Beauty . . . you are alive and well. The image of the Beautiful One is surrounding us and we are engulfed in its heartbeat. His grace, His love, His steadfastness . . . every single attribute He possesses has been placed inside of His most prized creation. Sister, that most favored status belongs to you.
Your life, if you have accepted Jesus Christ, is being renewed and transformed to reveal more and more of the beauty the Elohim, the “All of God”, created you to possess. And we, with unveiled faces, move about this life going through the trials, the tests, the difficult stuff and we come away with a greater confidence and certainty that He is with us, that He is good and we are precious in His sight.
We confront the questions to be sure . . . Is our God a Giver or a taker? Does the Delightful One truly delight in me? Has He forgotten His promise to work all things together for the good of those who love Him? It’s part of the process. We question, we pray, we cry . . . but we do not withdraw when “good” doesn’t look like we think it will and “beauty” gets messy.
And when He clears our vision, reaching down into the depths, pulling us to the top so we can breathe, opening our eyes to see just a slice of what He is doing . . . Beloved, we scarce can take it in.
That’s the place my Sweet Friend found herself in just a short time ago . . .the place where God peeled back the worries of this world and showed His splendor just for her. She gave me permission to share her story, but no matter how I tried I couldn’t bring the words together in a way that captured her heart and the way His love absolutely flowed over her in those moments. See I think that no matter how up close you have watched someone, walked with someone, or done life with someone – you can’t really tell their story quite like they can.
I so wish you could sit face to face with her, see the tears in the corners of her eyes as she spoke—because the tears would be there believe me—and hear her voice take on the hush of holiness as she poured her heart out and marveled at His goodness, but that’s just not possible. So instead, she’s allowing me to share her story in her words. She wrote this originally as an encouragement to the Sisters she studies the Word with – a tangible way to put skin on 1 Thessalonians 2:8 sharing of our very selves—not anticipating the invitation to encourage a much larger audience.
we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God
but also our own selves,
because you had become very dear to us.
1 Thessalonians 2:8
True to the image she was created in she has answered the call to come alongside us and let us glimpse God’s glory with her. May He bless her one-hundred fold for giving voice to His goodness and testifying to His love. My Sweet Friend, thank you for living and loving out loud in Jesus Name. You are tangible proof to me that beauty thrives in a fallen world. Blessings to you.
OUR SISTER’S STORY
Facebook Post from her Momma’s bedside–December 4, 2013
Sitting here with my Mom during the last hours of her journey here on earth. It’s strange how they usher us into this life and we get to usher them into eternity. Wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. What a blessing to hold her hand through it all.
Soon after that my son Jacob’s caregiver, (Jacob has Down’s Syndrome) that worked for us around 4 years, was engaged and got married in April. So she left us too. She is like a daughter to me so I was so happy for her but it was a big loss.
Then Jacob’s twin brother Josh graduated in June and left for college on September 1. Honestly I wasn’t sure I would make it through all of these losses.
I had a few months where I didn’t leave the house much. The massive amounts of snow were a good excuse to stay home. I did pray and read my devotional and even sometimes my Bible during this time. I had awesome sisters that kept praying, bringing coffee and checking on me.
As spring came and the sun….I felt God so close. Just as I had in my Mom’s last days. I slowly started moving again and getting involved in life. It was a very long process but as I shared with my counselor and my girls, God had told me to be still when my Mom had died. I was still but the pain was so overwhelming sometimes.
We had to help Josh decide on a college. This was so hard. To guide but not insist or pressure. God gave us such wisdom and patience. I knew where I felt he should go as soon as we hit the campus but Josh wasn’t sure. It also cost way more than we could afford. I kept praying Lord is this the place? Show us, tell us, we want to obey. By May, Josh had decided it would be Spring Arbor, my choice too. Then God provided the money we needed. It was amazing. All that he did to show us his answer.
Anyway, as summer ended we packed Josh up. We arrived on campus and were overwhelmed with God’s goodness. From each person we met to how smoothly things unfolded. We had never met Josh’s roommate but quickly knew they were a match. His mother and I stood in the hall listening to the RA and Spiritual advisor for the boys tell us their hearts for these boys and how they wanted to encourage and guide them. Amazing.
After lunch we went back to the dorm. Drew, Joshua’s roommate, was talking to someone and I heard him comment
“That can’t be true because I am adopted.” I looked up and said “Drew, your adopted?” “Yes” he said. I said “Wow, Josh is too. Did you know that?” “No, I didn’t”.
When I looked up at his Mom and Dad they were both smiling. His Dad asked me when we had adopted the boys. I told him August of 1996 from Christian Cradle. They smiled bigger….
”I approved your adoption” he said.
“I was on the board of Christian Cradle at that time.”
I couldn’t even speak. I actually held my hands up to God and started talking.
‘You have planned this since the beginning of time…you knew these two boys would meet today and that we would find out this information. Unbelievable!!!!”
I said to them “Can I just say thank you…”
What a confirmation! God told me in no uncertain terms that Josh was supposed to be there at that very moment.
He is more than I can even put into words. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Savior of the World, the Lover of the Soul. Every intricate detail…from greatest to least. He has filled me with more hope and joy this Fall than I ever thought possible. PRAISE HIS NAME!!!!
I don’t know about you but I can’t read the words of that Sweet Sister without the tears rolling down my cheeks. Was it easy? Absolutely not. Was it beautiful? It absolutely was. It might not have been our idea of what beauty looks like but when He peeled that curtain back and she got to see His tenderness, love, and care toward her – Beauty was speechless.
In all those years, God was storing up that moment and treasuring it in His heart until the very time she needed it most. That’s Who He is. Regardless of what our eyes see or how messy our lives may be –
What goodness, what treasure, do you suppose, Beautiful Sister, He is storing up for you? Where might you be, what storms might you have endured, when He peels back the curtain and reveals to you His splendor? I don’t know when that moment might come. We have no way of pinpointing the time when He will show His tenderness so plainly . . . the time when we will glimpse His glory and we will be left speechless. But we have heard this testimony and we know He is faithful so we can be certain Girlfriend –the time will come and His Glory will be seen!
And we know that for those who love God
all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.