“The promises of God are anchors in our life. They are things we can hold onto when storms come.” – Promises and Obstacles, Steady in the Storm
This is a quote from my book and a chapter within the book where Rhett and I were dating and I began to question whether or not I could do this. God had spoken to me the prior year, when we were harvesting Christmas trees with friends, that the next year we got Christmas trees, Rhett and I would be dating. Rhett’s and my relationship had taken a small rocky path, and I questioned whether or not I could continue. The sting of it all was our Christmas tree weekend was five days away. I struggled and wrestled with God over why he would put such an obstacle in our relationship, that might potentially end it, in the week before we got Christmas trees. How dare God tell me something, only to not follow through.
God spoke very clear to me about my struggle. The choice of whether or not Rhett and I would still be in a relationship by the time we got Christmas trees on Saturday was up to me. God’s promise still stood.
Sometimes we feel something very strongly for our lives. We know in our hearts it’s what we are suppose to do, but life throws curve balls at us to discourage us, push us away, and keep us from our potential. Being a person of faith and believing in God, I also believe there is a spiritual enemy who is out to seek, kill and destroy. The obstacles in our path are usually devices of the enemy to keep us from living the fulfillment of God.
I told God, that December in 2016, that I would push on with the relationship, but only until we got the Christmas trees, ya know, to make sure God’s promise was kept, but after that I wasn’t promising anything. Pretty rude and entitled approach. Clearly I wasn’t fully committed to God’s plan, just enough to have the attitude of a spoiled brat child.
Clearly the story ends well, as Rhett and I continued to date, got married, went through a bunch more storms that almost ripped us apart, and have been married coming up on three years. Sometimes when I consider everything we’ve been through it feels like we’ve been married 8-10 years already.
Through the storms and turmoil it’s been hard to cling to God’s goodness. It’s been hard to cling to those things that I have felt strongly in my heart for a long time. There are still promises of God that I’m waiting on. Though I’m not sure I can fully call them promises, as I have not heard God speak them as clearly as he did when we were dating. These are desires of my heart, long held desires that I know God has placed there.
There is a magazine I just love, it’s called Bella Grace and it’s the most beautiful, uplifting magazine on the market. I bought my first copy in a very dark time when I needed to focus on some self-care. It’s a $20 magazine, released quarterly, and something I would never consider buying, ever, because of it’s price. In this season though, I was in a cloud of despair as I walked around Wal-Mart looking for something to bring some cheer to my evening. I settled on a bottle of bath bubbles, chocolate, a frozen margarita pizza and this magazine. All of these things were enjoyed during a very hot bubble bath. Bella Grace runs mainly on submissions from it’s readers. It has a good base of talented writers, but it will also publish articles from indie writers and create articles souly from comments on their social media. Three times now my comments have been published in their social media based articles.
Our summer has been less than summery this year, so when a nice day hit on my day off I packed up a bag full of the essentials and parked my bum on the sand. Bella Grace was the first thing to enter my beach bag and the first thing I pulled out once situated. When I turned the page to the next article my brain immediately commented on how wonderful the image was and thought, ‘Ugh, that’s my dream job”. The images are always attached to a featured comment. I looked across the page and read the featured comment. “I would run a homestead with my husband. We would have goats, chickens, pigs and a donkey. Maybe two donkeys. I would work the land, bake sourdough, can preserves off our land, and chop wood to heat the house. We would house foster children and teach them the home-cooked values, how to be part of a family and team, and how rewarding it is to reap what you sow!” – Shonah Marie
I had totally forgotten I had even commented on this social media post of theres, and I really needed to be reminded of it. Our life is really good. We are both working, we live in a beautiful city, our rental has a beautiful view, we are tending a garden this summer and we are both strong and healthy, but we both know something is missing. We both know our potential is not being met, that our life is only mostly there. We are working as hard as we know how to reach our goals, but it always feels like we are in the same place year after year. Seeing my comment printed in Bella Grace was, I feel, God’s way of reminding me that he has not forgotten about our dreams. He has not let us down or abandoned us.
Even this post today is an encouragement to me. When I finally finished writing Steady in the Storm I re-read it and highlighted quotes I wanted to later blog about, book-marking every page with a quote. Months later, I decided to write my first post today. I randomly selected a bookmark and pulled open to the page. The one and only highlighted quote is the one that opened this post, “The promises of God are anchors in our life. They are things we can hold onto when storms come.“
I was immediately encouraged. I remembered the Bella Grace comment, read just a week ago, and felt a sigh of relief, remembering again God has not forgotten us. Life is super hard. 2020 has been super hard. It’s hard to cling to the things God has spoken over our lives. But when I actually take time and look back over my life, so many of the things I had desires for have happened and I have wept over God’s goodness every time they came to pass. A recently discovered worship song, wrote by a friend, says, “Hold on a little more, this is not the end. Hope is in the Lord.”
If you are in a tough season, know it is not yet the end. Know God is in the middle of it working, he’s just not finished yet. A good listening prayer exercise in this would be to join Jesus in what he is working on for you. Find him, where is he? What is he building, why is he building it, can you help? I remember when my dad would work in the shop at the back of our house. I would go out there with a coffee for him and sit and watch him work. Often we wouldn’t talk, or I would ask questions about what he was doing. The smell of sawdust and the blonde hue of the wood is still strong in my mind. Just sitting with him while he worked was comforting to me. I need to learn to do this with Jesus. Just because I’m not seeing results, doesn’t mean that Jesus stopped working. It probably means Jesus is working harder than ever and results are on the way. My job is to trust in his work, rest in his presence, and maybe bring him a coffee.