Monday, January 27, 2014

To the Peach Pie God


Photo credit to Curtis Palmer, Creative Commons, cc
The news from the big box company who wants to move in across the road from us and the pertinent land owner strikes fear in us. We look at cold hard facts and know that we can no longer stay in this home, but the realization leaves me heartsick and tight-chested. We worked for years to get this property, and have sunk in deep roots in the year and a half we've been here. I stare out the windows at my raspberry, strawberry, and rhubarb beds frozen under snowdrifts, and wonder if I'll have time to safely export them with me. Tulip and daffodil bulbs lie within reach of future bulldozing easements, locked from me in frozen earth.

A deadline decision looms just a week away, so we crunch numbers, scrunch foreheads, and seek wise counsel. And in between the inevitable, the fear, and the worrying grief, we hug long, and whisper truth to ourselves, to each other, and to our children.

"God is good, he can be trusted. He has always taken care of us, even lavishly, generously caring for us. He is the Peach Pie God, sending us a peach pie through teens when we were discouraged about youth ministry years ago. He is the Ball Road bliss home God, the marriage-redeeming God, the garden-creating God, the children-giving God, the Scene-striding God who knows the words to sustain the weary." 

At church yesterday, we admitted each apprehension our hearts threw out, and assured ourselves with truths of who God says he is. And yet, grief is allowed, and we God-followers are allowed to ache and say, "This is hard." In rawness, I stood to sing, and God sent lyrics for me. Tears fell as I sang,

"...Even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life,
 I won't turn back I know you are near, 
And I will fear no evil, for my God is with me, 
And if my God is with me, whom then shall I fear, whom then shall I fear?
Oh no, you never let go, through the calm and through the storm,
Oh no, you never let go, in every high and every low
oh no you never let go, Lord you never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
and there will be an end to these troubles but until that day comes, 
still I praise you, still I will praise you..." (Matt Redman, "You Never Let Go")

The next song's lyrics said,

"...Troubles surround me, chaos abounding, 
my soul will rest in you, 
I will not fear the war, I will not fear the storm, 
my help is on the way, my help is on the way

Oh my God, he will not delay, my refuge and strength always, 
I will not fear, his promise is true,
my God will come through always.

...I lift my eyes up, my help comes from the Lord ..."(Kristian Stanfill's "Always")

I clenched my jaw against crying, wiped silent tears, and continued my conversation with God in song,

"Nothing formed against me shall stand, 
you hold the whole world in your hand
I'm standing firm in your promises,
you are faithful, you are faithful, you are faithful.

...I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind,
the God of angel armies is always by my side..." (Chris Tomlin, "Whom Shall I Fear?")

Sound and tech crews in the back flashed a pre-determined verse on the screen, and God whispered back,
      "Look to the Lord and his strength;
       seek his face always" (I Chronicles 16:11).

I don't know what your weekend has been like, or what you are going through, but our God loves you and is faithful. He has words he wants to tell you. Would you ask him, friend? Speak your worries, your wonders, your fears and excitements. Then sit back and wait. He wants to answer you, and will: through a song on the radio, through his words in the Bible, through a friend, a sermon, or an online note. You are loved.

I'd love to hear what you are thinking today, friends.

(And linking to count gifts with Ann. For his trust-worthy heart and for his whispers through song.)

7 comments:

Cheryl Barker said...

Jennifer, so sorry you guys are faced with this. I pray that God will show you the way and provide everything you need. Love how you said "we God-followers are allowed to ache and say, 'This is hard.'" God understands and hurts with us, doesn't He? Blessings and God's comfort to you, my friend.

Ginger said...

What a difficult situation! I love that God is speaking into it loudly with a word to trust Him.

Floyd said...

Our Father spoke directly to you, sister. He's got something great for you... just on the other side of that valley that He will carry you and your family through.

Praying for you guys.

Alecia Simersky said...

Oh man, this is tough! But God is speaking to and through you, I know you can see it :) He is never more close than we are going through a trial. Praying for you!

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thank you, Cheryl. The ache is better now. I needed some days to process it. While I imagine it will resurface at times, I am feeling so much more peace, knowing that God is in control.

Thanks,
Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Ginger,

Nice to meet you! Thanks for stopping by, and for your encouragement, friend.

Jennifer Dougan
www.jenniferdougan.com

Jennifer Dougan said...

Thanks, Floyd.

Jennifer
www.jenniferdougan.com