…and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Ex 33:23
Moses is one of the most fascinating people in the Bible, from where I sit.
Think about it… the enemy so feared his birth – a whole generation of males was murdered. Yet he was protected.
He would later be called out of the desert to lead his people who were captives into one of the greatest stories ever told – of hope, rescue and restoration.
In the midst of it all, as he faced the doubts of who God says he is, he pursued a heavenly father with such confidence that he would settle for nothing less than standing in his very presence. And he did.
Following a cloud by day and a fire by night, he declared, “I will not move from here unless your presence goes with me…” (Ex 33:15)
I can’t help but parallel my own story with his… I mean, let’s consider the similarities here.
Born to a people enslaved by a nation, death marked his birth, vengeance overcame him, he ran away and hid, a bush burst into flames and he heard the voice of God…
Ok – maybe I’m nothing like him.
Except… he questioned God.
“Who am I?”
This has been the echo of my voice for the past five years. Who am I, that you called me into these deep waters? Who am I, that you place tiny hearts in my hands? Who am I, that your words flow out from me? Who do you say I am?
And this is where Moses and Abby meet. In the place of deepest doubt and undeserved grace rests a promise, I will be with you – every step of the way.
The past four months have been a collision course of sorts. I have watched our family stumble into scenes that trigger pain of past lives, point to loss of innocence that I desperately wish I could preserve and stir questions of why us? why these precious girls? why God? – where is your goodness?
As we navigate the day-to-day life that brings to the surface unexplainable fears, responses and behaviors, we fiercely pursue comfort, peace and healing. In January we began to face the reality that our school was not a place that could provide the emotional safety that is vital to the journey we are on. We prayerfully considered all options and made the decision to make a major move, not knowing how we would even afford it.
But God did. We took the first step and he parted the waters before us. His provision left me speechless and in awe of a God who sees me.
Our hope was that this significant move would provide a new level of safety for the hearts of our girls and bring a bit of relief to the emotional pressure that was a constant simmer in our home. After a smooth transition I had hoped it would decrease our demanding need for therapy. Lord knows, we can’t afford both.
Last week I was overwhelmed with the reality as our dear therapist painted a clear picture of the path ahead. I’m sure she could see the fear in my eyes as I unpacked the reality that I have nothing left to give… there is really nothing else to squeeze and make this happen.
I shared through tears the sense of hopelessness to my mom on the other end of the phone. The grapple with the truth I believe of a good God versus the reality of what I see as a long, treacherous, and quite honestly, expensive path. I considered what he could be asking me to do differently? Maybe just two children in private school instead of three? After all, one seems a bit more stable than the others. Should we sell the home we love and live life differently? Is there a path we haven’t considered that could be good enough to get us by?
Slipping into the sleep of night, my prayers sounded a lot like my friend Moses – God, don’t forget, these are your children. You aren’t surprised by our needs. You have been abundantly faithful – show me your glory. There’s nothing else I can do. It’s really up to you.
I asked a question in a small group of fellow foster and adoptive parents. What options do we have for the long road ahead? Someone please give me a glimpse of hope…
It came in a short text from a sweet friend that said,
Tell me more.
“Could you share briefly what your girls need and why?” Well of course I can my dear, how many words do you need 🙂
And as I let the words go I never imagined what God was stirring in the heavenlies. I couldn’t see the wind. But it was blowing.
The next day in the middle of a heart-connecting encounter a simple message arrives in my inbox from a name I didn’t know- you don’t want to miss this.
“We would like to cover the next few months of therapy and let us know if the need continues, which it sounds like it will.” and because God doesn’t just stop with provision, he goes on to show off a bit more… “And we would also like to cover six months of tuition as well.”
Chills flooded my being as I read the message over and again. This is too much. More than I could ask or even imagine.
Isn’t that just like God?
Exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ask or imagine.
I was slayed. Humbled. Overwhelmed by the goodness of others, advocating for us, revealing a Glory of a faithful father.
I stepped out of our meeting and onto a worn path, winding along a rugged fence, leading to a flowering meadow. The rocks slipped beneath my shoes each step of the way. I tried to soak it all in. Taking deep breaths, small steps, looking at the spring flowers and hearing the sound of the river passing by. The earth reveals His Glory.
What is it you want to say to me God? You have my full attention.
Like the spring wind, I sensed his quiet words say –
I see you. You are my child and I love you. I am so pleased with you.
I stayed in this place on the path that leads to nowhere… knowing this would be a transformational shift in my life. For the first time I could see, this was about me. This is about a God that will move heaven and earth because of his love for me. I have stepped into a part that he has for me to play, at times with fear and trepidation, not knowing how we will make it to the promise of resurrection, life and glory – but willing none-the-less.
My friend and I often refer to the journey as our “never-the-less” – like Jesus in the Garden, asking for this cup to pass by, Nevertheless, your will be done.
Motherhood was not a cup I expected to drink from. Fighting for the hearts of children my body didn’t bear, whose hearts bear wounds from a past they didn’t choose… at times feels like a cross I cannot carry. In the darkest days I still find myself crying, who am I that you choose me?
This day the Lord answered so clearly that my heart connected with what my head had known, I am chosen for a purpose, I am not alone… and in the steps of obedience a favor follows. Embrace it. Live it. Breathe it. Share it.
It is humbling in a way that I cannot express. It touches fear and doubt that I didn’t know existed. I’ve been challenged to see that diminishing the favor robs the blessing. Staying quiet stills the Glory.
It’s not about me.
But then it is.
It’s not because of anything I have done but because of who He is. His love for me is overwhelming and his goodness knows no end.
The Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the Lord. Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness and truth… (Ex 34:5-6)
It’s all about his Glory.
I teach in Reality 1 at the Battle for the Heart on this concept of glory which we are called to reveal. It seems abstract, but it is simply his goodness to us and through us, his compassion, grace, loving-kindness and truth.
I dare you be so bold, as Moses was, to pray Show me your glory!
In my life I have found when I step into this boldness, it is often I find myself placed between a rock and a hard place… “and it will come about, while My glory is passing by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.” (Ex 33:22)
Don’t be surprised when he shows up. He longs to show up.
If I’m honest, it’s quite humbling to tell our story. This is my issue, not yours. I’m growing in owning that there is a story to tell, a glory to reveal and a part that was chosen for me to play. I grapple with goodness, truly I do. I love to see it poured out on you… it’s a bit harder to accept for me. Deep down, I know how undeserving I am. I see the hard places of my heart, the doubts, fears, anger and sometimes even longing for the cup to pass me by.
But then, I would miss out on the Glory.
…I’ve come too far to quit now.
With much love, from a humbled girl.