I REALLY, REALLY don’t like to blog when I emotionally and spiritually feel the way I am currently feeling. I dislike being this way, let alone sharing it with the entire world. So why, oh why, am I blogging?
Because I have been challenged to share the Light of Christ with all that I know and love. And despite feeling the way that I do, I know that He is there . . . even (especially) when I don’t feel He is.
Did you notice this photo I shared recently? I didn’t! Not until my dear friend Sarene mentioned it in a message she sent to me yesterday. YESTERDAY! Yes, that’s right! YESTERDAY my dear friend Sarene stopped whatever she was doing because she felt the need to message me. Not a message in response to all the questions I had sent to her. No. Her message was an entirely different message; a message JUST FOR ME!!!
And . . . I wasn’t feeling up to listening to her message yesterday because of the way I have been feeling the past few days. I also didn’t feel like listening to it today either. BUT, I had a feeling that “if” I cared about myself (AND I WANTED to take care of myself) that listening to Sarene’s message would be a nice thing to do for myself. So I did.
Her message was exactly what I needed, like a bridge over troubled, crocodile filled waters! Her words literally were able to reach out their hands and help me cross over to safe ground. And she did it by mentioning the reflection in the picture she had shared with me the other day.
Look closer! Do you see it? I sure didn’t. I had to look REALLY close! Maybe turn the photo upside down?
Do you see it now?
This is where her message rescued me. I was “assuming” that the awkward, ungrounded feeling I have been feeling the last 2 days was due to ME NOT doing something, or the other. Like, what we are going through is my fault. Like I should have prevented this from happening, or that I messed up and got us in this mess?
When in reality, this feeling, this strange and uncertain feeling, is actually the very real act of me . . . of our entire family . . . being held and carried by the Lord Himself.
I can’t say how I didn’t know what this feeling was for myself, maybe pride got in the way? But what I do know is that my dear friend Sarene is the most genuine, most sincere, and most determined disciple of Christ that I know and if she says so, well . . . her words mean something to me! So much so, I was willing to believe her.
Just listen to the sweetness and simple truth of her message to me today . . .
“[Look at the picture.] . . . He’s carrying you guys right now, He’s carrying you! I know! Because when you feel like not being grounded . . . feeling that uncertainty . . . that out of place feeling . . . and it’s like you have one foot on one rock and the other foot on another rock . . . and you are like, ‘Okay where am I going next?” . . . But you don’t know! . . . If you think about it . . . it is actually like Christ’s feet on the stones. He’s carrying us and we don’t always remember that . . . that through Him we are grounded. We can ‘be still in our souls’ with Him.” She then ended her message with a sweet, “I just feel like sharing that with you guys today.”
Isn’t she the best!
After her sweet and angelic reminder that I AM okay, because I am MORE than OKAY (because I have remembered again that I have Him with me through this), a rush of peace settled inside of me and I was able to get up and move, to change the position I was in (literally) and got doing something good . . . like filling up 10 gallons of water into 1 gallon empty water jugs. It actually felt rewarding to be doing something that I believe in (clean water for my family to drink at any moment we need it!) . . . and then it happened . . . a rush of joy came over me! I REMEMBERED even more!
I remembered the beginning of this whole experience we have been having and re-watched EVERYTHING falling into place for us to get to the USA, get the transportation we needed, get the RV packed in just the way we could function as a family of 5 in it without going insane . . . and then the water. How could I forget about the water!!!
You see, my body has been going through a lot the last few years. Do you remember me sharing with you about the kidney stones,, LowFODMAPS and the colonoscopy? Good times. But I am being serious. Those experiences helped prepare MY BODY for the adventure it was going to NEED to take this year. Those experiences also taught me that I NEED to drink at least 10 to 12 cups of water a day.
With that knowledge, I knew that I personally needed a gallon of water each day. So I bought some. I bought 10 of them. Those empty water jugs have be reused, over and over again, and have become the main reason we can boondock just about anywhere for as long as we have. We are able to save our grey water for shower/toilet/cleaning purposes and use the gallons of water for drinking and cooking.
