It has been such fun to journey alongside 200 women at Vineyard Cincinnati as we ask God to speak to us individually. Just as exciting to me is to hear what He is saying to others around me! Not doing a specific study right now? No problem. Each post I’ll include the Scriptures to read as a launching point.
Not working your way through the Seamless study guide? No worries. You can do a little pre-reading in Genesis 7 and 8.
What stood out to me….
Chicken enchiladas with chips and salsa was what I ate for dinner a few hours before the nurse called to tell me my mom had died.
I remember the look in the doctor's eyes when she told me my pregnancy was not viable.
"Law and Order" was on the TV and the walls in our house were still painted peach the moment I learned my childhood best friend had been tragically killed in an accident.
Two tears rolled down my grandma’s cheek when I showed her pictures of her family as she lay in hospice, unable to speak.
The initial impact of these events is vivid to me, yet for all of the grief and poignancy of the following weeks, all the other details seem to be blurry.
The storms in life can begin in an instant and are often fierce. The moment of impact leaves images burned in our minds and scars on our hearts.
While Noah had a bit of a heads-up concerning the impending rain, he didn’t actually grasp the concept of what God was telling him. There had never been a flood before, and some scholars argue there had never even been rain. He was planning for something his mind could not envision.
The rain was finished in 40 days. Noah and his family did not exit the ark for almost an entire year after the rain stopped. As the days lingered between impact and exit, Noah was in a continual process of waiting and trying. I try to imagine how Noah felt as his naive expectations of what the flood would be became a sober reality.
I wonder what went through Noah’s head when, after 220+ days on the boat, they could finally see the first mountain top.
Was Noah disappointed 47 days after the view of the mountain when the dove still returned to him with no place to land?
Did the people cry tears of joy 2 weeks later when the dove went out and did not return?
How was it waiting the next 2.5 months before the Lord commanded them to come out of the ark?
When the downpours of life stop, we are often unprepared for the difficulty in the waiting that follows, as the drying of our tears is a process.
While Noah knew of the 40 days, I can’t seem to find anything indicating he was prepared for the following 8+ months. However we also don’t see mention of Noah scrambling for answers, flipping out because it was taking longer than he thought. He waited and he tried. Waited and tried again.
How can we recognize and surrender our self-imposed expectation of the timeline of healing and trust in the ultimate Healer to be in process with us? God hasn’t forgotten or forsaken us. He is patient and working as we take steps to survey the land. Can we hold loosely to the forecast and replace our assumptions with trust in Him?
October 6, 2011, the fall after my mom died, her birthday was so difficult. I was sad for all the birthdays we wouldn’t have together and all of the ones wasted in years before. I’m pretty sure I sat in sweatpants with no makeup and wallowed in my well-deserved sadness.
Last year, my phone rang about 10 am on October 6. It was my dad “just calling to check on me.” And I had to ask him why. I didn’t wake up and remember it was her birthday.
Life has gone on, the waters of grief have rescinded surrounding my mom’s death, and I didn’t even recognize it happening. The process was so hard in the moment, I was caught off guard by how far He had brought me in my daily walk. God has been and still is so good to heal me.
Do I still think about my mom, my grandma, my unborn child, and my friend? Absolutely. Cry, almost dial their phone numbers, and see them in my dreams? Yep, often. But I am no longer drowning.
One of the very first storms in all of creation was healed by a slow, almost unnoticeable process.
Those of us in the middle of a hurricane-like storm right now, hold on tight and know the healing process is happening, whether we physically recognize it or not.
Feeling like the rain stopped but your eyes are barely above the water? Ask for more of His grace and celebrate when the water is down to your shoulders. God will dry will you off.
For the lucky experiencing the calm reflection of the sun in far off waters, seek after Jesus with all the energy within. We will need to remember the life-vest keeping us afloat so we aren’t left scrambling when the clouds begin to roll in.
At around my Addison’s age, there I am as the witch in the middle, next to Heath and my best childhood friend, Marki.
My mom and dad on their wedding day, 1981.
Ashlyn is our only child lucky enough to have met my Grandma Carol.