Tuesday, May 12, 2015

God is Always Near

So, I haven't written in awhile. Here's the synopsis; we drove 4 kids in a minivan across the country to a house we purchased before I'd ever seen it and I've been settling kids and life in this new amazing corner of God's creation. 

Here's what I've learned. God is always near. In the fast and furious moments where you can't sit still, in the quiet moments where you question if you made the right decisions and in the perfect moments of happiness...
God is always near. 

Our new neck of the woods includes a commute to the kids' school each day. In Michigan we either homeschooled or the kids attended school up the street. Our commute involved walking up the block with a pause only at the praying tree if we hadn't already prayed at home to start the day. (Or a hop over the fence and a mad dash through the playground field if it was a running late day). 

Here, it's almost 18 minutes of driving. We leave our neighborhood, drive along the outskirt of our town and then head through some farmlands, up a twisty forested hill, and then up and down the rolling hills of a vineyard. It is gorgeous. Each morning the kids and I take in the beautiful painting that God has created, unique to each day. When I first made the drive I was always clenched and nervous, unsure on the twisty, hilly roads; they were so different than anything I'd ever driven in my own midwestern existence. Now, I look forward to the drive each day and find it relaxing!

There is a point in the drive when we get to the top of the curvy hill through the forest and we emerge to this long rolling straightway. In a split second we glance and we know if it's a mountain day or not. Some days we have an amazing clear view of the rolling hills, the patchwork of farms along the country side with both Mount Hood straight ahead and Mount Saint Helen off to the left. Some days it's a one mountain day, some days we can't see them at all. One of our favorites in the morning is a ghost mountain as we call it, where there is a haze in the distance and it looks like the mountains could be a ghost or something out of a scary movie. We love to take in what God has given us. 

As I've made this drive over the past few months I can't help but reflect on how this drive is a lot how the past few years have been for me. Ups and downs, twists and turns and not always knowing what will come next. In the winter here, we have fog...lots and lots of fog. There are times when you can barely see off the side of the road or what is ahead of you, you can't see the orchards or vineyards as you go up and down the rolling hills, you can barely see that there are trees in the forested section of the drive. And it is hard to imagine that the mountains are even in the distance. But they are! Even when we can't see them, the mountains are still there, still great and mighty and covered and snow. Often the fog of the morning burns off to a beautiful afternoon, so the trip that I took to take the kids to school is completely different than the one I take to pick them up. 

Isn't this so similar to our lives? Even a familiar path, in my case having another baby or moving for a new job, something you've "driven" before, seems so unfamiliar if you can't quite see the full picture God has painted for you. If you can't see the rolling hills, the vineyards, the farms and the magnificent mountains the road you're on may seem dark, twisty and a little unnerving. But, God is always near. He promises that He will never leave nor forsake you! One of my favorite verses in Isaiah tells us that when we walk with the Lord, whether we look to the right or the left He will be there saying "this is the way, walk in it". So, if you wait, just a little longer, you can get to the top of the hill on a bright sunny day and see not only what's right in front of you, but the magnificent mountains He's been waiting to reveal! 

I love this. Each and everyday I am reminded of God's steadfast and enduring love for me. I think of all the people who have lived before me in awe of the same mountains I am blessed by as part of the landscape of my life. It reminds me that some of my biggest blessings were things I didn't see coming, a fourth child, a move to Oregon....a trip to see a dear friend. 

Even when the road seems foggy and unclear, God is always near, and if we just keep driving He will reveal Himself in His time. So, this is me, being transparent and saying it's time to start revealing our daily blessings here in Oregon. So hold me accountable, help me to share my heart even though sometimes it's hard to be willing to share the foggy moments when God hasn't revealed that beautiful picture to me yet.