But God {why you should tell your story}

“He’s six years old, God. Six. He has faithfully prayed for over a year. Do not pass him by. He’s believing you.”

The Cub boarded the yellow school-bus one Monday in autumn, and I was dusting surfaces, mopping floors and praying begging prayers to God.

September 16.

We’d been licensed for fostering more babies since June and we’d said multiple “yes” to placements that for one reason or another fell through. Friends started asking me why things were going so slowly, when foster care was supposed to be so high-demand.

Yeah…for real. We did our part of obedience and saying yes.

What do you do when the standstills don’t make an inkling of sense?

When you do your part of obedience and then nothing happens.

When your child has prayed with all faith, for more than a year,

to let their be more kids in our home.

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That morning, as I walked him to the bus stop, the Cub asked me why God wasn’t answering his prayer.

My heart paused, and everything inside of me felt like it was getting tightly squeezed.

Somebody please tell me how you’re supposed to answer that question and especially when your six year old is asking it. 

All I’d said, with a sinking feeling of desperation, was – “I don’t know, Cub. I don’t know. But maybe you’re just supposed to keep asking God.”

I’d waved as he rode away, and I walked home and straight inside and told God that He needed to show up, because my six year old needed to see Jesus.

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A few months later, I am sitting with a small group of women when the tears come. I am holding this sweet baby with big smiles and round cheeks, –

born on the very day I pressed in with begging prayers for God to show up  –

the same day, born

to be delivered to our home, less than a week later.

And the Cub had looked at us with shining eyes and said, “God answered my prayers.”

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And a few months later, I sat and cried in a hodge-podge group of women, because it was all so much“I just need to see Him.” 

So much joy and love and delight and pain and highs and lows and all-over-the-places.

Twists and turns and ups and downs I could have never expected.

Like, crazy stuff.

And that moment your finger’s held so tightly and you look into shining, trusting eyes that hold your gaze, and feel the slow tearing of your one heart.

Because you can’t say where the road will turn or go… and how?

How do you breathe in that space?

Embrace the need of that place?

Pioneer in the shadows of a story still being told? 

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And it doesn’t matter what story you’re living or questions you’re facing –

no one needs another promise or platitude.

It’s not Abraham or Enoch or Noah that stop me – that causes me to pause and read again – the snowy February day I open the Word and read Hebrews 11.

It’s the army that marched around Jericho for seven days. 

Jericho was the first city the Israelites defeated after they crossed the Jordan River into Canaan. The city was a stronghold in the Promised Land and the Bible says it was securely barred so that no one could go in or go out, and yet –

God told Joshua, See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands”. 

Victory is already yours, Joshua. Here is what you must do.

Walk around the city for seven days, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, and the city will fall. IMG_6415

The work is already finished. This is what you must do.

Because the truth is?

We don’t know the end of our stories and how the road will turn, but who on earth

needs one more platitude or promise, when you have the very presence of  the almighty God.

I read verse thirty, The day I sat and read Hebrews 11, five times. The fall of the city of Jericho is recorded as a great example of faith, because an army of God’s chosen people trusted God’s deliverance enough to walk around a city for seven days.

That’s not just a little bit crazy. 

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But God.

He has the final word.

Every time.

And what would change in our stories if we truly, deep down, no-matter-what believed this?

Believed that what the Enemy means for evil, the Lord will use for good.

Believed that God will supply our every need, according to His mercy.

Believed that God would deliver us from evil.

Believed that even if we would lose everything, God is faithful and at work in a thousand ways we cannot see –

redeeming all things. 

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I could wait to the end of the story, to tell the story, because what if?

Or I could tell the story of His love regardless of possible outcomes – 

and testify of His goodness to me regardless of possible outcomes –

because no matter what –

even if –

He has done it.

He has defeated death, conquered the Enemy and claimed the victory.

And I don’t need platitudes or promises, I need His presence.

The presence of the Almighty, delivering God.

Redemption never erases the ugliness of brokenness.

It reshapes it.

Scarred, imperfect, broken lives and stories that testify of the hope of Christ, who makes all things new.

I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good.// Psalm 52:9