When we moved those 17 times in a year and My Man went without work for nearly two years, the hardest part of it all wasn’t boxing up all our things to put away in storage and living out of suitcases.
It wasn’t carting my daughter around for a year, setting up and tearing down that rickety pack-n-play.
It wasn’t even the humble, repeated asking of friends if they could help when we had nothing in return with which to thank them.
The hardest part was watching the drive and ambition and the pride nearly kicked out of My Man.
No Princess wants to watch her Knight in Shining Armor get dragged around by his horse, kicked in the shins and covered with mud. And no Husband worth his salt wants to sit by and helplessly watch other people take care of his family, to feed them, clothe them and put a roof over their head.
There’s something in a Man who has been raised with grit and grace that demands he play his part in covering his family.
So it can nearly break him when time and again the rejections come back, the answer is no and for all his trying, for all of his pleading with Abba, there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight.
This refining by fire and hardest-pressure, yeah, it will tell you what that man is made of because either he’ll crack into a dozen pieces or he’ll let that heavy and hard weigh down on him and form him into something better.
So it’s been two years and there’s finally been work and we’re standing on the edge of what might be those long-awaited prayers coming into focus. And My Man, he sends this email around and it’s a stunning capture of what two years of wilderness can do to a man.
How it can take the good and turn it into something great.
How it can take the every-day faith and turn it into dripping-wet, get out of the boat and follow close faith.
How it can turn us from being people always looking behind at what was to looking ahead at what could be.
It’s early here and the sun is just starting to light up the fields behind the house. And the air smells fresh and clean and the house is quiet and I’m thinking we could all use this reminder, every day, in every season.
That God is doing a new thing, right now. This day. He’s sprouting up streams in the desert and a way in the wilderness. And He’s inviting us to join Him.
Will we see it? Will we say yes?
“Very early on in the writing process for Full of Grace I was facing an uphill mental battle about the pressure of the “how to” – how to write something meaningful for the world, how to share something authentic that spoke to the lost and broken. How to do something new that spoke to the world in 2016. There was a lot of pressure I initially took on.
In that moment of reflection, I had a word given to me. It not only mirrored the writing process, but it has mirrored my life since we began and it continues to be something that holds true.
God then began to do exactly that. A new thing. A new way. From where I have come from, it is clear, it has nothing to do with the old. God says, I cannot do things the old way. This is a new time, a new present moment. It requires a new thing. A new way. “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined.”
I believe God is asking this of all those involved in the church and ministry at this moment in the world. God is responding to the needs of humanity in the present. God wants to answer the questions of humanity today. Not the past, or the future. God wants to respond to the human struggle today.
He is ready to use us, but He must do a new thing with all of us. He must strike a new course, make a new way in our lives in order to use us. We must perceive it, discern it, see what it is and move in tune with Him. It must be out with the old and in with the new on many things in order for God to radically reflect the darkness in the world. The things in the past, that worked, that are comfortable, they are done. God is doing a new thing.
I do not know what this personally means for each of you, I am sure it will be different, unique. But I do urge you to pray on it, let God speak through it. Are you holding on to something from the old life, “this is the way I do things, this is how it works, this is who I am,” that God is asking you to let go of? Ask Him to show you this. Or perhaps you have already seen God doing new things in your life that you did not expect, that is pushing you to trust in a deeper way.
The world may seem to be in a scary, never before seen place right now. The violence, the lack of faith, the confusion. But none of this is new to our God and He knows exactly what is needed. Be encouraged. “I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” “
When I said “I do” a few years back, I knew I was marrying a good man. But this trial by fire, this stripping and humbling, yeah, it’s left me with a great man.
Happy Birthday A ❤️