Monday, February 20, 2012

Yesterday, I said goodbye to my parents.
It never gets easier.

I heard that it would get easier over the months, but it's still hard to say goodbye.
To say "see you soon," and "it won't be too long until we meet again."

After we said our goodbyes and I sobbed in my car on the way home, I immediately thought of heaven and how glorious that day will be. When I never have to say goodbye again. If you've followed my blog for awhile, you know that I like to say that heaven will be "one big party" one day for those who are believers and I can't wait to get there. No more tears. No more pain.


When I arrived home, I decided to go on a long walk with Hartley through a field that is behind our house. The sun was setting and lit the field in shades of gold and honey. I found myself wrestling with why God brought me to the desert. A barren, empty land that brims with quietness, serenity, and lots of open sky. And in my wrestling match with Him, when I fought through tears and questioned His plans for me, I realized that this place has truly been a calming place for me. All over the Bible, God's people have found themselves in the desert and it's there that they truly have found Him and learned to cry out to Him.

"This is what God says,
   the God who builds a road right through the ocean,
   who carves a path through pounding waves,
The God who summons horses and chariots and armies—
   they lie down and then can't get up;
   they're snuffed out like so many candles:
"Forget about what's happened;
   don't keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I'm about to do something brand-new.
   It's bursting out! Don't you see it?
There it is! I'm making a road through the desert,
   rivers in the badlands.
Wild animals will say 'Thank you!'
   —the coyotes and the buzzards—
Because I provided water in the desert,
   rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
   the people I made especially for myself,
   a people custom-made to praise me."

-- Isaiah 43:19 (MSG)

 When my parents arrived home they called to tell me they got home okay. My mom told me that on their way home, she and my dad talked about this season of life that Joshua and I are in and that it is her prayer for me that I enter into a season of rest. We talked about how crazy the last 5 years of my life have been and I mentioned that I am still learning how to rest and relax after going non-stop over the years. We relived the fact that over the past 5 years...

  • After a year of being married, Joshua lost his job and was unemployed for 2 years
  • During those 2 years, I worked a high stress corporate job that I hated
  • We moved 3 times, and eventually spent a year living at my in-laws
  • Joshua moved to New Mexico for 6 months for work in which we were apart
  • Joshua started a new job with the federal government that required a year of probation and is dangerous every day leaving me in a state of constant prayer and faith
  • We stressed over money and bills
  • We had to say goodbye to our wonderful families and awesome childhood friends last May
  • And at that time last year, we also said goodbye to 8 couples that we were close to from our young married's group at church as we watched them move out of state, too.
  • We had to move to a new city where we knew no one and had no church family
  • We got a new puppy that has had a few scary emergency situations
  • We stressed over not getting pregnant 
  •  We worried after finally getting pregnant and the emotional roller coaster of fears that comes during the first 13 weeks
  •  And now we are trying to buy a new house that has taken us on another emotional roller coaster over the past week and probably will continue to do so until we have the keys in our hands :)

My mom literally said, "I can't wait until you're in your house with your baby and you can just sit and relax." I can't wait either. It doesn't mean that life will be perfect, by any means, but gosh, I didn't realize how tired I am. How stressful life has been. All good things, life lessons, hard trials that have strengthened us. I wouldn't change a thing. But what my mom said revealed a lot to me. It reveals how well she knows me!

I really want to use this time wisely before life gets busier and noisier with a beautiful little baby :) I will continue to try to enter into a time of rest. Of true, intentional rest with God. And that when I walk out into the desert and hear nothing but stillness, that instead of feeling alone or abandoned, I will continue to hear and seek God in the stillness.


It's so comforting to know that the God who dries all our tears is the God that has us in this season of life that we are currently in. He's the God who promises us eternity with Him in Heaven one day. He's the God who brings us streams in the desert, and the strength to endure tomorrow. He's the faithful God of rest.

"You have created us for Yourself, and our heart cannot be stilled until it finds rest in You.
-- Augustine

Linking up with Call Me Blessed

Leave a Comment

Urban Nester said...

I love the book of Isaiah. Even though he was going through such a hard time, he never stopped seeking the Lord in his despair. Saying goodbye is never easy. I hate saying goodbye to my parents. I'm really close to my mom, and every time I have to say goodbye, all I can do is cling to the Lord for comfort. You are clinging to the only solid rock there is! Thanks for sharing your heart!

xo. molly

Erin said...

