Caught in a Memory

Do you ever get caught in a memory?

Do you ever get caught in a memory?

You’re driving down the road minding your own business as you sing along to your favorite song. The light turns green and as your feet presses on the gas and lets up on the clutch you feel yourself jolt and your breath catch in your chest. A memory streaks across your mind stirring up emotions you thought were buried deep below the waves. Their little faces cause your eyes to fill with tears that overflow and overwhelm your heart. A memory you thought was buried, one you thought you could escape, but the day, the way the sun hit off the clouds and the air filled your lungs with the sweet smells of summers end, all barreled at you and before you realized it you were drowning in a sea of feelings because the memory took you captive.

Moses was an incredible leader and follower of God who never got to walk into The Promised Land. He raised up another leader who would eventually lead the people of Israel across the Jordan and into the land of milk and honey.

All through Exodus we see the nation of Israel on a hard, long, painful journey in hopes of entering a place God promised them. They walked in shoes that became filled with memories of torment, abuse, slavery, and fear. Memories of how God saved them by parting the Red Sea, sending manna and quail, a pillar of cloud leading them by day and a pillar of fire by night. They followed Moses, sometimes grumbling and fighting the journey, as Moses listened and followed God trusting Him for The Promised Land.

In Joshua 1 we see Moses has passed away and God tells Joshua to get up and be ready; that he will be the one who takes the people across the Jordan.

I picture Joshua standing in the night air next to the rushing water as he listens to the calm night sky whisper as the wind rushes through the brush. I can just see his face as he contemplates all God has told him and as he wrestles with this new calling. “Strong and courageous,” two words branded on his heart, on a warriors heart. Joshua is a mighty warrior and does not take those words lightly, they weigh on him. I picture him standing by that river remembering all this nation has been through to get to this moment. His hands lifted in worship as he focuses on his loving Father. This warrior is ready to walk into The Promised Land knowing God is with him.

God calls them to move and the most incredible thing happens! The Jordan, during flood stage, stops! God STOPS the river and the entire nation walks across on DRY ground! This is the second time God has them walk on dry ground where it should be covered with water, once at the beginning of their journey into the desert and here at the end of the journey as they leave the desert. We see in Joshua 4 they make it to the other side and God tells Joshua to choose 1 man from each of the 12 tribes to collect a stone from the middle of the Jordan where the priests carrying the ark of the covenant stood as they crossed. They were to stack the stones in order to be a sign for future generations to see that this, this place, was where Israel crossed the river on dry ground because God STOPPED the river.

A memory, a stamp in time, marked by a memorial to evoke an emotion, to evoke worship. Joshua took remembering serious, he did what God asked. Israel needed reminders of God’s power and His works.

We need to be struck by memories. We need to get lost in the embrace of what God has done and trust that those memories will only strengthen our trust in a deep way so that we can fall further into His chest and trust Him for all the unknowns of the present and the future.

This time of year begins one that is filled with hardness for my little family as those memories surface, sometimes from out of nowhere, but as I lay here listening to the night whisper His unmeasurable glory, I’m reminded to remember and hold those memories dear even when they hurt, even when they bring tears, even when sadness seems to overtake. I’m reminded to worship the Creator for the good and the bad knowing He uses everything for His glory. Those hard roads can lead us into a place that is filled with milk and honey and only makes our stories sweeter! Those memories glorify a good good Father and show His faithfulness and how holy He is. So as the weather teases us with the promises of hoodies, football, and pumpkin spice everything let us fall head first into worship as we remember all He has done for us!

Blessings,

Stacy

A blog of a different kind: A peek into my heart in a moment of brokenness and loss.

That moment

The breath is knocked out of you and you lay flat on the ground if only metaphorically. The punch radiates a pain deeper than any fist could unconvincingly comprehend. You feel all life leave your body but find that your heart is beating and your lungs are filling all while you try to figure out how you are still living and breathing when your entire world has just been ripped out from the very ground your feet stood upon.

Day Two

A moment where my chest fills with a hot fire as I try to breathe the anxiety attack out. Slowly and with a patience not seen by human eyes, my lungs burn with the rage of the beast racing through my veins. “One, Two…,” my eyes slam shut trying to wish the anxiety from making my bones a home, “Ten.” I force a soft smile into my lips, pressing with all my might and I force a relax into my eyebrows as I turn to face my responsibilities of the day; while hoping and praying they can’t see the anxiety, the pain, the brokenness and the hurt that is trying to sneak out of my eyes through a glassy sapphire wave. My body, feeling out of control and pain lurking slowly through every inch as the beast rages, trying to show itself to the outside world, begging to be acknowledged. This moment full of chaos and a world that doesn’t need to know and certainly should not see the weakness, hidden deep in a smile on my lips somehow deceives and everyone interacts never knowing the war thundering deep inside my skin.

The day’s trials compounded turning into minutes and then hours and finally, after begging and pleading, one completed day. Escaping to the security of a bright blue glass house speeding home and safely pulling into a concrete sea of driveway that should bring no comfort to an achy body and raw war torn heart; but security is exactly what it brings and for a brief moment safety and concealment lodged the brokenness allowing a peace to cover and conceal the overwhelming pain.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

A broken promise; a dream interrupted and awakened by a lie; hope tasted but stolen leaving a deep thirst that can only be quenched by one living water, The Living Water. A hope that we pray is not lost on childhood. A desire that lingers because it has been faithfully felt. An insatiable taste that cannot be forgotten but will be chased and sought after long after the bitterness subsides. We pray that the life breathed deep into his lungs was engraved on his heart, “JESUS.”

To never say goodbye, to walk away where choice was thieved right out from under you; in a moment you found yourself holding your breath, taking the heart and cracking the remaining portion in such a way it cannot possibly be put back together.  It devastates the age to come and disrupts and temps the glory to pass what could have been. The ache we feel is unconvinced of hope but seems to hear a slight whisper that temps by knocking the heart to turn toward the beat; the whisper heard through a door slammed shut; the whisper, a breath, for the future that holds a promise of life, for true life that will be lived and lived through thriving from living water.

To Deliberate

My mind races to the birthdays never celebrated, the blanket I had yet to get embroidered, the t-shirt with Fergie across the back that he chose but will never wear, the movie I promised but was waiting to see, and the cereal bought but not eaten; my heart cries out for the moments where he pushed the boundary a bit more and snuggled up under my arm instead of just finding a way to touch my leg. My love grows deeper as I feel the hurt of the lost moments of homework and grocery shopping and talk of his new name and future game days.

A failed moment that brings a flesh to its knees and a heart to its shattered-ness; a moment that suddenly calls wisdom out begging the soul to crave a different kind of success; a moment that seems to beg you to choose withdrawal and defeat or maybe, just maybe a push forward out onto the water; step by step moving forward toward The One True King and your eyes never breaking from His.

We never planned for this journey to end this way and we never envisioned more loss, more heart ache, but our flesh doesn’t seem to see what our souls long for and strive in each moment to achieve. Our flesh misses the future promise of serving the King of Kings and that promise, the promise we must grab onto and chase with our complete soul, clasping onto the assurance of serving Jesus and walking in His truth and His light. Our lives are about so much more than our eyes can see and our flesh can touch and we must pursue an existence that is solely devoted to our deep identity in Christ that is based on Him and founded in His will!

The Future

Sweet boy…sweet boys, our hearts ache for you in this world but will always pray for you and long to see you in the next life as we hang out with Jesus! We love you with a love we have never known and long to grow deeper in.

We love you with a courageous love and an apologetic flesh!

Blessings, Stacy