Since having a baby, I have, admittedly, not spent as much time with God, reading the bible or even praying as I did before. It has been weighing on me in many regards. Today, Zoey decided to happily hang out in her crib and happily fall asleep for her nap, giving me a little extra time than I normally have. I immediately grabbed my laptop and found myself clicking into my Gmail, about to venture into 30 or 60 minutes of reading blogs or brainstorming my next room design. And I stopped. Ann! Come on! Do your devotional. Pray.
And I did. (As a side, the devotional I read is IF: Equip)
For the first time in weeks.
And what I took from it was hope. Hope from a story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. A story not totally different from ours. We struggle and suffer and take on roles we, perhaps, aren’t content with. We battle seasons of our life that we want to be out of so badly. We reap the fruits of our labor. We experience abundant blessings and joy.
I would say the biggest different, however, between me and Joseph is that Joseph (from what I understand), didn’t waver a whole lot in his roles and during his seasons. Meaning, during the pain, while in jail, while suffering, he stayed faithful to God and trusted the story would be bigger and would fulfill God’s purpose. I can’t say I always trust in that way when I am suffering.
And it got me thinking about something that has been hard for me, how I’ve handled and where it led me to.
And what came to mind is living in Miami. We have been in Miami for almost 8 months and roughly 7 of those 8 I haven’t totally enjoyed (that was my nice way of saying I don’t love living in Miami). I have spent many of late nights in tears from being homesick. Fearing I wouldn’t find the community in Miami that I had in Chicago. Being sad Zoey wouldn’t be surrounded by the love she would have in Chicago. I wasn’t seeing – or I couldn’t see – the bigger story. I wasn’t trusting the story that God had for me. Instead, I had my own story and it didn’t have a happy ending. Or beginning. Or middle.
And here’s where the hope comes in, the page turns and new chapters are starting.
We’ve had all kinds of visitors in the last couple of months. Family and friends. Meals around our dinner table. Conversations al fresco in our backyard. Moments I love. With people I love.
And then in the last couple of weeks, I have met a couple of new mom friends in my neighborhood. Barbara and Mary and Kimberly. One day I will share the story of how Barbara and I met…it’s pretty remarkable! Great women. Women I hope and believe will be great friends.
And the weather. Waking up every single day with the sun shining and the average temperature of 70. Being able to walk outside with Zoey. It does something to your soul! Something that I am really loving.
And Christmas carolers coming to our house and singing.
And precious, intimate moments with Zoey.
And time with Rick.
It’s my story. A story that has been hard and lonely and frustrating. Until today. Because like Joseph, the story doesn’t stop at hard or lonely. It keeps going. It continues until the chapters on joy and happy and fun and special begin. And right now, I am starting to read those chapters and I don’t want to put this book down.
And while that’s great and brings hope and gives me new eyes to read the story with, the biggest lesson and reminder I need every single day is to trust God and remain faithful to His plan, his story He’s creating for me, no matter if it’s the chapter on pain or a chapter on hope.