It was a morning I would rather forget. Life seemed to be going so smoothly, so well. And then it all seemed to fall apart in a matter of minutes.
Ever had one of those days? The more I tried to fix things, the worse they got.
I had been invited to attend a women's ministry Christmas gathering later that night. That was the last thing I wanted to do. After all, I would be surrounded by cheery voices and laughter. I just didn't feel cheery and laugh-y.
I argued with God for a while about going. He nudged. I resisted. He paved a way for me to go when my sweet husband volunteered to watch the children. I finally gave in.
All the way there, I cried. Seriously, Lord? This is supposed to be a happy event -- I do not want to show up with a white-washed face with swollen eyes. I do not want my pain to be visible!
I walked in the door of this very welcoming home with my Apple Dump Cake in hand. Just as I had suspected, I was met with smiling faces and warm hearts. Ordinarily, I would have been so excited to be with other women and share such sweet fellowship. But today was different. I really wanted to go dig a hole, crawl in it, and somehow disappear from life for a while.
I reluctantly joined a few conversations. Then our women's ministry leader who is a sweet friend of mine explained to me that there were "reflection" stations scattered throughout the house.
The stations were all different. One had a board on which to post prayer requests and pray for others. Another station had some Scripture to read and offer reflection. The third station was near the fireplace and had a cross. The cross was to remind us that Jesus carries our burdens -- whatever they are. My eyes welled up.
But it was the final station that got me. There was a basket filled with small rolled up pieces of paper. We were to take one as a gift from Jesus. I assumed that these papers would contain words of affirmation, words of hope, words of love. This excited me as God knew I needed that, especially today. I opened my small yellow scroll slowly, anticipating what God may say to me. And this is what He said:
I wept. I actually had to excuse myself.
One of the reasons this was so profound and so personal for me is that a few weeks prior to this I had gone to Starbucks while I was waiting for my daughter during drama practice. I had taken my journal and Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts with me. I approached chapter 7, "Seeing Through the Glass." The more I read, the more I cried. Right there in the middle of Starbucks. God spoke in volumes that night and I declared that Starbucks was a date venue for me and God.
So, you know how much this little yellow scroll of intimate words meant to me. Yes, there was a gift card waiting for me on the fridge. Yes, anyone would have been happy to receive this token. But for me, it was a reminder to me that the God of the Universe knows me intimately. He knows when I am having a terrible, no-good day and I need to know He is still in control.
I am continuing my Love List today. I know this post is long. But I wanted you to know that I LOVE the fact that my God, our God, is so very personal. He longs for intimacy with us. He desires deep relationship. And He loves us like no other.
Whatever kind of day you are having, or whatever trial you are going through, God wants to be WITH YOU. He is GOD WITH US. I would love to hear from you and pray for you.
He is waiting. (Maybe even at Starbucks!)
Living for ONE,
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