What a beautiful and honest post sweet friend :) I am so excited for this time in your life.....for the madness to calm down, for you set up and nest with Joshua and your sweet bundle of joy on the way! :) Plus I can't wait to come visit lots!

Natalie Ensor said...

Loved this post. So grateful for you in knowing that you can find rest in the Lord. You are right every season will bring it's stresses they will just be different. It's knowing that we have a God who is bigger than all of them that helps us overcome them.
You have a great community of family and friends who love and pray for you. Though not close in distance, close at heart. May God continue to bless you and grow your faith during this time.

Natalie Ensor said...

p to the s. The week before I had my baby girl we drove to the La Jolla tide pools and walked around and just enjoyed God's beauty. Such a beautiful memory and your La Jolla post made me think of it.

Heather said...

that 1st picture is simply gorgeous! i love that your mother knows you SO well... My mom passed about 10 years ago, when I was 17... I often think about how our relationship would be now, now that I am grown up, married, and on my own. What a wonderful blessing to have her as part of this new season you are embarking on. Momma's know best, rest up sweet friend!

ThisLittleMomma said...

Urban nester said what I was thinking- the book of Isaiah, which just happen to be what our sermon was over Sunday. Oh girl I wish I lived closer to you! Hopefully next year! And then we can have lots of play dates!!! xo

Katie said...

I can't imagine living far from my family. That is encouraging that God is using that, among, other things to draw you closer to Him. You are a strong woman and God is doing big things in you!

Lib at Truly His said...

Wow! What an amazing post that brought me to tears and encouraged me. Blessings to you, sweet girl! BLESSINGS. My husband and I moved 1,200+ miles away from our families and I know the feeling, thank you for this!!

GingerPeachT said...

Oh wow I didn't realize all that you went through the past 5 years. My goodness, I'd be so stressed lol I really think you do need that rest.
And even though we are both in different seasons of life I can relate to the moving away to a place where you know no one. We've been here in the swamp of Louisiana for over a year and I still don't feel like we fit in a church or have any friends. It's tough!
Praying for your little family to find that rest :-)

Lisa @ MMT said...

Beautiful post Heather! So open and honest! I feel we have a lot in common. The last 5 years has been really busy and crazy for us too. We have moved more than 12 times and 3 cross country moves. We haven't lived anywhere for more than 6 months and the constant good byes wear on a person. I don't think it ever get easier in this life.
But we finally made the bold choice to move back home by family. My husband quit his government job and we moved back into my in laws house. It was a rough road, but we truly feel like God was calling us here. Now my husband has an awesome full-time job with great benefits. At the end of March we finally get our home. Things are finally calming down and the long road we took is finally worth it.
I send you prayers for your first home and I hope you get to your calming place too :)

Rachel Larson said...

This post was gorgeous and just what I needed. The seasons of life that God puts us in are all beautiful in their own way. I pray that your next season brings a beautiful new baby that allows you to relax and revel in the wonderful blessings that God has given you! I am writing a paper right now for a religion course on, heaven. The beginning of your post is a lot like what the beginning of my paper is about; there will be no goodbyes in heaven! We will be covered by the grace and love of our Savior, forever with him and all believers in him! thank you again for this post :)

Cassie @ Live.Laugh.L0ve. said...

Such a beautiful post. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing with us. The part that really got to me was "All over the Bible, God's people have found themselves in the desert and it's there that they truly have found Him and learned to cry out to Him. "

You see lately I have been longing to move to the country, wanting the peach and quiet of a small town to have a beautiful scenery around me and I couldn't figure out why. You just told me. That hit home - maybe that's why God has put it on my heart to move.


Kimberly Bonham said...

What an amazing post Heather. Looks like you have been on a crazy roller coaster! I am glad that you can have peace and find rest in God and know that this is His will for you! You are amazing!

Melu103 said...

