Saturday, January 23, 2010
The month of January is almost over. That's crazy to me! It's nicknamed Januweary for a reason, but it's been such a busy month I almost haven't had time to get bogged down with the winter doldrums that often accompany its arrival. And if the events of the month are an indication of the year to come, I'd like to reconsider moving forward, please.
While we've had the excitement of Matthew and Lindsay's engagement, this same calendar reminded us of another marriage, a divorce, two moves, and a couple of closet cleanings that have come our way in the last four years. Definitely extreme emotions to be sure.
I feel like Lucy in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when she tells Aslan, "I think - I don't know - but I think I could be brave enough." I've seen God's faithfulness in so many ways in the last few years in our family's life, but my courage is wavering a bit right now. It's hard not to worry about where we're going to live next, what job Hamp will be doing, or how our kids are going to navigate the life paths they've chosen. My head knows all the right things to say and it's what I really do believe, but the rest of me hasn't quite caught up yet.
So, finding myself in this state, you can imagine the joy and awe when I read the news I'm about to share with you. First, though, you need a little background.
This video series by Louie Giglio was recorded a couple of years ago and introduces us to a girl named Ashley and her family. A lot of you have seen it and if you haven't, I would highly recommend it. The summary on the back of the cover says, "Life isn't easy. We experience problems and setbacks every day. But during the hardest parts of life, when the bottom seems to fall out, where do we turn for peace? Although God doesn't offer any easy solutions, He does offer Himself and His cross as an anchor of hope no matter what we face in life. And more than simply enduring suffering, the hope we find in Him allows us to leverage our darkest moments for His fame. When life hurts most, the world listens most intently to our message, allowing us to broadcast through our pain the goodness of the One who loves us the most."
Then a year or so later, we heard him give an update on Ashley's story which ended up as another DVD message. The summary for it reads, "Sometimes the best things in life are those we're not even sure we're looking for at the time, but those we realize we can't live without in the end. That's the story of Ashley, a somewhat typical college senior - loving life, partying hard and trying to balance it all with success in the classroom. Disengaged from God and turned off by most Christians she knew, unexpected events turned Ashley's world upside down and brought a new roommate for her final semester at the University of Florida. Unpolished, and marked by unscripted authenticity, Ashley's personal journal entries provide the backdrop for Fruitcake and Ice Cream, a message that breathes hope for the spiritually searching while providing a massive kick-start for those within the Church who carry the unrivaled story of God's grace and truth in a darkened world."
That message was carried across the world through the Passion World Tour last year and hundreds of thousands have been praying for Ashley's family for years now. I subscribe to the 268 blog for Passion Conferences and by using Google Reader, I get the updates pretty much as soon as they're posted. The title of the one I discovered late yesterday afternoon simply said, "Somtimes, There Is A Bow". Those five words brought tears to my eyes because I knew exactly what Louie was talking about and knew that God once again had done what only He can do - redeem a life from the clutches of His enemy. Even if you don't know Ashley's story, reading the blog post from yesterday gives you enough background for you to celebrate the miracle that God has done. This link will take you to that post. If you haven't seen the videos and want to buy them, here's a link where you can do so.
As for me, nothing has changed circumstantially as today begins, but the reminder of God's love through the hope of the cross of Jesus is enough to keep me going until my emotions can catch up again. Someday, everything will change, things will never be the same and that really is the Glory Of It All .