Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 Amplified
I have experienced much change and loss, especially since the fall of 2011. Events occurring so fast and piling up one upon another without me having much chance to really process. Because I take people deep into my heart some separations geographically and emotionally have pained deeply. Then, of course, having my Dad and sister’s deaths within just over a year of one another leave another separation, gaps in my heart. So over the past 3+ years, there has been loss in relationships, ministry, opportunities, and dreams/expectations of the future as Don has been battling this disease and all it represents – to see him in pain and not be able to help, to go to doctor after doctor, testing and possible therapies, only to have nothing bring relief. I’ve taken off work and rescheduled all types of meetings/appointments/gatherings to be able to go with him, be an extra ear, an extra shoulder, to support him and so we can process together.
So to top it off, it felt especially compacted since/through this summer. My burst appendix, sprained foot, sister’s passing, Karisa leaving for YWAM, Mom falling and getting horribly bruised, Don’s medical leave of absence…compounded by all the things involved in Don’s health. While my mom was visiting my brother I mentioned to Don I’d like to get away for a day since his doctor appointment wasn’t until the end of that week. I needed time to ponder, even grieve. Maybe I could tag a few hours one evening and a few the next day where my schedule was clear. He suggested 2 possible retreat places because he knows I love nature and walks in the woods. It was kind of ironic because I feel like I’ve been in a dark forest with tree after tree in front of me and I can’t see the forest for the trees. I said I needed a clearing, that I’d really love a chalet with a broad window to let the sunlight in, above the trees with a clear and open view. He asked where would that be? “Switzerland, I guess. Can I go there for a day?” So we chuckled and I put it out of my mind and planned to call either of those two places. The following day I mentioned my ‘open schedule’ and plan to get away on a personal mini-retreat to a friend. She suggested the same two places, so I told her I was planning to call. I didn’t tell her about my chalet desire, so was speechless when she exclaimed, “Or what about the Alpine House?” I stared at her totally mystified. “Alpine House? In Lancaster County?” She looked it up on her phone. It’s a beautiful A-frame that has a view over the river. And it’s the picture God dropped into my heart! And my friend took it upon herself to make all the arrangements for me! A double gift!
Only God could put my chalet in Lancaster County! He dropped the desire into my heart and was delighted to fill it. And I had a lovely time with Him over that brief time. Brief but full. Full of life, full of breathing freely. Only God could take something that has been ongoing for a period of time, and yet fill it in such a short period of time. It defies mathematics! I didn’t need to pull out each individual event and lay it before Him – He just gave me more of Himself. Refilling and refreshing and renewing. Clearing out the dark forest in my head and shining His light in!
Though feeling greatly undeserving, the overwhelming feeling was I felt heard. Loved. Things of course I know, but felt desperate to be reminded in a tangible way. An only-God way.
Thank You for Your unique, unmistakeable touches on my life, Lord, reminders that You are with me, wanting to be with me. That You are for me. That You go be-fore me. That You know the need of my heart before I can even express it –or imagine it with my limited view. Thank You for Your presence surrounding me. May I be ever aware and not miss a single fingerprint, a single sunbeam. I offer this praise and pray it will lift the eyes and spirit of others who need a unique sense of Your presence and love for them.