I’ve always loved a good story.
Stories are kind of my jam. I love hearing the history of people. Sitting across someone in a coffee shop or on my porch in the rain while they pour out what makes them tick just can’t be beat. It might be part of my introverted-ness but its wired in me to want to know where someone has walked.
As much as I love hearing stories and telling stories, I sometimes still get parts of my story stuck in my throat. See I’ve been telling my stories on online platforms for years, back when there was blogspot and myspace notes I’ve been laying my thoughts out there a few key strokes at a time.
But then something changed. Something happened that made me take it all down. Years of thoughts and ramblings deleted in the second it take to press a button. Gone. Gone because I was hurt, confused, running from what I felt like was being pressed into me to share. Running, powered by fear and it all goes back to a pair of red baby shoes. Baby shoes that my husband gave me on my birthday in 2013. Shoes that showed he was ready for us to start the adoption process over seas. But then something unexpected happened. Two little lines showed up on a pregnancy test and those baby shoes were placed in a box.
We always had intention to pull them out one day, and maybe we will, but what followed in that pregnancy changed the course that those shoes would walk and made me fold up smaller than a paper crane.
About 5 months into that pregnancy, I started feeling off. It was hard to place, hard to explain, even harder yet to breathe. Hours of sleep were few and far between filled with nightmares running their course. I was just dark and heavy. I tried hard to keep the happy face, the Sunday morning smiles, and the hot cups of coffee at play dates going. After catching myself doing the math of how many weeks I needed to be before I could die and my daughter live, I finally got help.
Its been a long, long, did I say long, road. Nothing has happened how I thought it would be, people who I thought would be there weren’t. People that I least expected to hang in there with me did, and a whole new shifting has happened. I honestly truly thank God daily to be where I am now, because man it’s a far cry from where I was in that season.
But why do I tell you this? Why pull all this up?
Because in the shifting I gave up on things. I gave up on sharing my story. I played my cards close, so close that at times I didn’t even see them. But the shifting didn’t stop. It kept breaking off pieces of my pride, of my fear, of my own judgement of myself. It broke and broke until the only thing left was God and redemption. Now I can say yes, I broke. I broke and hide it from these little computer keys. I knew if I shared this online that adoption might not happen for us the way we wanted. I know that still now sharing my story, is now a reason for another country to call me an unfit parent. I know that those little red shoes might never hold little feet.
But God says that my story is for His glory. So is yours.
Maybe something in your story makes you feel unqualified, unfit for a job or title that you seek. Maybe, something is being chipped away from you and all you can do is stand there and wonder why things aren’t working out in the way you planned. Can I just say that I am so thankful that God’s ways are bigger than mine, because my plan was so small and so unhealthy. Did it hurt? Yup, it totally hurts to be called unfit, to have walked through wanting to die. But did God leave. Nope. Did my plans work out. Nope, and I’m mostly thankful that they didn’t.
The amazing thing about Gods plans, is they always come with restoration. He doesn’t like lose ends. He works everything out.
And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed. Joel 2:25-26
God is restoring my heart, my voice, the vision He has put on my life is so many ways, to be used for Him. The thing about restoration it is always about His glory. His love for us is so deep that even when we are taken through hard times He heaps grace upon grace on us. The wilderness might be from our own hands, from the hands of others, or just the result of living in a fallen world. But anyway you slice it, He is there, ready to restore.
So what part of the story are you in? The part where you are still hiding? Can I tell you, there’s nothing that He cant see, even better there is nothing about you that will force His love from you. Nothing. Maybe you are being chipped away, with locus swarming and crops withering. That part is just as hard as hiding. But do know the promises of God. Are you holding on to the truth that restoration is coming? Or are you on this side of restoration, where you’re standing in the field with tears in your eyes saying “Really God? This is what I get”. Whatever season you’re in. Hold on. Worship when it hurts, hold on to the promises and be expectant of His restoration. Because its pretty amazing when it happens. I’ll be cheering you on. Because, He has made me a restored warrior ready to fight for the restoration of others.