I grew up in a Christian home with godly, godly parents. Jesus was everywhere in our home. We talked to Him, talked about Him, and sang to Him every day. He was woven into all that my parents did, and modeled daily in the ways that they interacted with us, with others, and with one another.
I began to fall in love with Jesus at a young age. And I loved learning about Him. My parents also instilled in my sister and me a love of learning and reading, especially when it came to the Bible.
But in nearly 30 years of reading, learning, and memorizing scripture, I realized recently that I’d never read through the book of Genesis from start to finish. At least not to my recollection. So I started doing that a few months ago, and it was an amazing experience.
Last week at the office we had our first ever Women’s Sip n’ Shop. We had an amazing vendor lineup that I felt so proud of. We had eight vendors, and of the eight, two had family members pass away within the last week, one unexpectedly, in a tragic accident, and one more peacefully, in her home. Two vendors who we’d hoped would be able to participate were not able to due to difficult physical limitations. One vendor was dealing with the recent death of her husband, and huge financial loss due to some poor investments he’d made. These are just the parts of their stories that I am aware of. I cannot imagine what each of these women are struggling with and walking through privately.
So few people, but so much hurt.
After talking to these women yesterday, a verse I read in Genesis came to mind.
Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it. Jacob was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” – Genesis 28:16 &17
The Lord is in the place. He doesn’t change, or bend, or leave us alone in the difficult, awful, painful, sticky places. He is there when we aren’t aware of Him. He is there when we do not feel Him. He is there when all we feel is hurt. He’s in the longing. He’s in the hurting. He is there in all of it.
In my life, I have NEVER gone through a difficult circumstance and not been able to look back on it saying, “How awesome was God’s presence in that place! How awesome was His presence in my darkest moments, in my longest, driest seasons!” It has been those seasons that have drawn me toward the gate of heaven, and the feet of the Savior. It is in those seasons of brokenness that God pruned me, grew me, and loved on me in sweet, subtle ways.
It is my hope and my prayer that the women mentioned above are experiencing God in profound, up close and personal ways. That God gives them glimpses of the gate of heaven, and sweet tastes of His peace that surpasses circumstances. That is my hope for anyone who reads this.
Infertility is so hard. It is lonely. It is physically and emotionally demanding. I hope that you all are able to experience the Hope of Christ in a special way this week. Because He is in this place. He has gone before you and prepared the way, even though you cannot see it. He sees it, and He sees you, and He loves you.