Monday, August 27, 2012
I can identify with the flowers obliterated by searing heat. Wilted. Dry. Unwatered. Forgotten. A series of painful and unfortunate events in my life have turned everything upside down and left me stinging. I've been reading the book "Captivated" by John and Staci Eldredge. Interestingly enough, I came across a passage today that was like an arrow to the heart... the scene above a living picture of the words on that page. It reads...
"A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she's loved. We've seen this many times- you probably have too. Cut off from love, rejected, no one pursuing her, something in a woman wilts like a flower no one waters anymore. She withers into resignation, duty, and shame. The radiance of her countenance goes out, as if a light has been turned off. But this same woman, whom everyone thought was rather plain and unengaging, becomes lovely and inviting when she is pursued. Her heart begins to come alive, come to the surface, and her countenance becomes radiant. We wonder, 'where has she been all these years?' Why, she is really captivating..."
This is where I've been. I'll spare you the ugly details, but suffice it to say, there has been one setback after another, both inside and out. I have honestly never felt more lonely in my life. The desert has dried me up; my heart is bone dry and needing... something. I went on to read about how the authors both experienced a personal love note from God by way of a few fantastic and breathtaking nature sightings... something they KNEW were meant just for them.
I wanted that. I wanted to know He saw me. That I wasn't invisible. That all the things I've done, and the way I've secretly plugged away when I really wanted to quit and felt it didn't matter had been SEEN by Him. Does He love me? I mean, REALLY? Because for the last several months, it sure hasn't felt like it. He has been distant. Quiet. I needed to KNOW He was there. I needed one of those signs. The author did too. And all she did, was simply ASK. It was all I had to do too.
Maybe it was pride. Or maybe it was anger or that tendency to revert back to survival mode (I don't need anything or anybody, I'll do it myself!) when things get to be too much that prevented me from asking. Or maybe I didn't know how bad I wanted or needed it. In any case, I never asked. Well, scratch that- I have asked for things, but not from that place of deep pain and being so close to my breaking point. But today, I realized how bad I needed that sign. Sitting in my car on my lunch break, I teared up while reading what was really MY story. I knew I had to ask for my OWN sign.
There is something that right now, my heart desires more than anything. And that has simply been to find a home big enough for my kids and I. I had in mind what the perfect place would be like. I needed four bedrooms. I wanted some land with it. Few neighbors. Out in the country. I found such a place a few months ago, but it was for sale. I just kept going back to that page, scrolling through the pictures, thinking how great it would be to have THIS house. I'm not in any position to buy. There's no way that'll happen. I saw that it had been on the market for a good long time, so I sent a message to the realtor asking if the owner might be open to possibly renting it. I knew it probably wouldn't happen. That door was closed tight. I really, REALLY wanted it. I didn't get a reply, so I shrugged it off and moved on.
I knew I couldn't be picky; still, I had a sense that I needed to look for that perfect place. That I should hold out for it and not settle for less because God could definitely move the mountain and bring it. But, would He? I wanted that to be my sign. There, in the parking lot, I looked up at a mess of billowing puffy white clouds. And I squeaked...
"God, are you there? And... do you really love me? If you do, I really need to SEE it..."
And that was that. I didn't really expect an answer. Break was over. I collected myself and went back inside to work. An hour and a half later, my phone rings. It's a realtor who had been trying to help me find a place. She calls to tell me that the four bedroom, two bath, almost 2600 square foot home she had told me about the other day that might be a possibility was now a definite YES. She had talked the owner into renting it out because they were not able to sell it. She told me where it was... and the blood drained from my face.
It was my dream house. The one I didn't get a response on two months ago.
The answer was YES! Yes, you get the home you've wanted so desperately. And YES, Jen... I love you.
And it only seems appropriate that this gift, from the King of Kings, sits on a gravel road in the country named, of all things, KING Rd.
Yes, there is a bushel of dead flowers in that picture up there. But sprouting up out of the ashes next to it is new life. It came up long after the rest of the bush had died. It was a picture of redemption... a sign that even when hope is long gone and it seems nothing is left and nothing will change, there is still life happening. God is still doing something. It's not over yet.
Posted by Jen at 9:14 PM