Things and places during seasons of our lives leave a mark in our souls that can be resurfaced, just by returning to that place, hearing that song, or smelling that scent. Our minds operate out of memories so often that memories can either haunt us, or show us God’s redemption for things stolen, lost and grieved.
The sound of the porch swing was overtaken by the crickets in the wooded area of my parents front yard. Many a night was spent out there praying for my spouse, belting out Avril Lavigne , convincing myself I was in love in 9th grade. My legs would kick the floor, creating waves of wind blowing through my blonde hair. Hours, even all nighters defined the woman I am right now, on that swing. Learning who I was, and who I was to become were discovered as I rocked, and prayed. I learned who my Maker was on that swing. I left life’s stresses on the front porch steps, and I swung into the woman I was destined to be. Fast and steady, I became her. Soon I was rocking to the beat of my racing heart, planning my wedding. In the blink of an eye, I was rocking our first born to sleep as I nursed him.
But tonight as I rock here, I am seeing my life flash before my own eyes. Where my body has gone to rest from chaos, I am finding Him here , in the quiet of the woods. Four babies later, and three earth side , I see that he really does make all things new. He really does love me. He really does redeem my loses, all my hurts, and all my hearts desires.
Where I once rocked to the beat of uncertainty , He has made me new. I trust Him. So I swing to the beat of His heart.
This week has been a series of flashbacks for me. I know it’s the Lord showing me what he can do, and will do. I am his daughter. His beloved child.
My husband and I gave our children a choice for a family fun night.
” Where do you want to eat kids?”
” What about MC DONALD’S DAD?”
We winced a bit, knowing full well of the lack of nutritional value of that food. Among other things we dislike about that place. But something in my spirit told me to say yes to their request. Crunchy Momma feelings and all, we went. They dined in style with their kids meals, and juice boxes sure to make their ( usually only water drinking bodies ) go into over drive. After we ate, they all wanted waters, so I went up to the front to ask for ice water. My eyes were diverted to the left corner of the restaurant.
Suddenly, I was able to see myself nearly 8 years ago sitting in that very corner with my husband. Very pregnant, very afraid of financial provision for our first born.
I was back in that spot, dipping my french fries into ketchup. Wiping tears from my eyes, but failing. Letting them fall onto my pregnant belly. My husband grabbing my hand, with strong eyes, he spoke to me. Loud and clear.
” I am making you a promise. You will never be hungry. Our son will never grow up poor. We will never be in this situation again, ever. I am going to work hard, because I love you. Because I want you to be able to stay home with our son, and any other children we have. LOOK AT ME! Do you hear what I am saying? I love you! Eat , then lets go home.”
We had $8 to our name that day, until days later when we both got a paycheck. The first year of our marriage was basically hell. Where most couples were still experiencing the honeymoon stage, we were forced straight into full force adulthood. Lacking all financial provision, we had to trust God with our whole life. Not just ten percent. ALL OF IT.
I fought to wipe the tears as I ordered our children’s waters.
” Three waters please.”
Three children that were ours. That we could feed. That I could stay home with. That we could love, and teach about Jesus, our only provider in this life.
I wish I could have whispered in scared Rachel’s ears that night.
” Hey, just watch what God does! It’s a roller coaster, but he is so good. Eat up, you’re about to give birth to your beautiful son!”
Every once in a while I am basically forced to pass the old Mill house we used to live in. The road is often traveled on, and it’s pretty much dangerous to close my eyes while I pass it. Although a very strange and morbid part of my mind misses that house, I know that He is bringing me to a place of rest from the memories surrounding the horror of living there. I can now pass it and not feel my heart beat out of my chest. I can now pass it and bless the sweet family living in it. I can only hope and pray that they are safe, and sound.
In all the grief and trauma that house brought to my soul, I can now say it’s well with me. I learned how to stand for my beliefs. I learned how to fight in the spirit, and now He is granting my family with a home that is above and beyond what that house was.
I thought I had it made living there, but He is blowing our minds with his provision for a ” new ” , old home. Our love for antiques and past importance’s is so special to us. He made us that way. He makes no mistakes.
He is my redeemer. He IS my home.
When we are faced with things of the past, we have a choice. We can partner with negativity and focus on what Satan meant for harm, OR…. we can ask the Lord what he made new.
He makes all things new. I remember singing that song as a child, not fully believing it. It was something I was taught from birth, but I couldn’t fully grasp it until my adult hood. It’s now something that I hold onto, something I have to daily remind myself of.
His plans for me are good.