The twins were five: kindergarten was proving more work that I ever dreamed possible for the kindergarten I remember attending! My husband worked in town and it was decided that I return to the classroom since the kids had begun school. The twins attended the same school where I accepted a job, at the farthest point of the county we live in. Their attendance at the school where I worked still didn’t help the fact that “my babies” had started school! During that year of big changes for our family… it proved to be a time when a life altering unexpected change was about to occur.
The Unexpected: Following my husbands accident, where he was permanently paralyzed, brought our family to a halt! There were many unexpected changes with ministries that were just heartbreaking for me. Being on the tail end of others insecurities and unkindness added to the pain of dealing with these adjustments along with David’s injury. The reality of this single life event for our family continues to teach me how there are components of God’s character that He wanted/needed to lead me to in order for deep heart healing to take place. As I’m sure many of you know, the deeper the wound, the more pain there is. Every time I turned around after his accident, someone had a sword they were swinging… each one causing deeper and deeper wounds.
The Expected: Grief… lots of grieving! The desire to “grieve well” was key for both David and I. In order to do that, we had to rely on God in a much different way. So many things were out of our control. We knew WHO was in control… we were learning to surrender. After several months with all the losses that seemed to come one right after the other, I fought deep despair. Night after night I would swing on the front porch and watch the sunset over the mountains, listen to hand selected music that helped me cope, and pray… literally begging God to SHOW ME Himself…. I needed that assurance. He knew I needed MORE OF HIM!! Each night, He painted a new work of art… the twins began to come out with me and we marveled at His Majesty!! We would talk softly, sharing what we were experiencing… sometimes not speaking at all: there were just no words! This special time was the beginning of our “thankful list”. I can attest to the fact that 14 years later our “thankful list” helped us push through times of great sadness and be more aware of our HOPE and PROVISION. Those sweet times of prayer with Geoffrey and Katie is something that I will always treasure! Through God’s Word we knew we could expect His love, comfort and provision of our needs. Provision often came in exciting and unexpected ways…
The Unexpected Glory: During a particularly difficult time, I sat alone on the swing, my eyes shut: praying, begging, crying out for understanding… I needed so badly to know that God understood my pain and heartache… I needed to know that some of the anger I was feeling was righteous anger… (To me, living in our sinful world warrants our anger. ) Eyes shut tight, fighting the erupting emotions… so afraid of what was under the surface… the tears still ran down my cheeks for at least an hour… not wanting to open my eyes, because that is where I was confronted with reality…. Eventually, I knew God was calling me to open my eyes… I could feel the wind picking up. The brush of the Holy Spirit was cooling to my hot tears… I was afraid. The wind grew stronger, I needed to prepare for the obvious approaching storm. I so did not want to open my eyes… but, when I finally did, I was confronted with a visual embrace of a mammoth cloud formation!! I sensed such a stillness… and as I viewed the image I have shared here… I heard God tell me, “I’m angry, too”…. What a loving gift He presented me with as the reality of that cloud formation sank in… “God is angry with things that hurt me”… WOW!! God is angry with the things that hurt us!! All of us!! (This truth is not always obvious when one has dealt with abuse and emotional abandonment)
As I have pondered this image for several years, I have realized that Justice is found in the Sovereignty of God…. Whether events in my life are expected or unexpected… I know for sure that God is Just!
*** several days after taking this picture the following verses brought further confirmation that God had answered my cry for relief…
The LORD answered Moses, “Is the LORD’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”
Isaiah 59:1 New Living Translation
Listen! The LORD’s arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call.
My prayer is that by sharing this very abbreviated account of how God showed Himself to me will speak to one of you… or maybe even someone that you know…. There is HOPE in knowing Sovereign Justice .