Folding laundry, just like I've done yesterday, and the day before that, for years now. Clothes fill our loads of all sizes now. Every load, I find one or two things that are too small and the kids have outgrown. Even if they wore it last week, or two days ago, they're still growing and growing out of clothes.
Today while folding I picked up a bright pink shirt. The one I wore to the doctor the day they diagnosed our baby. It's funny how details of what was said, who the doctor was, what time it was, all fade into the background. I couldn't tell you. But I remember the shirt. It's not even a favorite shirt. It's just a regular t-shirt with a stone-washed look to it, from target, that happened to be clean the morning of the appointment. God knew which shirt I would be wearing. He also knows all the details of that day, even though I've forgotten the small ones. He knows what the details of today and tomorrow will be too.
But that shirt will probably forever be a marker in my life, to remember the day by.
Since negative memories fade- usually slower than the good ones- I need markers in my life that will remind me of the promise. In fact, God instructs His people to create such "memorials" out of whatever is present at the moment, at different times throughout the Bible. He tells them to make these markers to remember His faithfulness by. Because He knows, that in the humdrum of life- we as people we all too soon forget.
Of course we all sit and wait for the miracle of this baby being healed.
But God is so much bigger and so much better than just giving us that.
His word tells us (in summary) that if parents, here in this fallen world, know how to give awesome gifts to their kids when asked, how much better is God in Heaven, and the gifts He gives.
So I thought I would start charting and writing and marking the things He is already doing. So that when we all look back- specifically when I look back- I won't forget all of His goodness. It's easy to get caught up in the manifestation of a physical miracle because we can see it with our eyes. But the Bible talks about the danger of chasing such signs and wonders. While I'm believing for it, I don't ever want to be the girl that searched only for the amazing physical miraculous, and missed all the victories present - while in the process.
So here we go! My "pink shirts" of victory:
I haven't been able to talk about it until this week, because of legalities and such, and amidst the drama of our present circumstances, I had almost forgotten. This week Paco, my husband, started a new job. Without getting into all the details, I can share that it was a miracle in the timing and way that he was hired. A miracle and blessing in the entire process. He is now working at the State Attorney's Office, currently in data entry, but with the intent to be moved into the Victims advocate position in a few months. He not only received an increase in pay, but also will have full medical coverage, vacation days, and a pension. These things seem trivial now, but in a few years when the time will be too short to do anything with, it will matter. It's also business hours and bank holidays. Which means for me, as a stay at home mom- the long nights of putting babies to sleep alone, the tireless energy spent bending down to bathe everyone alone, the late nights and early mornings just to see Paco alone- will be no more! While Paco was extremely heartbroken to leave his CFA family, he is still in relationship with and will still see them, and made the decision knowing that the opportunity was simply too miraculous to pass up. He started this past Monday, and so far enjoys the hours and his spiffy badge that allows him to bypass security upon entering!
My eyes have been opened wide. I know that sounds a little cliche, but it's true. Before the events of last week, I would daydream about cuisine, plan organizational systems for closets, do a "target-run" for leisure.
Those things are not bad.
And I will probably enjoy them all the same still.
But I've realized that our silly #firstworldproblems pale in comparison to what's really important. There's no fine-food that could satisfy me. There is no dream decor plan that could bring me peace. There is no luxurious alone-time to comfort me now. And while I knew and believed that before, I have a new perspective on life. Traffic doesn't seem so terrible anymore. Waiting in line at the store isn't so bothersome. A messed up fast-food order is nothing to gripe about. Burnt toast and spilled milk will happen. And it will be just fine. People now, I'm acutely aware, spend majority of their time complaining. Americans in general whine about everything. It's like the "things to talk about". We can whine about the weather. We can gripe about gas prices. We can stir about stupid nothings all day, and feel as though we are "creating conversation". But can I tell you that you and I have so very much to be grateful for? There is nothing too big or too small for Jesus. Don't get me wrong. But amidst the current season we are walking in, life doesn't seem so bad, and the terrors we seem to face, are nothing but shadows in comparison to the bright and shining face of the Son.
