Friday, August 21, 2015

The Seen and the Unseen

Hebrews 11:1 "Now Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." 

There seemed to be an impending storm brewing the last 10 days or so. A fog of uncertainty just kept hanging around.

Fog amongst the vineyards. 

As someone who works for the school district, I've enjoyed my summer off, doing what I like, gardening, writing, walking...and the last two weeks, waiting for a new assignment, possibly a new school. I started praying long ago, actually beginning last September when I knew my time with my senior meant that a transition for both him and myself, culminated at graduation.

So I waited until the calendar rolled around to August to expect the letter, a reassignment of a new student and praying I'd remain on my same campus.

The letter never appeared. Every time I prayed again about this, I felt such peace. "God's got this," as the saying goes. The fog remained, the haze settled in and things continued to be very fuzzy, very unclear. With school starting in just a few days, I became proactive and began the e-mailing and calling down to the district office. Yes, I became a little concerned.

It seemed I had fallen into a black hole somewhere.  With each communication, the sun seemed to start to breakthrough. In my time with God where I like to hang out, I waited for a sign of strength, a butterfly, the ones I like to name. One day, as I sat out there drinking my whole cup of coffee, I got up to return to the house, and there it was, the butterfly I named "Faith."

God's Words came to me: Just have faith, I will make things clear.  I told God that I didn't think I was too great at waiting, especially about this. He probably smiled and thought...that's why I'm doing this!  

As I write this tonight, I am back at my same high school, a new student and a new challenge. God is faithful and He gives us the desires of our heart. Sometimes, though, we must wait in the haze until He makes things visible. In that, my faith and trust grows again. I will remember this time, this uncertainty, this provident answer in His timing when things looked pretty bleak, and encourage another.


Other times, clarity is so evident. For the last two summers, the writing of my memoir, a book about my journey through grief and healing remains my number one project. At this point, I am near completion. An old friend came to visit and I decided to show her my chapter titles.

"Pick one, I said."  "I'll read it to you."

So, she did; chapter 7 titled "My Timmy." It ends with a cliffhanger.

"I can't leave without you reading the next chapter to me!" she states.

So, I read her Chapter 8. She has closure and things are clear to her as we talk about my book.

Today, another friend came for a visit and when we returned to the house, I did the same thing. I handed her my chapter page and asked her to pick one and I'd preview my book with her by reading one chapter. Out of 31 chapters, she picked the exact same chapter as my other friend, "My Timmy," and of course when reaching the end, she just wanted more, the answer to what I had left the reader wondering in Chapter 7.

Knowing me for many years, it became clear to her how God's grace and my growth have moved the dark storm clouds away and my vision and attitude now look towards the bright side of life in and through the grieving process, which to me became a part of who I am. The writing of this memoir and the spiritual experiences I've had writing it, the continued healing and purpose in the words, the stories---all the insight is as crystal clear as a Santa Ana windy day in the valley.  I need to tell this story because this is all for His Glory.

I find that is how God works. He makes things like His creation, His love, His majesty so very clear and easy to grasp while other things more abstract like faith, trust and His will, forgiveness--actually are more to do with us, our growth, our willingness to surrender and to wait.

Clear view of Los Angeles Harbor

Lord, The weatherman is right. We need to take heed and wait out the storm, stay under an umbrella of prayer and trust that You, the Light will lead us safely through the haze of uncertainty to a sun shiny place once again. In the clear and sovereign purpose You have for us God, I can trust that the Son and His rays of Hope will keep me focused and headed into each new day with a story to tell, prepared for the rainbow of promise through what is known from the testimony of Your faithfulness to me.  And in all things... I give thanks. Amen.

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