There’s this whisper in the wind, a voice calling in the breeze, in the shallow laps of the creek as it kisses the rock bed. It’s the twinkle of the stars, the dance of the moon and sun as they take shifts mirroring the Light of the world. It’s the unexpected cry of the eagle as it swoops overhead, calling to the deer below, “come and fly with me.” The whisper comes through the crackle of the fire, the sound of giggles as marshmallows invade the cute faces of children and mothers smile at the sight of their beloved delighting in life’s little pleasures. He’s everywhere if you would just see, if you would just stop.
Stop. Breathe Beloved, breathe.
He repeats this to me daily as my faith comes in waves. Oh how I wish to fully trust, to completely see, with eyes wide open and a heart overflowing. How I wish to believe, to breathe; to just be again. How I want to soar, to say yes to that Eagle as its Majesty cries out, ” Come and soar with Me. Come to the mountains and valleys. Arise My Beloved, and come away with Me (Song of Solomon 2:10). And yet, He is still faithful, constantly calling me higher into the depths of His unfailing love. He has promised,
“To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you complain, Jacob; Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know, have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (Isaiah 40:25-31).
He is the God of the unfaithful, the God of redemption, restoration, and continued reminders of identity. I absolutely adore the section He begins to talk to like He is speaking to Jacob. Let’s start with a little background on Jacob (Israel). His father is Issac; his grandfather is Abraham whom God called the father of nations, that his descendants would outnumber the stars. This is Jacob’s family line, called by God, set apart, and followers of the Way. And yet, Jacob is a cheat, a liar, and manipulates his father, with the help of this mother, to steal the birthright that is to go to his elder brother Essau. Jacob then flees the land to avoid being killed by Essau and ends up working seven years for his uncle, Laban, just so that he may have right to marry this relatives daughter. Laban cheats him and gives Leah,the sister of the girl he wanted to marry, as his bride because the younger sister may not marry unless her elder is already married, so Jacob works another seven years to gain right to now marry Rachel, the one whom he loves. So, fourteen years later, he is married to two sisters, wealthy, and with eleven sons. He returns and reconciles with his brother, but not after repenting to the Lord, and begging Him to save his life. Genesis 32 tells this story in full detail, but a recap is that Jacob is preparing to meet Essau. He is terrified, quivering and calling out to the Lord to spare his life. That night while all alone, Jacob wrestles with a man causing his hip to come out, be injured, and leave him walking with a limp, a constant reminder that God is faithful to him. The man tells Jacob to let him go, but Jacob says he will not until the man blesses him. This man replies, “what is your name?” As Jacob responds with his name, the man says, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” Jacob, now named Israel, goes on to be the father of the twelve tribes of Israel throughout the Old Testament. Return to Isaiah 40. “Why do you complain, Jacob; Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God?” Notice how one line He calls us Jacob, and one line He calls us Israel. The Lord sees our identity as a valiant son or daughter who has overcome even when all we see of ourselves is Jacob, full of fear and lacking in faith. The Lord is constantly calling us higher, calling forth our name that He has given us. We have overcome by the blood of Jesus Christ, therefore we may be called sons and daughters and coheirs with Christ Himself.
I just love that when I see struggle, when I feel tossed in the waves of life, lacking in faith, weary and tired, God sees Israel; He sees the possibilities not the problem. Recently, Sean asked me, “do you see it? Do you see it? Tell me you see it.” He was referring to what we see in Vanessa, what I struggle to see some days, what I get so mad at myself for not being able to always walk towards with full assurance and faith, but what God is calling her Israel to be. We see her sharing her story, reading, writing, teaching, preaching, writing books, having her dream bakery, being self-sufficient, understanding life and God to a greater level than she ever has, rejoicing in the little things, and dreaming of the impossible. Do you see it?
We recently had our three day parent seminar training with Family Hope Center based in Norristown, PA. I cannot even begin to describe how incredible this was. They gave hope through stories of other families, but above that, they gave professional information with details upon details all about the brain, how it works, how to help in and heal it, and what our plan can be. It renewed so much hope and gave me a greater understanding of Vanessa’s brain, that she’s not crazy, she is hurt, and we can help her. We cannot “fix” her. God fixes, but we can do everything in our power to set up and environment for her where she can thrive. The team at FHC gave us ways to “brain map” Ness, to figure out her neurological age. This opened my eyes to why she is how she is. She is a young child stuck inside an eighteen year old body, needing to be seen, longing for love and needing identity spoken out over her. Many of her functions and overall age is equivalent to that of a three year old, and we are trying to explain concepts to her that are far above that level. With this new knowledge, Sean and I just looked at each other and said, “she needs to be home schooled.” Neither one of us had a single doubt about that. She needs one on one, on her level, with no distractions. With that said, this coming fall, I will begin to full-time home school her. We are asking for an increase in prayers that God would meet me, because in my weakness He is strong. I cannot home school her to the level she needs. I cannot keep patience with her all day every day. I find myself tossed in the waves of life asking myself, “why cant you see it?!” But, in my weakness He is strong.
In my weakness He is strong.
In my weakness He is strong.
In my weakness He is strong.
How amazing is that?! He doesn’t leave me hanging, but instead He calls out the Israel in my Jacob moments. He reminds me who He is and invites me to join Him. He is the God of making impossible possible.
Can you see it?