You make me smile when you post about the hard times you are going through but yet .. i never see that smile fade away! Life is complicated, brings you a lot of disappointment, stressful situations, but it also brings you happiness and a lot to be thankful for. If God put all this in your way is because he knows you and Joshua were strong enough to handle it gorgeous! That's what my mom keeps reminding me every single day when i want to give up on everything. You just have to learn how to balance the positive in your life and move on. When you are feeling sad love .. look down.. you have someone in there thats going to change it all :) ♥♥


Breanna Hohenstein said...

Such a beautiful, genuine post! I know the feeling of living far away from your parents. In this huge state of Texas I live 6 hours away from mine, and I don't see living any closer with the career choice Eric is taking. Only time will tell though :)

Nessa Bixler said...

What a glorious season you guys are entering... take deep breaths and enjoy all the steps getting to being in the house with the new baby. Beautiful words Heather.

Ruthie Hart said...

wow! just looking at the last couple of years, you guys have been through a lot! and you made it out alive, in love, and full of faith, and I love that about you guys! You didn't let job loss, move or any of life struggles get in the way of being in a happy marriage that includes the Lord. I can't wait until you are in your house with your baby either, I just know you will be an amazing, nurturing mother.

The Arizona Russums said...

Praying that you find rest in Christ each and every day no matter what your circumstances might be. And I love that Augustine quote... :)

Laura@Splendor said...

I think you're right, that especially in the quiet and stillness, we can sometimes hear him loudest. Rest my friend! Their is a season for everything, and right now is a beautiful one for you. Soak it all up. praying for you :)

LeahJo said...

this is so extremely beautiful. It's hard to understand God's beautiful plan, I know that first hand, but you're right He will lead us to rest with Him always.

thank you for sharing!

Just the Two of US said...

beautiful post!

Audrey said...

One of my favorite Augustine quotes. God calls us to be still, and know Him- that's where our hearts finally find rest. Such a liberating thought! I often find myself so wrapped up in my to-do list and what I can DO that I forget to just BE. May you have a lovely time of just being and resting before this little one enters your life.

Allyson said...

I love this post! We all need rest, and I hope that you are finding it!


Mrs. Baker said...

great post! I am a new mommy and I am excited for you to get to experience the joys of motherhood-it's seriously the best thing ever! you won't even care about rest ;)

Barbara Mantell said...

My dearest Heather- I love what all these comments say- especially Jen from the Rossums, but I do know that you know this secret of being content, regardless of the circumstances. And this is how you are learning it, day by day, trial of faith by trial of faith... God is ALWAYS there with you. The Augustine quote is wonderful. And I love how your move to the desert is teaching you about God and HIS faithfulness to be with you. I love how you turned to Him in the midst of feeling alone and abandoned. You continue to amaze me with your wisdom and great writing. xoxoxoxoxoxo.

Susan Borland said...

my friend quoted a book to me yesterday and the author gave two choices, "would you rather have a great year with great family, friends, great house, no stresses in finances, jobs, family, you make money, have good cars, etc, but drift from God? or would you rather have a rocky year full of unemployment, stress, bills, family and friend problems and grow in your relationship with God feeling closer to him than ever?"
phew I was convicted. sounds like you've grown a lot in the past few years!

tricia said...

I know that "non-stop" feeling all too well, my sweet friend. Thank you for being SO honest in this post because I certainly needed to hear this. :)

girl willow said...

I can relate to that "tiredness" all too well...the job loss and stress and a crazy couple of years. I am blessed and amazed at how the Lord has used all the heartache for good! For His glory :)

Amber Michelle said...

Hi Heather!

I love your list of past obstacles that you've overcome. I did something similar on my own blog after my wedding had come and gone. :)

I'm the Editorial Assistant at FaithVillage.com - a new social network for faith experiences. We've built a website for Christ-followers that combines community (like Facebook) with inspiring content (like blogs, articles, videos, audio, etc). I think your post is great and would fit so well in FaithVillage. If you're interested in becoming a contributor, I'd love to send you more info. Tweet me @amberdobecka or @faithvillage or email me at amber [at] faithvillage [dot] com

Thanks & Blessings!

Lindsay said...

I love this post. So open and honest. You always inspire me to be more real... LOVE you girl!

Erin said...

Your honesty is so refreshing and so encouraging :) I love your heart. The quote at the end by Augustine is one of my favorites! xoxo

Kathy Schneider said...

I'll be praying for you that everything works out and you can have a period of peace.