I sat there in the middle of the desert. Our second anniversary was not going as planned. From the 24 hour plane delays- to missing our RV pick up time- to Google taking us out to the middle of no-where, my expectations and frustrations had hit the roof!
As I sat there irritated and attempting to pray, what I didn't know was that all of our engine oil was leaking out of our RV. We would soon find out that the rock we hit on our 'off-road' boon-docking excursion would cause us more setbacks!
Let me share why this moment was so perfect for me.
I started the year with a goal to be joyful and joy filled. After all, as a follower of Christ, He gives us joy freely! I had often found myself living into my negative thoughts and fear, so I was challenged to change a pattern of my past!
January and February were especially rough months. Not only was I not living into the joy of salvation in Jesus, but I was not practicing what I preached! After several months of trying, praying and begging God to get pregnant, my insides felt ‘crumbly,’ ‘thorny,’ ‘weary,’ and ‘dry.’ I had struggled to find joy in the midst of my pain and barrenness. I questioned if the Lord even heard me when I prayed. I was bitter at those who were getting pregnant so easily. It was hard to go to work and church, only to be surrounded with babies and families. I felt flames of anger sore through my body every time I heard, “When are you and Mike going to have a baby?” or the straight up “Are you pregnant” or the accusation “I bet you're pregnant and just not saying.”
The Lord could not have brought me to a better place to physically SEE what was happening in me, than the middle of a desert!
And as I sat there praying, hoping and begging for the Lord to be near, He delivered. I heard a whisper, “Heidi, look up...look out.”
Beautiful mountains surrounded me!
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”
The Lord gave me a picture of His faithfulness. He was doing something beautiful around my desert(ed) time. I felt a promise that this time of emptiness (physically and emotionally) was being used for His glory. A reminder that He heard me.
What I did NOT hear was that I would get out of the desert quickly. I did NOT hear God tell me that He was going to give me a baby. I did NOT hear Him say that this journey of building a family would be free from pain and thorns.
BUT, I got to physically see a taste of His beauty, provision and faithfulness.
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
By the way, we eventually got pulled out of the desert. We had a few more set-backs (!!) but eventually made it to Joshua Tree National Park where we spent an afternoon before heading to the airport the next morning!
|Sunset overlooking San Andreas Fault|
After weeks of reflecting on our adventurous and trialing anniversary trip, I've been able to share our story with much JOY and laughter! I still have my down days, but the Lord always seems to come through, reminds me of this moment and picks me up.
I don’t share these thoughts for “I’m sorry’s” or advice/suggestions. I share this for others who may be or have been in the desert. God is with you, friends! Look up! Look out! He is using your dry time for good.