It felt odd to purchase a park pass for a place that still feels like home. 20 years ago Adam and I showed up on our first wedding anniversary at SNP to work as rangers and live out of Big Meadows. I dont long for the past. At 43, I have journeyed too far and overcome too much to want to go back. But I recall this season and what the Father was doing in my heart then. I look to the past as a reminder of how far I've come and of all He has taught me about Him and who I am to Him. Do you ever do that? He tells us in His Word to reflect and remember.
I hadn't asked for marriage. I had boldly declared I was happy as a single missionary with Jesus by my side. But the Father knew I'd lost my deep connection with Him and it would take a season of safety and brokeness to find my way back. Crossing paths with Adam happened hours from home but I heard clearly that he was the man I was to marry. At first I resisted... "I didn't need a husband, remember? Im happy with You." I said to the Father. But Adam was persistent and my heart was awakened to the attention he was giving me.
That attention thawed my heart. It was here in this park I learned to feel safe in ways that allowed me to start to learn to be loved and to love again. I had a husband who willingly confessed issues in his life, tenaciously sought the Lord and reaffirmed his love for me. In this imperfect gentleness I started opening my heart up to the Father in ways I didn't know I had closed. Simultaneously I hiked all over this park and began to walk again with the One who created it.
20 years later I am on the other side of safety... having transitioned that safety from Adam to the Father, rightfully and experiencing great brokeness unlike anything I thought was possible in the past 5 years in various ways due to different circumstances. To hike in this park in this season with my children was a gift that was precious and layered. They instantly fell in love with the adventure and the wildness all at once. We forged ahead on one of my favorite hikes, taking on over 4 miles with the two younger boys. It was the absolute determination to work together as a family of 8 to tag team rock scrambles, explore creek areas and give occasional piggy back rides. I did not have to spur them on alone, they spurred me on just as much as I could have them. It was inspiring and I felt utterly accomplished to finish strong with these children at my side.
They have walked a road of brokeness as well the past 5 years. But instead of cowering they are feeling the raw and real, they are learning forgiveness and watching expectantly for what the Father wants to do and will do. They are learning what can be when we allow Him to work in our lives and they are seeing the heartache of when we do not. I can not tell them what is on the other side of this season but I am teaching them that He is faithful to carry us through and He will be on the other side. And as a mama, I see children who have been floundering for years that are waking up. The brokeness will become a foundation of faith and I pray that what the enemy means to destroy them will only be their awakening into greater calling. May they finish as strong and determined as the hike they took on today. They completed it only hungry for more, not less.
Do you pray for your children? Learn to pray for them when they are young. (And bless them daily with what you see in them and who they are.) I wish I had understood the depth of this sooner. I've prayed for this awakening for YEARS. I never expected it to unfold the way it is yet I can see Him at work. It is hard and beautiful all at once. While you're waiting, keep pressing in. You are building character and strength for the birth of what is coming... don't give up.