Don't ever think for a moment that your current situation is not important to the Most High. But don't loose sight of Him, in light of the problems that seem to exalt themselves so easily in our day to days. I've become more grateful, more thankful, and less cynical to the stresses of the world. Knowing that this life is only a vapor. There's so much more to be concerned with, and the enemy will use crappy customer service, or stubbed toes to steal your focus and gratitude. Don't give him the pleasure.
Children have faith that can move mountains. I don't care if they know the truth or not, they believe what's told to them. Which is exactly why Jesus tells us that the kingdom of heaven will be liken to them. My kids don't cry and become emotional at the current situations. We've divulged some of the information while sparring the graphic details. They don't wince at trouble or the doctors negativity. They simply believe. McKenna and Teaghan won't let me forget to pray each and every day for their baby. They lay hands on my belly and call forth things that aren't - as though they already are- and that my friends is the biblical definition of Hope. Whatever the outcome, I know that my kids will be stronger in their faith. This will be a mile-marker for their spiritual growth. To one day look back and say "I know God is real. I know He is the great and mighty healer, because He bent down and heard our cries for help, and healed our sister!" I know because I find myself doing that same thing now. I keep pulling up the roll-a-dex of "miracles" in my head from times through my life, when God intervened and brought me through to the other side. Other "pink shirts" of my past. And I know that if He did it then, He certainly can and will do it now. Times like when He "healed" our copy machine. Times like when He healed my dad's leg. Times like how He healed my brother's ears. Times like when He started the car that wasn't working. Times like when He changed my plans for school and college and lead me in a completely different direction, that now seems like a no-brainer. Times when He brought me through exams and homework and assignments I couldn't understand, and scholarships hung in the balance. Times like when He provided the money or the job or the resources for Paco and I in our first year of marriage, after moving to Florida, and Paco could not find a job. God has proven Himself faithful throughout His word, and throughout my life...and I'm watching the faith unfold in my kids' lives now.
He's showing me my strengths and my weaknesses. You think you know yourself, but you really don't have a clue! It's funny how pressure can bring out the best and worst in me- or any of us. The word talks about fires that refine us- and my friend I am sitting in the fire! It's hot, and it's smokey, it's hard to see and hard to breathe. But I'm not alone. There's another man in the fire with me, and His name is Jehovah-Nissi- the God who reigns in victory! And we will emerge on the other side without a burn, without even the trace smell of smoke! I find myself able to carry my emotions and my failing flesh through the day. I find I can manage to get decent sleep. But like a giant ship in the sea, I can hold the mast through the waves, so long as the wind doesn't blow. When arguments with my husband churn up, I loose it. When the kids disobey time and time again, I loose it. When the tv doesn't work or I step on a sharp toy, or the dryer doesn't dry fast enough- I loose it. And in those moments I fall to my knees- and lean on the Rock that is higher than I. When my emotions swirl like a hurricane, worship is my retreat. I can easily hang my head and let the tears flow. But I choose to sing a song. And while the song is difficult to start, and the words aren't clear, and the pitch isn't quite right through the sobs, my flesh begins to align itself with the Truth of what He says over me- and the melody becomes stronger. Emotions subside and feelings feel less- as I sit with Him. In His presence is fullness of Joy- and I know it full well! Interestingly enough, an old friend confirmed this truth in my life. And no matter how many truths we think we have "under our belt", receive the words and encouragement from believers around you. Because it will be the very thing that sustains you when you can't seem to hear Him through it all.
This is only the beginning. And I can't wait to read all the miraculous things He does and continues to do through this process. If you have a "miraculous" miracle that Gods done for you through our process- a "pink shirt" story- maybe He's increased your faith. Maybe He's given you a new perspective. Maybe He's filled you with a new fruit of the spirit like love or gentleness you never knew you had- share it. I want to hear all the victories through Christ. And the enemy doesn't. When you think sharing isn't worth it- just remember that we overcome through His blood and the words of our testimonies. Whether you type or speak or whatever- your testimony will defeat darkness and push back the enemy's territory! Join me in the faith fight- and share the miracles He has done!!! It will be like a giant pink-shirt army, to which the devil runs in fear!