This year has been different.
For months before marriage God spoke to my heart of new things, prepared my soul to cling to His promise, “Behold, I am doing a new thing.” This seemed obvious. Of course, marriage was new, learning to share leadership in our home was new, having someone to share everything with was new – and so wonderful! – nearly everything felt new. What I did not perceive all the months of these whispers was that God was also speaking of something much deeper, much more subtle, much less obvious. Apart from anyone’s eyes, deep in my insides, God was going a new thing in me. In the depths of my heart, in a hidden place that the outside world could not see or understand, My loving Father was tenderly peeling back the layers, revealing to me my very truest, deep-seated beliefs about Him and carefully chiseling them away to replace them with truth.
For the first time in years, opposition in our lives was not coming from outside, but from within these walls. No one was deathly ill on our doorstep. Ministry seemed to run fairly smoothly. The presence of friends was true and constant. And in this season of calm, within our home, deep wounds were on display – mine and theirs. Old woundedness, occurring long before God knit us together as a family, began to surface and just kept surfacing in this season of new. The newest thing of this season was the work God was doing invisibly, in our hearts.
And in the midst of it all, of trying to hold all the wounds and pour out love, of trying to understand things incomprehensible to me and see our children through God’s eyes, he pulled up my very own heart-flaws, most blatantly this questioning, a wondering if really, this time, He would be faithful. I, who have tied my whole life up in proclaiming His faithfulness to others, believing in healing for others, declaring His goodness to others, wondered if really He would still be faithful to me.
I have personally known His faithfulness time and time again. God has kept His promises, throughout all of my life and throughout all of history. I have tasted of His goodness; I have lived in it. And somehow in a season of things so different and so new, and so seemingly unending, I wondered if this time He would come through?
I remembered His promise, spoken for months. But this new thing, it was not only beautiful, it was difficult. What new thing was He really speaking of? Couldn’t I see it? And so I sat in my wondering and my waiting and my pleading, and God spoke to me the same words again and again, “I am not done yet.” And I fought to believe it. But this was my way through the sea, my stream in the wasteland, my lifeline. When in my heart I felt that I might be truly done, He was still at work in the hearts of my people, and He was not done yet.
He was not done with me.
This year was different. Outwardly, almost nothing progressed. Almost nothing was measurably accomplished that an onlooker would notice or recognize. But inwardly, He was doing a new thing – in us. God was not finished with me, He was not done with the wounds in the hearts of our children, He was working, patiently and quietly, and sometimes even invisibly to chisel away at the hardened parts of each of us.
In the quiet, in the waiting, in the asking and believing and sometimes even faltering, He was our stream in the desert. His strength became our strength when being strong seemed a thing of the past. His love endured when I wondered if mine would give out. His faithfulness endured through the waiting, through the changes, through the challenge.
“Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it springs up! Can you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness, and streams in the wasteland to give drink to my chosen people, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.”
In the last weeks, we have seen immeasurable growth, joy and heart change in our children that does not compare to anything we have experienced before as a family. The Spirit’s work is evident and I feel the Lord’s hand heavy on our home. Of course in reality, it has been all along.
His words ring true in my ears and in my heart, these words He has spoken over me long in preparation. I look at our people, our home, that He has so faithfully and so constantly poured into and He opens my eyes, I perceive it. He has done a new thing in us and He is not finished.
And He gives us to drink that we may proclaim His praise. Halleluiah! His love endures. He is at work in us!
I don’t know your desert place, the place that seems like a wasteland where God is clearly finished working or has moved on. I don’t know your places of questioning, “Will you really come through this time?” But I know that His promise to me could very well be His promise to you. “Behold, I am doing a new thing,” and surely, beloved, even when we cannot see or perceive it He is not done. He is making a way in your wilderness and a stream in the wasteland because you are His chosen, who He formed for Himself to the glory and praise of His name!
Chin up, love. In the waiting, in the quiet, He could chisel away at those old wounds and you might just see that the new thing He is forming is you.