"I Have Loved You..."

“…I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness…”
                                                    Jeremiah 31:3

Under the disguise of the dark starry night -- there he was again. In faded denim jeans and an old t-shirt, he rested on the hood of the car.  Feet crossed at the ankle, he waited and listened. The butt of his gun perched on his upper thigh and his finger dancing back and forth ready to react at the slightest movement in the distance.

Hidden within the car, two girls rested their heads on the backseat hoping to get a good nights sleep before school the next morning. Away from the bugs and protected from the cold night air; the sound of coyotes were all that could be heard.  There was safety behind those doors. Safety that most children felt once they were tucked into their warm cozy beds, deadbolts secured and windows all locked.

As my sister and I laid on the back seat we didn’t have the assurance of a deadbolt or the comfort of a soft bed, but we knew we were being cared for. 

I wasn't being cared for in the way most would deem acceptable but I've learned that sometimes our temporary discomfort plays a much bigger role than we understand at the time. There was a much bigger story being written and I could trust Him though the process. 

Every time I saw the bright glow that accompanied each puff of the cigarette, I knew my mom’s husband was waiting... Waiting for everything to come crumbling down around us. He was holding on by a thread and the path he was leading our family down was a dangerous one.

We were homeless. Hopping from motel to motel, sleeping on the couches of our friends or like this night… out in the middle of the desert parked next to a beautiful natural hot spring.  

Once again the drugs were a priority and we were not. He burned a drug dealer and didn’t make good on his promise. It wasn't the first time my mom's and his life was in danger for the lifestyle he was leading them on. He knew they would come to give him what he deserved. He waited and listened preparing for the worst, knowing it was only a matter of time before they would come after him… after us.

I remember laying on that back seat thinking, “How much more, God? How much more?”

Have you ever asked God that same question?

I would tell myself, “Go to sleep… Tomorrow is a new day.”

I would like to say this was the first and the last time I had this experience but it was a very familiar scene that played throughout my childhood. Different backdrop every time but the feeling was the same. There were times I felt scared and alone. I wanted to be a 'normal' kid... Whatever 'normal' is?!?! I wanted to have my every need met and not worry about grownup problems. 

It's funny how the very thing you wish you didn't have to experience, in hind sight ends up being the thing that helped shape your future. 

I knew that the same God I asked to come into my heart at the age of five, was the same God who loved that insecure seventh grade girl. He still held my future and I could rest knowing he didn't forget about me. 

He has the power to turn all things for good.

You see, all of our stories look very different and you may not be experiencing homelessness or battling a drug addiction, but the feeling is the same. We (you and me) understand our inability to get through another day on our own.
Much like the little girl in the car, you may be watching and waiting for it to all come crumbling down around you. That little girl (me) didn’t find safety behind a secured door or in a warm cozy bed… She found safety in the presence of God. That same safety belongs to you!

“He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”  ~ Psalm 91:4

Friends, today you can rest wherever you find yourself. Your current situation may seem like it will never end, but it is temporary and He will walk through this storm with you. I had no control over the outcome but I knew the one who did.

Lord, thank you for loving me (insert your own name) with an everlasting love! Thank you for being present when I feel like everything is crumbling around me. Take this situation (be specific) and make it a story that will bring you honor and glory. Be near to me and protect my heart. I trust you God! I trust you! 

~Leave me a comment. Share. I want to hear from you! 

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