For Christmas, Uncle Mark & Aunt Debbie gave Garrett & I both the updated version of Streams in the Desert and new prayer journals. It has been such a blessing, new journey, new journals. We left for Orange Beach Christmas day to spend some time away with one another and with the Lord and took our new devotionals and journals with us. The first morning I started reading and God began speaking to my heart so strongly through the dedication and the introduction to the updated edition that I had to "stop and think about it" before I could even move on; what perfect timing it was to have been given this devotional, God's so good that way.
Sitting on the balcony of the Strickland's beautiful beach condo, the sky was overcast and the sun was gently peeping through the clouds, I read the words, "Through the waves, clouds, and storms He gently clears the way." The place that Garrett & I are walking is uncharted territory for us. It is a new leg of the journey. The Lord reminded me today that although we have never been down this exact road before, the He is with us, and this way is not unfamiliar to Him. He will clear the way on the trek so that we can walk the path He's marked out for us to travel. Although it seems strange to us that He would choose this route we are assured He has a great plan for our lives, "plans to prosper and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). We rest in Him, we trust Him (Prov. 3:5-6). Our pastor recently reminded us of Spurgeon's words, "When we can't trace His hand, trust His heart."
Tonight I received permission from a new friend of ours that cared for us in the hospital to share her story with you. Our friend is an ORT at the hospital. She was such a blessing to us while we were in L&D a number of times before "the time" that Gabe was born. She always had a smile on her face and just a sweet spirit about her always asking if there was anything she could do for us. In the past couple of days we've been in touch via facebook. She wrote us to share that her mom and dad had both went home to be with the Lord in the last two years and the past 6 months she'd been angry with the Lord. My ORT friend shared that after Gabe's funeral she spent some very healing moments confessing her anger towards Him and asking His forgiveness and went on to say that she has experienced a restoration of her faith in the Lord. I never would have guessed that my friend was carrying this load in the time that I spent with her. She was even part of Gabe's delivery on Thanksgiving Day. I remember being in so much pain and her smile was so uplifting. It is so good to have a sister in Christ to talk to about the journey of losing a loved one; noone's loss is the same, but one thing is for sure, it's not without hurt, and for a believer, we're not left to grieve alone. I thank God for placing people in our lives through this experience that we might not have ever met otherwise. He knew I'd need a friend like my ORT friend; she's such a blessing to our family and I look forward to continuing our friendship. Her story is refreshing to us during a difficult time; like a stream in the desert.
Isaiah 35:6, "Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert."