My favorite passage from scripture is Psalm 139:5 which says, “You hem me in, behind and before…” There is this underlining message of God completely surrounding David. And that’s what I felt that snowy morning when God became real.
Ten years ago today I woke up in the mountains of Maine. Only one more week until Thanksgiving, Autumn surrounded the farm and snow was coming soon. I had so many plans for the day. I was going to walk to the river, learn how to juggle with a third rice bag and write new lyrics in my journal (yes, that was my dream day as a fifteen year old). Our parents had left for the night so us kids had planned a low-key evening drinking hot cocoa.
Low-key quickly turned into high-strung when smoke started rolling down the stairs. The farmhouse was on fire.
From there the rest of the night faded in and out. Firetrucks and red lights. Sirens and shouting. People. SO MANY PEOPLE. We stood in my grandparent’s living room and watched the flames disappear into the sky. It’s one of those nights you think someone is going to pinch you and you’ll wake up but then realize you’re already awake so the only thing left to do is keep living. And when you keep living you move on and realize the best really is yet to come.
I could share so much more about that night but the morning after was monumental to my faith and my belief in Jesus so I’d rather talk about that. Sometime within the night the sky had opened up with snow and so when I woke on November 18th, 2007 everything was blanketed in white. The mountains. The trees. The mud. The dirt. The ashes. And in that moment God showed up and covered me. He covered and said, “Kid, I make all things new.”
It’s been 10 years and He still says that me. Those words are a foundation to my faith and the more I lean into Jesus the more I learn it’s the foundation of who God is. He restores and rebuilds and makes all things new.
I used to mourn that season in my life because you can’t go through something like that and not be changed. But now I celebrate it because you can’t go through something like that and not be changed. My being was shaken and stirred and moved to live different. To seek God in a whole new way. To learn to see the good even when it’s raining bad.
My family sat down for Thanksgiving that year with little. I had a pair of khaki jeans (flared, I might add) and a white knitted sweater with giant pink flowers on it (seriously, it was so bad…), but I had Jesus. And when Jesus is all you have, you realize He really is all you need.
And so today I celebrate the last 10 years. I celebrate the victory of learning to juggle with a third rice bag and clothes that don’t have giant knitted flowers on them. But mostly I celebrate the gift of learning and living and moving on to the best that is still yet to come.