By: Jennifer Murray

Steps Forward

steps-forward

 

Today I stepped back in the coffee shop I visited on the morning we got that Monday morning jaw-dropping positive surprise. I was able to walk in without tears, without anxiety, without heaviness, and without despair.

This winter has been such a stark contrast to last. There’s sunshine where there was once darkness. There’s more joy than sorrow. There’s scars where there were once open wounds.

“God always seems bigger to those who need him the most. And suffering is the tool he uses to help us need him more.” – Joni Earickson Tada 

It wasn’t the road I would have chosen for us, and I am far from comprehending the reasons. We like most who haven’t experienced this type of pain were blind to it. But through it I know He has used my brokenness, my struggle, my my grief, my loneliness, my perseverance for my good.  There are already stories emerging of how my pain has been able to strengthen another’s journey.

It was not in vain.

We’ve left a trail that shows where we’ve come from and the lessons along the way. There’s baggage left along the side that we’ve been able to let go, and some that we continue to carry, but the burden has been much lighter when we let the Guide carry it for us.

His grace has always been enough. Never something we had to save. Never short for the day. Daily increments of sufficient grace. 

A dear friend who I look up to greatly dropped a meal off around this time last year. I was still suffering greatly physically and facing another potential surgery. She took me by the arms and looked into my eyes and promised me that God WOULD use this. That He would write His story, and that His glory would shine through it. I can say with more confidence than ever that I believe her. 

I don’t know how He will continue to write our story. Perhaps this was just a glimpse of suffering that may help prepare us for something more. Perhaps I’ll never know this side of heaven the many ways He’ll weave His grace into this part of our journey, but I know He was present then and He’s present now. I know He has been and will be faithful. I know that He is sovereign even when He takes away. I know that He is good. My steps ahead can land solidly on these truths. He will redeem even the darkest of times.

A road through the wilderness has led to a quiet waters of restoration. 

9 Responses to “Steps Forward”

  1. Crystal
    February 24, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    I’m glad to hear this, friend.
    Crystal recently posted.. The 3rd Annual Kuppercott Awards {The Books You Should Read in 2015}

  2. Pat
    February 24, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    God is so good and props us up when we want to fall down crying.
    My Mom’s alzheimer’s is such a sad thing but she has such a sweet
    spirit that I know God is her constant companion. She is a joy to her
    memory care unit where she lives, bringing sunshine to other’s days.

    Not perfect and no, not like it “used to be.” She still knows each of
    us but lives in a time only known to her.

    We share pain as fellow Christians as we walk our day in God’s grace.

  3. Erica Mueller
    February 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    This is beautiful, Jen. It has been a blessing and encouragement to follow your journey. Your strength and trust in Him stand as a witness to us all of God’s faithfulness to hold us in times of trial.

  4. Covington Grandma
    February 24, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

    A very touching, meaningful post that I am sure will be an encouragement to someone out there that needs to soak it in.

  5. Cherie from Queen of Free
    February 24, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

    Love this. Love you.

  6. Cindy
    February 25, 2015 at 6:34 pm #

    I am camping on your last sentence…He will redeem even the darkest of times. Thank you!

  7. Carolyn
    February 25, 2015 at 9:54 pm #

    God is good. Really.

  8. Margie
    November 4, 2015 at 2:07 am #

    You have a beautiful website. Your stories are encouraging and your quads are beautiful. Loved scrolling through. 🙂

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