Sunday, May 2, 2010

Footprints in the Sand

I was never a fan of the "Footprints in the Sand" poem. It's one of those framed things in everyone's bathroom. I thought its purpose was to give you something to read while you are sitting on the toilet. Even the phrase sounded cliche to me.

A few weeks ago as I was feeling discouraged and starting to wonder if my prayers were coming back void, I made a request. I (humbly) asked the Lord to give me some "footprints in the sand" moments.

I know He is faithful. I know His plans for me don't hinge on other people. I know He doesn't hang me out to dry. Unfortunately in these past months, my feelings often won't line up with what I know to be True. I was exhausted from preaching to my unpredictable emotions. "Lord, I believe you are who you say you are. I believe your promises for me. I know you will use my current situations to bring yourself glory. Please be gracious with me as I struggle to line up the way I feel with your truth. Please give me some footprints in the sand moments. I want to look and say "A-HA! You ARE carrying me!"
Yes, my faithless eyes beg for the tangible. (Dear Israelites; I have deep empathy and am not self righteous enough to think I would have made less whiny decisions in the desert for 40 years.)

I would have loved the Lord to answer with neat and tidy sitcom resolutions to my life (at least for a couple big ones like a job and where to live). What I have received has not brought much resolution but it has opened my eyes to the One who carries me.

It started with an unexpected, surprise visit from my dear cousin Hessel who I have not seen in a few years. Few people can challenge, convict and encourage me like he can. As he has since we were young; he spoiled me, asked me hard questions, let me cry, and modeled integrity in a life surrendered to Christ. My time with him was not coincidental.
Then I had a spontaneous visit with my dear friends Shawn and Jill followed by a day with my cousin-but-really-more-like-a-sister, Sommer who is living a life quite similar to mine right now. All are people I have gone a long time without seeing; ones who have known me for life and prayed for me. I realize God has used these people to "carry" me.

Then the Lord reminded me how He creatively meets our practical needs. We were able to sell a little trailer we've had sitting next to the house. We received a couple checks "for no reason". When Sean gave back his computer to MVCTK this week, God provided money specifically for a new computer for him. Then in organizing paperwork we discovered a big check from closing out the gas at our old house. Yesterday a kind man brought us some beef and berries (ahh... love Lynden).

The temptation has been great at times to make things happen on our own. Then the Lord reminds us that He is the Provider and His best is worth waiting for...regardless of how risky or how ridiculous we might look. The time we have is not wasted. The end of April hit us hard; have we really been in this strange, in between, re-building stage for 4 months?

I'm reminded often of the Israelites' journey through the desert. God's purpose for them wasn't merely to get them from point A to point B. He designed those years to establish Himself as their God, to show them His character and their own unworthiness. They left Egypt a faithless, directionless people without identity. They arrived at the Promised Land as God's people- set apart. They were still unworthy but they knew they had been carried and more importantly, they knew who they had been carried by.


  1. Shilo,

    Your blog encourages me so much. I am in a similar season of waiting for God to open doors. It is exhausting!

    Over the last year, God has repeatedly taken me back to the story of the Israelites in the desert. Yes, He has a purpose for this season; He is working! I know I will look back on this time of "desert wandering" with gratitude for all God taught me.

    Looking forward to seeing what God does have up His sleeve for you guys!


  2. Walking right alongside you Shilo! We, too, are in a VERY tough place, wondering where the Lord is leading through this desert time.


    Laurel :)

  3. PS: I'd love to have you leave a comment on the blog post I wrote tonight ... since I was thinking all about your family when I wrote it.

    :) :) :)

  4. Shilo, Byron and I have been praying for you all. Thank you for being so open with the blogging world about your life. It gives so much encouragement to so many. Thank you for living a life for Jesus! God has done some mighty things in our lives over the past 4 months. For us its probably been the most challenging time in our life, but its also been the most exciting, only because God has continued to reveal Himself more and more to us. He has opened the eyes of our hearts to see Him!!! There are times I do question things that I have gone through in my life and ask the why questions, but as you stated its not just about getting from point A to point B. Its about us learning to trust our Creator, to become fully dependent on Him, and to know that nothing else in this life matters if its not about Him. Thank you again, for your willingness to share. We love you guys and we will continue to pray for you all!!!!

  5. Shilo, I just want to thank you for your honest blogging. It has been comforting to me as I have also been going through some tough times and being reminded to trust in God fully. There are many times I wish he would let me know ahead of time his plan, but even though he doesn't when I trust in him he provides in ways I never could have imagined.
    -Jolene May