seven years ago, life for me was much different than today.
i spent months in a place that i never ever want to return. back then, days bled into nights and nights back into days—an unceasing cycle of fear and great depths of sadness-grief literally consumed me. i feared going out-leaving my house-talking to people-being… and i was losing faith.
my closest friends new that things were bad-but by not letting anyone in only Jeff knew the truth. six months of this life go by and a friend calls. she says she wants to get together and visit let our kids play-together we had five under the age of five. i agreed but cancelled every time yet she refused to give up on me…
i went to her home not too far from mine. our kids ran around, played, laughed, snacked, and jumped. she and i talked about recipes and time outs-sales on dishes and stain fighters. we watched our kids learn to share and problem solve-potty train and live. and as time went on, i began to understand faithfulness. not in a biblestudy in a fancy church, not in a perfectly published workbook but on the floor surrounded by Leggos and Lincoln Logs-Barbies and crumbled saltines. Her dog-earred bible opened to one chapter-the same chapter every time, she and i in that beautiful mess-crying, asking, seeking, knocking, believing, understanding…i learned faithfulness. and i slowly climbed out of the darkness-my chapters forever changed.
yesterday, i sat in awe of this friend as she took the stage, the same stage i stood on a few days ago. she looked over the crowd that had gathered to say so long to her husband. she opened her dogged earred bible and comforted us all. their chapters on this earth have ended but their story goes on. so if you find yourself losing faith, ask me to tell you a story about faithfulness. a story of faithfullness that is woven with love and forgiveness, hope and peace.
and then you will know the story of two girls who have an unshaking faithfulness in our sovereign Lord…..
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. 4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the LORD, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. 7 Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. 8 “For I, the LORD, love justice; I hate robbery and iniquity. In my faithfulness I will reward them and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the LORD has blessed.” 10 I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign LORD will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.
"Other things may change us, but we start and end with the family." — Anthony Brandt
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