This storing of water has been a HUGE joy for me on this trip. It has seen us through many a hard time, easing our burdens and bringing us immediate relief. But the idea wasn’t mine. It was a prompting. An actually difficult prompting because WHY BUY WATER when you can just use the grey water tank? And if you know me, I like to save money and I also choose what “others” think is best more times than I should. So me actually buying 10 gallons of water just for me is HUGE! And it has ended up being a tremendous blessing for our entire family!
So . . . back to my story. When I started to fill up the water jugs today, a rush came over me. A sweet and gentle feeling came into my mind and heart that said, “I am with you. I am always with you! I will never leave you. Remember. I am just like the sun. Although the storm clouds may block your sight of me, they can’t block my source of power. I am here. Be not afraid.”
Why, oh why, does He love us when we are so weak?
Well because . . . He is our Savior! He loves us PERFECTLY! He knows our heart’s constraints. He KNOWS what makes me weak and He loves me through it! He loves when I choose Him over “sin” (i.e. – anything that pulls me or keeps me from going to Him).
So, my dear friends, family, grandchildren, my children, other children, and strangers. This is me. This is me in pain. This is me vulnerable. This is me questioning “which step do I take next?” . . . when all along, HE IS CARRYING ME! I wish I had all the answers right now . . . wait. I don’t. Because if I had all the answers, what is the purpose in having any of these experiences?!?!? None at all!
So, tonight, I close with a few of our tender mercies from this week. For this week wasn’t all bad. There was some joy sprinkled throughout!
- We gave an attempt at trying to see where we should move to (like a rock climber feeing out which rock he/she should hold onto next) but nothing came from it but troubles with the air conditioner which led to our family checking into a campground for the night. Tender Mercy #1.
- Poor Paul missed out. He stayed back to work on keeping us cool all night, while the rest of us went swimming in a salt water swimming pool and then in Lake Gaston, Virginia. We ended the night, after glorious cold showers, with a family movie night (yes, on a Thursday). Then we woke up the next morning and Paul took the kids swimming once again, while I prepared the RV to leave by noon. Swimming during Covid is almost unheard of. what a welcomed relief and joy to have!!! Tender Mercy #2!
- On our way “home” to the B Family’s property in Williamsburg, VA., we stopped at an AWESOME Walmart. Seriously! The people there were so friendly. I would almost move to South Hill, VA just because of the people at the Walmart. Curly Cook thought she finally found herself a pair of overalls. The skirt fit nicely, but she really wants pants. Unfortunately, the pants were just too baggy without her shorts under them (how else does one try on things at Walmart these days without taking it home first???). But at least she got to finally try on a pair! Tender Mercy #3.
- After a FANTASTIC Walmart FEAST for lunch (tender mercy #4), we drove in two separate vehicles, hoping to make it home in time for a “Back-to-School Church Devotional” with Brad Wilcox. The girls and I rode in the van. We belted our lungs out to the only music we had in the van – “Frozen”. We laughed, talked, remembered old times, and arrived in time to enjoy the devotional. Brad was rad! (Tender Mercy #5). Then El Gringo called. We helped him download a song for his mission’s Facebook page they made a video for. Go check it out! Then after a rough battle with the kids last night, I took some time today to find “calm” and sketched for a bit. Sketching is what calmed me to listen to Sarene. See how our gifts and talents are there for us too!?!?
We are all struggling right now. It isn’t just me. But I do KNOW that we are each being given what we need to make it through these tough and challenging days. That includes YOU too! Just take a minute and look back on your day. Was there a moment today that you felt loved? You felt seen? You felt understood? That is good and all things good are from God! HE IS WITH US! Especially when we can’t see Him and we feel alone. Ask, and He’ll answer you. Knock and He will come unto you. He cares. And if you don’t believe me, maybe you will believe my friend Sarene.😉
Thanks for listening.
P.S. – Thanks Olivia! You inspired me to write. This blog post is for you!