to crack open my new journal. I poured out my thoughts, my fears, my disappointments, my frustrations, and my hurts along with my tears. I have to confess that sometimes I’m disappointed by God. My heart feels as though this one thing is where He doesn’t want me to succeed. He taunts me with just enough that I get emotionally invested and then pulls the carpet out from under me. After scribbling my frustrations and confessing my thoughts, I turned the page to see verses on remembering the Lord’s faithfulness. For the past four years, the phrase “remember” has gone through my heart and my head. Remembering is a choice. One that, so like the Israelites, I fail to choose. After closing my journal, I opened the tattered pages of my precious Bible. Every time I open it I think about how I need to get a new one, but my spirit recoils at the thought. The nine years I’ve had this Bible have been the most defining to date. The scratches and scribbles, underlining, and tear-stained pages, are like a salve to my soul. I opened the pages, and I turned, without intending to, to a verse in Isaiah. My eyes were immediately drawn to an underlined section and I couldn’t look away. “Be careful, keep calm, and don’t be afraid. Don’t lose heart…” Isaiah 7:4. I can’t remember ever having read those words before. It was like I was seeing them for the first time and He was speaking so very gently reminding me to hold on. How beautiful it is when those verses speak into exactly what we’re dealing with. This is remarkable to me because less than a month ago, a similar situation happened. I felt the Spirit convicting me on not rushing His timing, or else I’d end up with a golden calf. As I mused about what my golden calf could potentially be, I turned somewhere near Exodus or Genesis, knowing the story was in that part of the Old Testament. Sure enough, my pages turned right to the story. I laughed and also grimaced a bit. Clearly, it was a lesson I needed to re-visit…
I love stories like these. I read a book one time that described them as “Jesus kisses” and I’ve never found a better image. Occasionally they are more of a “pay attention” kiss, but often, it has the aroma of a tender word from Him. There is no sweeter fragrance than when the Lord is near.
I wish I could share so much more about the frustrations and how exactly the Lord is growing me. To be fair and sensitive, now is not the time. What I can say though, is redemption is a beautiful thing and I’m seeing the very shattered pieces of my life, slowly picked up, and made new. Things that happened five years ago, almost identical situations, are happening again – but finishing with a much different ending. I am a much different girl than I was nine months ago.
You make all things new