Steps Forward



Today I stepped back in the coffee shop I visited on the morning we got that Monday morning jaw-dropping positive surprise. I was able to walk in without tears, without anxiety, without heaviness, and without despair.

This winter has been such a stark contrast to last. There’s sunshine where there was once darkness. There’s more joy than sorrow. There’s scars where there were once open wounds.

“God always seems bigger to those who need him the most. And suffering is the tool he uses to help us need him more.” – Joni Earickson Tada 

It wasn’t the road I would have chosen for us, and I am far from comprehending the reasons. We like most who haven’t experienced this type of pain were blind to it. But through it I know He has used my brokenness, my struggle, my my grief, my loneliness, my perseverance for my good.  There are already stories emerging of how my pain has been able to strengthen another’s journey.

It was not in vain.

We’ve left a trail that shows where we’ve come from and the lessons along the way. There’s baggage left along the side that we’ve been able to let go, and some that we continue to carry, but the burden has been much lighter when we let the Guide carry it for us.

His grace has always been enough. Never something we had to save. Never short for the day. Daily increments of sufficient grace. 

A dear friend who I look up to greatly dropped a meal off around this time last year. I was still suffering greatly physically and facing another potential surgery. She took me by the arms and looked into my eyes and promised me that God WOULD use this. That He would write His story, and that His glory would shine through it. I can say with more confidence than ever that I believe her. 

I don’t know how He will continue to write our story. Perhaps this was just a glimpse of suffering that may help prepare us for something more. Perhaps I’ll never know this side of heaven the many ways He’ll weave His grace into this part of our journey, but I know He was present then and He’s present now. I know He has been and will be faithful. I know that He is sovereign even when He takes away. I know that He is good. My steps ahead can land solidly on these truths. He will redeem even the darkest of times.

A road through the wilderness has led to a quiet waters of restoration.