Friday, February 18, 2011

Fanning The Flames Anew ©

My tears led the way to my chat with Jesus. It all started with my friend’s words. Her blogpost spoke of how after a long, hard season, she was beginning to dream again. I saw myself woven into the details of her story.

It’s been a year of endurance not only for myself but for my family too. Early in 2010 my 3rd born experienced his first real break up. The next day he broke his hand requiring surgery. Eight weeks later, he was released from the doctor. Soon after his release, his hand was broken again in the same spot while playing a game at camp. He started the healing process all over again.

My 2nd born excitedly announced the expectancy of our first grandchild. Twelve weeks later when she went in to hear the baby’s heartbeat she was told her little one had died.

Around the same time, my 1st born announced her engagement. Two months later the traumatic phone call came. Her engagement had been broken off. She needed her father to come and drive her home. She walked in the door broken and confused.

Since the beginning of 2010 God has been plowing up the fallow ground of my husband’s heart awakening us both to broken places hidden away inside. It’s been needful yet very, very messy.

A friendship I had had great hopes for took a turn in a direction I didn’t expect, taking pieces of my heart with it.

As I sat with my journal open I allowed the pain that lay hidden behind the emotions to spill out. "What's the point of desiring, I just end up getting hurt." "I'm better off not longing for anything, at least that way I won't have to deal with the pain of hope deferred."

Why is it that life seems so daunting sometimes? I was taken back to the pastor's words spoken to me in 2004. Instantly God had given him a vision of me. He saw a horse itching at the gate wanting to get out. "You see yourself as a sprinter, get in, get the job done," he said. "But God wants you to know that you've been built for endurance." "In the days that are troubled, ask yourself... how do I have hope today?"

I hadn't done that. I'd set my face like a flint to keep enduring but I’d forgotten to look for hope. As I sat with the tears pouring down my cheeks I realized I’d lost the ability to dream. I’d lost trust in His delight to give me the desires of my heart. All I could see were the hardships that must be endured. I forgot to look for hope.

It was my husband's prayer for me that day that stirred the longings up to the surface. "Surprise her today, God."

I packed up my things and drove to Starbucks. It was after all my writing day. I couldn't understand why I was going. I hadn't written one word in weeks, words have been stuck inside me. I hoped that as I moved forward God would do something to re-ignite the embers of my heart.

While I was gone a package came. I wasn’t expecting anything.

Inside the box was a letter.... “You are our ipad winner of the day.” I had entered one giveaway after another longing to give one to my husband. David is always thinking of his family, never buying anything for himself. I knew if he could buy himself anything it would be an ipad. I knew I probably would never have the money to buy one yet I longed to give him this gift. I don’t know if the neighbors heard my squealing.

Wait! How did this happen? They said the winners would get an e-mail that they would need to respond to in 72 hours in order to receive their prize. I hadn’t gotten an e-mail. I hadn’t responded. How did they get my mailing address? I didn’t give it to them. What about the winner’s list where all the winners are listed? My name wasn’t on there. Why wasn’t my name on there? It didn’t make sense. How could I be their winner of the day?

It was in that moment that I saw the twinkle in His eyes.

God gave me a desire of my heart. He took the bellows of my fragile faith and fanned it anew as I watched a desire satisfied before my eyes.

Last Friday I saw once again that a longing fulfilled really is a tree of life.

©copyrighted: 2011; Julie L. Todd


Cindy said... Reply to comment

It is such a joy when God shines down and surprises our hearts!! You needed to see His twinkling Eyes!! So glad that you did!

Terra said... Reply to comment

I think I may have heard your squeals of joy all the way over here :)
God never ceases to amaze me, and here he provided an ipad (or is that ipod) for you to give to your dear husband. Especially in hard times, as you have experienced, a touch of joy is doubly sweet.

Anonymous said... Reply to comment

I love how He let you know that He loved you ever so much by giving you the desire of your heart - an ipad for your husband. Our God is love.

So touched that my words moved you my darling friend. It is the reason I write - in hope that women would seek Him more after reading them. Love you. xo

Paula ~ Princess Warrior Chick said... Reply to comment

Beautiful! I have tears of joy for you. xoxo

BARBIE said... Reply to comment

Oh wow! God is so amazingly good! He loves you so much!

Heather said... Reply to comment

Friend, this is beautiful yet heart wrenching. I will continue to pray for your children and that Father would continue to show you of His great love. Remember that winter is but for a season. He always shows up and never leaves us here, in winter. Thank you for sharing your heart, you are such a wonderful inspiration to me!

Laura said... Reply to comment

Oh, Julie! You have had such a trying season. It seems that when my children are hurting it is so difficult to bear. As a parent, I just want to wipe that all away with a kiss like I did when they were younger.

I am so glad our good Lord delighted you in this way! He loves you so much. I'm glad you stopped by to see me. I miss my visits with you too.

Love you, lady!

sparrow girl said... Reply to comment

Julie, I loved this post!

He is so good to surprise us with His loving ways!

Love you,

Thoughts for the day said... Reply to comment

wow. So many things tugging and pulling at your heart. Blessings often come out of our hard places if only we slow down and let them minister to us. take care

Amy said... Reply to comment

...Another beautiful example of how God truly gives us the desires of our heart!

JESUS is SO AMAZING! I LOVE how He surprised you this week!

Kathy S. said... Reply to comment

What a sweet story of God's love. It is hard to understand when the billows blow and there seems to be no end, but then God shows up in tangible ways and kisses us with His love like this.

Blessings to you Julie, He WILL restore what the locusts have eaten.

Rebekah Grace said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie! I had been to your blog quite a few times about a month ago or so (through A Deeper Story), but there was no new writing. With the number of blogs out there, some of them are just done. Anyway....Thanks for stopping by A Prodigal's Story of Grace! This post cut right through this mama's heart! The mess is always messy! The grace is always AMAZING!

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

Hi Julie
This is beautiful. Sometimes life hits us in rapid fire wounding... and endurance is important, but you are right, hope needs to be there as well.

Weeping with you in your pain
Rejoicing with you in your joy...

May God be with you as you enter a new season.


Mel said... Reply to comment

Hi, Julie! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and also for sharing here. What a beautiful story. I'll remember your family in my prayers. God is Good...and I love the surprise glimpses of goodness He gives when we're not expecting it. :) Blessings to you!


Linda Hoye said... Reply to comment

I love it! He is so faithful, and just-in-time. I hope 2011 is a better year than 2010 was for everyone.

Katie said... Reply to comment

Haha!!!! I had to laugh with joy at the gift God gave you to give!

I have seen quite a lot, recently, how he delights to give things to those who have His giving heart. I mean...when I ask for things for myself, he frequently does give them...but when I ask Him to give me the means to give something to someone else, He seems to take especial delight in surprising me with how He can do it! And you, too!

Customized Essay said... Reply to comment

Sounds good.. BARBIE agree with you.. GOD really love Julie..