• Faithfully Failing Him

God will whisper reminder to your heart.

Yesterday we had a beautiful fall day here in the south. The temps were in the low 80’s and the humidity was low. We had a lovely breeze and for the first time the air smelled like fall. Our leaves are still green and we have a few more weeks before red, orange, and yellow start to peak through, but it was still a beautiful fall day.

Today we are back to summer heat with temps cresting 90 and the humidity feels like an invisible wall. It appears the south doesn’t care that the calendar shows the season changed this week, it just continues on as summer.

The weather yesterday really uplifted my spirits. I have been in a valley for a while with a few aspects of life. I am waiting on God’s direction for so many things.

Waiting is a challenge for me.

I often say I wish God would mail me a manual of my life.

I could read it, know what comes next, how long it will take to get there, and what I should be doing in the interim.

If I just knew God’s plan I think the darkness that burdens my heart would cease.

If I just KNEW how long, wide, and deep the valley is then waiting for His direction to get through it wouldn’t feel so hard.

It so easy to allow the darkness and the uncertainty of the waiting to take my mind captive. To think of the “what ifs” and over analyze every hard turn.

I start wondering if the direction God is calling me to will ever be lit enough for me to know I am going the right way. I can become consumed with it and allow the valley to take over my thoughts—I hyper focus on it and nothing else. I lose sight of the wonderful gift my husband and children are. I forget in my current circumstances that I have so much in my life to delight in.

Yesterday’s weather brought forth relief from my hyper-focus. The cooler temp and smell in the air reminded me of my grandparents.

I have the most precious childhood memories from fall at my grandparents. I miss them most in the fall and I believe my love of fall is deeply rooted in my love for them.

They both passed away years ago.

From birth until I was eight I lived across the street from my grandparents. My grandparents were farmers, commercial tobacco farmers. I know all the horrible things about tobacco and what it does to people who use it. My family hasn’t farmed tobacco in over twenty years, but for decades that was how my grandparents made a living.

Tobacco is harvested in early August and the farming season would wind down by the time the fall was upon us. I believe that is why fall holds so many memories with them, it was the first time in months I had their undivided time.

I remember getting off the bus in the afternoons at their house. Everyday my grandpa (I called him m Pa) would be sitting on the porch waiting for me. He would ask me if, “I would sit a spell with him.”

I would sit next to him with my legs dangling off the edge of the porch, backpack dropped on the steps.

I would sit quietly with my grandpa, smelling the air, feeling the breeze, and looking at the sky and trees.

My grandmother was always in the kitchen cooking dinner—the smells of whatever was on the stove would come through the screen door.

My grandma would come out to the other side of the porch and call me over to see “her friends.” She had several hummingbird feeders hanging on the porch, in the evening the birds would gather around the feeders. She delighted in sitting in the fall evening air watching the birds eat. Even now if I hear the sound of hummingbird wings my mind is right back on that porch with them, the smell of the fall air mixed with my grandma’s cooking comes to me and I am instantly comforted, instantly filled with warmth and glee.

God has been using these memories for me in the valley I am walking through. Yesterday’s weather brought those fall evenings on their porch to the forefront of my mind. Those memories of them provided me a joy-filled reminder of God and His goodness and His provision in my life. It reminded me to be present with my family last night, not distracted by my thoughts, not allowing the burdens of my heart to weigh me down, not allowing them to distract me from enjoying my family.

Today the hard in waiting was at the forefront of my mind and it was clouding my focus until I received a text from my best friend showing me her “hummingbird friend.” He has been at her house since Monday and has seemed to make her yard his home. Her text was a whisper to me from God—calling me to refocus and remember the light in the dark valley. Her text reminded me again of those fall evenings with my grandparents—watching my grandma’s “hummingbird friends.” I texted her back some of my memories as happy tears came to my eyes remembering those times.

If you have read this and you’re thinking, “Stacey what is the point in this?”

Friend, my point is God is with us.

If you are saved by His grace then He is living in you and He is working out a plan for you…

and that plan will include some dark valleys.

But He is with us in those valleys even when you think He is absent,

or you think He is taking too long,

He is there when your heart is only focusing on the burdens.

In those times He will whisper to you that He is there, He will send reminders to your heart that light exists in the valley.

He will send reminders to your heart to look up at the beauty in the sky and the trees and the people in front of you and to leave the darkness of the valley to Him because He has it—He is carrying it.

He whispered to me the last two days to remember joy is all around because the Holy Spirit is living in me. God reminded my heart will only be burdened if I decide to focus on the hard. God reminded me that my valley is only pitch black if I forget to see the lights glimmering in around me.

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