Saturday, October 15, 2016

When You Reach the End of the Desert and See the Promised Land for the First Time

Two events happened yesterday that made my heart leap with joy.  The first occurred as I was driving Emily home from school.  She had been working on her essay for her college applications.  As she read her heartfelt words to me, the tears began welling up in my eyes and spilled down my cheeks.  She glanced over at me as the fountain of salt continued to pour out.  "Why are you crying?" 

I had to tell her that the tears were happy ones because she finally caught on to what I knew for the past few years.  God was using some of that rubble that had happened to her in her life and was building a beautiful structure with it.  He had taken some of the terrible experiences and used them to shape the woman he wants her to be.  I was crying because she was understanding this truth too.  She was acknowledging how the bad was being used to push her towards the good God wanted for her life.  And it was beautiful!

The second was that after a year and a half of trying to find different employment, Nathan has been hired by a wonderful store.  He has struggled through some very unkind situations and yet, he has stuck it out.  Last night was his final night.  He had given two weeks notice.  He did everything right and finished well.  He has proven that he is loyal to a company, even when that company didn't deserve it. 

We met with his job coach yesterday as well as the head of the organization that provides services for those with disabilities and it struck me that God has placed a strong support system in his life.  For so many years I felt as if it was just Dan and I.  I asked the head of the organization what would happen now that Nathan finally got a new job.  I wasn't sure if he would no longer have that support and she said, "He has us for life, or as long as he wants us."  I felt the tears begin to well again. 

And the wonderful bonus of that support is that the Lord has also placed those around him who have the same faith.  The head of the organization often talks with us about her faith.  Nathan's job coach is moving on to a new job and we met the new young man yesterday.  Turns out his dad is also a pastor and he also plays drums like Nathan; a connection point.

As I drove home, the tears flowed.  I began to understand how the Israelites must have felt when they first saw the promised land.  Joy leapt into their hearts.  The realization that sand would no longer be their daily scenery, but grass, trees, fruit and beauty would bombard their senses. 

I know that life goes in cycles and that there will be times ahead when I feel like I'm back in the desert, but for now I'm enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of the promised land.