This past year has been such a long road with near constant struggle and we've ached for someone to just rescue us. To come and take all the hurt and hard parts away. And while God has taken care of us, through the help of many, we've often felt isolated. It's as if we are floating in the middle of the ocean and God is throwing us life preservers, but we aren't any closer to land. Disappointment lurks everywhere we turn. Probably like the israelites...wandering in the dessert, yet not entirely comforted by miracle shoe leather and breakfast on their doorstep, because they are, after all, still killing scorpions and looking for shade.
I'm so like them.
I don't want to have to trust. Every. Single. Day.
In the past we've had friends who've been our go-to people in a crisis...always jumping in, always ready to "activate the meal train". And there has been tremendous comfort in that. I appreciate having a bunch of faces to look at, friends who understand our life, anticipate ways to help and can be as available as their hearts desire. But one at a time so many of our dear friends have become long-distance companions. Others have gone through major life, job or health changes and we find ourselves without a cohesive sense of community, in the very period when we are the least capable of pursuing the very relationships we need.
And God whispers, "I AM. I will be your source. I will provide."
And He does. Like manna. Every day.
A new face at church. We both need "family" in town. A new friendship.
A young woman who needs the perfect job. Who knew in our mess we'd be perfect for anyone?? We are. And she is perfect for us.
A neighbor who rakes our leaves. And friends of friends take their Saturday to work on our yard and house projects.
Friends pick up birthday presents, bake a cake, research thanksgiving meals to-go, hold Ava, bring meals, send gift cards, money, emails and texts filled with encouraging scripture, and every day pray for and encourage us.
On one day alone, a colleague surprises us with a thanksgiving feast and teachers from Elizabeth's school give us a gift card, a beautiful bouquet, gorgeous specialty pumpkins for our porch and and notes for Elizabeth who's missed almost two weeks of school. Thanksgiving. Delivered.
Every day. "What is it?" We ask. Manna. This new kind of community. The only "problem?" None of these people know one another. They are "randomly inspired," wonderfully, generous souls who aren't on a checklist or a calendar. We can't arrange for it, organize it, or even anticipate it really, more than to simply know, somehow, God will provide. So our choice is to wait every day for God's provision, trust it will come, and if it doesn't look like it did yesterday, or doesn't look like what we need today, trust that it will be enough.
And when our "help" is sick or unavailable, or our much anticipated (desperately longed for!) visit from grandparents is delayed by a day (due to weather?!?) our task is to press into trust. To lay down our feelings of disappointment and entitlement because, "our life is hard enough already!" and trust that today's manna will fill our bellies and for this and much, much more, we have reason to be thankful.
For breakfast delivered by a colleague
A timely email from a friend to shake me from my trap of self-pity and remind me of the Truth. His mercies are all around me.
An excellent overnight nurse who responded quickly to Ava's new round of seizures.
A private room at the hospital & three healthy girls at home
Praying parents, and family and friends who remember us, inspire, comfort and encourage us.
A new Christmas album...cheery songs reminding me of the Hope we have.
You. Your prayers. Your friendship. Our manna.