Today is Friday With Friends! Each Friday for the next few months, I’m going to introduce you to some of my favorite writers. Each has their own style, and all are worth your read.
Today… Ms. Julie Thomas. The woman has history with me and loves me anyway. That says a lot! Her depth and authenticity and wisdom are refreshing… and I flat-out adore her.
One of my dearest friends has a daughter with autism. I remember getting the painful email from Jennifer, telling us of the confirmed diagnosis. Delaney was only 2 years old.
Because I don’t have a child with autism, I can only imagine the depth of the pain that such a diagnosis would bring. The intensity of emotions must have ranged from mourning to questioning to heartbreak.
Through the years, I’ve watched Jennifer mourn the loss of the relationship she dreamed of having with her only daughter. Dreams of heart-to-heart talks have been replaced with difficult appointments with occupational therapists. Plans for typical trips to WalMart have instead resulted in meltdowns. There is a new “normal” for my friend Jennifer.
Yet, Jennifer believes in her God.
The costs associated with the different therapies for Delaney have been staggering. I cannot even count the number of times Jennifer has told me of yet another change and another cost.
I also cannot tell you the number of times she has told me of how God provided a way.
Stories of miraculous donors, state grants, and gracious friends who have become way-makers so Delaney could get the therapy she needed. Time and time again I have heard Jennifer say, “God provided before, He will provide again.”
Jennifer believes in her God. And she remembers His works in her life.
That is SO difficult to do. It is tough in the day-to-day of life to remember how God has provided in the past. We get so caught up in the tyranny of the urgent that it is often easy to forget the works of His hands. There have been so many times in my life when I have become short-sighted, full of fear, scrambling to find solutions to life’s problems on my own.
The good (or bad) news is that I’m not alone. Check out Psalm 78.
This chapter leapt off the pages for me. It’s an account of all God did on behalf of His people, how He provided water and food. How He listened to their cries and delivered them. How He performed miracles and wonders right in front of their eyes.
“Yet they still continued to sin against Him, to rebel against the Most High” … because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation.” vv. 18, 22.
Ugh. I’ve done that.
“How often they rebelled against Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! Again and again they tempted God and pained the Holy One of Israel. They did not remember His power.” vv. 40-42
They did not remember.
Someone once told me that memory is one of God’s sweetest gifts. The ability to think back on the past, whether good or bad, serves as one of God’s best tools to remind us of His glory and redemption.
It is a choice, and at times a discipline, to be steadfast in our resolve to remember God’s goodness. As I think of Biblical characters that truly lived this out I immediately think of Daniel.
Daniel was not a young man when he was about to be pitched in with the lions. Yet Daniel knew his God. Daniel had seen God work all his life. He saw Him in the lives of Shadrach, Meshach and Abedego. He saw God overthrow kings who had brought dishonor to His name. Daniel didn’t know if he would live or die in that den.
He just knew His God.
My friend Jennifer has this same resolve. Delaney is now a beautiful 8 year-old girl, and God is still providing for her. And for her mama.
Are you in a difficult season? Maybe you have…
- Tough decisions to make, and not enough information
- Bills to be paid, and not enough cash
- Relationships to mend, and not enough energy
Let me encourage you to take time this weekend to remember. Here’s some easy ways to do this:
- Think back over the past year and write down ways that God has protected you, loved you and provided a way
- Read through old journal entries and revisit how powerfully God showed up
- Look at stories in God’s word of how time and time again, from generation to generation, He has been faithful
When we remember what He has done in our lives, we can’t help but praise Him. And when we praise Him, our outlook and resolve changes.
Despite our circumstances, let’s be women who remember the incredible works of our good and amazing God.
Julie Thomas lives in the Denver area, is a pastor’s wife and mother of four little ones. She also serves as the Women’s Network Director for Foothills Community Church, where she has the amazing privilege of a front row seat to watch God move in the lives of some pretty incredible women. You can find her blog here.