If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you already know a little of my story, but if not, let me tell you a little bit about me.
When I was pregnant with my youngest son (now almost three) I was in a very dark place. I knew I was a Christian, but I wasn’t living it and yet I was trying to keep up the outward appearance of doing so. The harder I tried, the deeper I sank. The more of the world that I drank, the thirstier I became. Around 37 weeks, I started developing some back pain, which, long story short, turned out to be shingles. I then suffered from nerve damage related to the virus and then about 6 weeks later had lumbar fusion surgery due to a recurring disc issue in my spine. When I say I was drowning… guys, I have never been in a lower place. The more I cried out to God in desperation for rescue, the more silent He seemed.
But God is so faithful.
About 10 weeks or so after surgery, I was walking on the treadmill listening to K-Love when I heard these words from the Hawk Nelson song “Diamonds”
It’s not what I hoped for. It’s something much better… He is refining, and in His timing, He’s making diamonds out of us.
The day I heard those words it became so clear to me that the wilderness I was going through was being used to refine me. It was being used to make me a stronger Christian, a better wife and a better mom. It was being used to teach me lessons about loneliness, about how to encourage other people and how to press on through hard times. It was being used to show me my desperate need for God and how important it is to stay in His word and stay focused on what HE wants instead of what I want.
Jessica Drews hit the nail on the head in this month’s Creative Retreat devotional when she said,
“He is the way in the wilderness. Even though we may not see it or feel it, God is at work making us a new creation, redeeming us, and redeeming what has been broken in our lives, in the lives of others and in our world.”
Friends, God is always at work. Even if we don’t see it or feel it, His plans and His ways are always at work behind the scenes and they are always for our good. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose”. He doesn’t say that all things will be good. Quite the contrary. “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). Dark days are going to come. Wilderness seasons are going to come. Trials are going to come when you wonder where in the world God is and if He has left you alone in a dry land. I don’t know a lot about deserts (I mean, I live in central Mississippi!!) but one thing I do know: they are dry, empty places. There is nothing in a desert that is going to distract you. What if God leads us into the desert in order to show us how much we need Him? If history proves anything, it’s that people often realize their deepest need for God while they are in the desert.
While you’re out there wandering and wondering, don’t forget to “behold” where He has placed you. He is doing “a new thing…[He] will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert” for you (Isaiah 43:19). Remember His faithfulness and that even when you can’t see it or can’t feel it, He is always working!
I started my page by using several of the stamps from this month’s kit to form the background. I stamped the wildflowers and stems with a mix of Hickory Smoke, Wild Honey and Broken China distress oxide. I then pieced together the words using the one of the alpha sets from the kit as well as the “greatest adventure” alpha sheet. I then finished with a few hearts and crosses from the décor sticker sheet and topped the page with the bow clip.
If you haven’t joined us yet this month, I encourage you to head over to the Creative Retreat Shop and grab your kit and digitals today! And don’t forget to sign up for autoship while you’re there!