It seems that the majority of us have experienced seemingly endless seasons of suffering and pain. Although the details may look different, pain = pain. And the more personal the pain, the more painful is our experience.
My family has been in one of these seemingly endless seasons for quite some time now. Although there truly has been and continues to be peace in the midst of the storms, and reasons to celebrate God's goodness and faithfulness while still feeling the pelts of ice and rain that hit us, storms also have a way of wearing a person out when they come from all different directions ~ and many times when you're just getting back on your feet from the last one.
You've most likely heard the saying, "You're either in a storm, coming out of one, or heading into one." But the truth is, a lot of us have experienced all three at the same time! It can be so hard to even hang on by a thread. It's in those times we can trust that our strong and faithful Father holds onto us and we are, like our contributor Cheryl Lutz says, "Securely Held."
As Stephen, our kids, and I look at where we are today, as in right now in this moment, we're once again amazed by how our Gracious Heavenly Father has woven His redemptive threads of grace through the unsightly and unpleasant parts of the tapestry that is our lives. (To see the latest on our family's news, please click here.)
This post isn't anything deep or new or anything you haven't thought of or experienced in the past. My hope is simply that today's post will encourage you that no matter what your journey and experience looks like today, God is working--and many times, He does His best work behind the scenes! Just because we can't see the evidence of His activity in our lives it doesn't mean that there is no activity.
My Macey turns 18 in a few weeks and she has told us to just let her know what we're giving her for her special birthday. She said, "I don't like surprises; just go ahead and tell me," to which I responded, "I know you well enough to know you do like surprises, Mace; it's the waiting for them that you don't like."
How do I know this? Because I know her...and I also know me. I think most of us struggle with the waiting. But I also believe God delights in surprising us. I believe He enjoys watching us experience the joy and excitement seeing His surprises come into our view and into our personal experience. It's those times of waiting in the midst of the dark unknown seasons of our lives that test (i.e. purify) our trust in our Heavenly Father. And it's those times when the Joy breaks the darkness like that first flash of the sunrise that sends our souls soaring with the celebration of knowing that--once again--our God came through and that He has been working everything together for His good purposes and for our best interest all along.
May we trust Him more today whether we're walking by faith or experiencing His surprises with our sight.
Shelley Hendrix is the founder of Church 4 Chicks as well as Shelley Hendrix Ministries and the co-founder of a new ministry collaboration called Team Redeemed (a ministry to those whose lives have been impacted by infidelity).
You can find Shelley's website, social media links and more at www.ShelleyHendrix.com but you'll typically find her sipping coffee, scrounging for chocolate, and petting her dog while hovered over her laptop.