My world collapsed on Sunday.
In an instant, everything changed.
In an instant, everything broke.
Or, rather, revealed the brokenness that was already there and has been there.
There is so much I want to say, but I cannot yet go into detail. I apologize to the curious ones (I’m sure there are some of you; it can’t just be me!).
I have been asking God to move for a while now. I don’t know exactly how long. A few years.
And he has promised that he will come, and won’t delay. That he will break open the skies to save us. That he is strong enough, that his grace is more than enough, that his plan will stand and he will do all that he pleases.
And for most of that time, he has told me to do one overarching thing: “Wait. Be still. Trust me, and love him. JUST. WAIT.” (That is one; it all goes together.)
I am resisting the temptation to say that had I not waited, had I not been still and silent, things could have been avoided. Resisting the temptation to feel how I felt before – that I misunderstood God, that I got off course somehow, or, worse, that he lied to me, deceived me, promised something and then changed his mind.
No. That is what Satan would love me to do – torment myself with the “what if’s?”
There is no life, or freedom, or hope there. It doesn’t matter what would have happened if I – or others – had done something differently, because we didn’t.
And that is not the point.
I am not sure what the point of this is.
I’m not even sure if I will post this – though, if you are reading this, then clearly I decided to.
The point, I suppose, is that I have been broken.
And more to the point, my husband has been broken.
And this breaking has opened up doors that have long been shut (and moreover, locked). It has opened up hearts that have been so hurt and so encaged. It has forced us to open our eyes. It has forced us to start bridging the divide that we allowed to creep in between us. It has forced us to examine ourselves honestly, forced us to come face-to-face with our own fallen-ness. It has forced us to seek God, to lean on him; to throw ourselves upon him, continually and increasingly.
It has forced me to open up my Bible and read it for hours.
It has forced me to trust God in ways I have never had to trust him before.
It is forcing me to surrender utterly and continually to his will.
Because I really have nothing else.
And I can do nothing else.
At this point, there is no option but surrender.
And in this, I see that this is what needed to happen.
God is answering my prayers, and he is moving – not as I thought, not as I wanted.
But this is not our story.
This is his story of us.
Yes, in many ways, I wish I could go back – not to last Saturday, but to years ago. Back to the beginning. Before we started slipping into “ordinary,” back when I thought we were “extraordinary” and always would be because we were just that special, we were just that different. (Oh, how I drip with pride. Yuck.)
But God, truly, has been so sweet, so consistent. On Sunday night, as I wept openly before him in the glorious darkness (such a country girl, I am), as I listened to music and sobbed as my phone shuffled to the songs I needed to hear and to sing, he gave me shooting stars. (Which has been the sign for several years now that he hears me, that he sees me.) The most I have ever seen on a given night is, I believe, four.
But this time, he gave me seven.
Seven – partly because I, in my anal-ness and obsession with numbers, asked for seven. (Yes, God loves me enough to both understand, and indulge, my weirdness. He’s a keeper! ;) )
And seven, I believe, as a promise of his hand in everything. (You can read about the meaning of the number seven in the Bible here.)
And then, as I finally headed toward the “hotel,” my phone shuffled to the song that is the cry of my heart, the song that has been the cry of my heart.
I do not want to go back.
I do not wish for things to be as they have been.
I want transformation.
I want restoration.
I want full redemption.
I want healing.
A new focus, a new purpose, a new everything.
And I believe – truly, truly believe – that this is the birth of that newness. This is the dark before the morning, the hurt before the healing. The storm that will yield the explosion of life. We will look back on this and see the fingerprints of God all over it, redeeming our choices, restoring our love, and transforming everything.
And using it, inexplicably, overwhelmingly for his glory, his renown, his joy.
Nothing is over.
For there is still life for us.
There is still beauty for us.
There is still hope for us.
And there is still so much joy ahead – and the pain we are feeling now will not even be able to compare to it.
The best IS yet to come.
Because God is for us.
And he is making all things new.
And nothing – NOTHING – will be wasted.
From the deepest wounds will come the truest healing.
From the darkest night will come the most glorious dawn.
And from the long-devastated ruins will spring a garden.
I’ve seen it in my head.
Now, now we will live it.