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