When God is Silent

Beads of water were dripping down my back from wet hair.

My legs were tingling and numb from sitting on them for so long. Her going to sleep, which normally was very routine had turned into bursts of crying. Not the I'm okay, but don't want to go to sleep, crying. But I'm scared. I need you, crying.

They started once again, her cries, and that little brown hand reached out of the crib rails to grab mine for the third time. She just needed to make sure I was there. "It's okay, baby. Mommy's here."

I've walked with the Lord for the majority of my life. I first met Him when I was five. I'm so thankful for the vivid memory of meeting Him. I pray often that my children's memory of meeting Him will forever be etched in their minds, like mine. I skipped into Sunday School, because five year olds skip everywhere, told a teacher that I wanted to meet Jesus (after many conversations with my mama), and I went into an old closet that she had turned into an office. And I met Him there.

It was Spring, and with the newness of the season, there in that closet, new life was born in my five year old heart. I clearly understood that I was in need of the grace that only God gives to forgive my sins. I realized that my five year old heart, was an enemy of God. And that through Jesus' death on the cross, I now had a way to the Father. It was that day, that I was brought from death to life. That day, in the closet, my journey began with Him.

I've gone through many seasons in my

dancing with Him.

Some, where my heart was so tender to His speaking, and I heard Him everywhere. There were the times when He carried me because life was just too hard to walk on my own. There were days of not having the words to pray to Him, because my heart ached so badly. But there were also times, I couldn't stop singing to Him because of His faithfulness and goodness. And then, there were times of silence.

Here, in the silence, is where I find myself now.

These times, might be the hardest. We all have them, the seasons of silence. The Israelites, at one point, went 400 years and didn't hear Him. They had seen Him perform miracle after miracle. He spoke through prophets. They saw Him in pillars of fire and clouds. His Words were written in stone. And then all of the sudden...nothing.

In these times, I pray and whine and beg Him to respond.

And all the while, He is.

In His silence, He speaks, "It's okay, baby. I'm right here."

Just knowing that He is near settles my heart. His nearness calms my anxiety. His hand holding mine, reminds me that I am not alone. He has not forgotten me. I am His. And He is mine.

You might be in a hard place today, sweet friend. You might be crying out to what feels like silence. You might feel like He has forgotten you. You might feel scared, broken, and alone. But just reach out your hand. He is here.

He wraps His arms around you in the hug of a friend. He speaks truth and grace into your heart through His Word. He smiles at you through each sunrise. His hand lovingly holds your face when you feel like there is no hope. He catches every tear you cry. He might be quiet, but He's near.

And He's waiting.

Just reach out your hand.

He's right here.

"Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hand; your walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:15-16 ESV

An Old Friend

It took all of my courage just to open the door to the office.

I unbuttoned my jacket, not because I was warm, but maybe it would take away the tightness in my chest. I took a deep breath to slow down my fast beating heart. My hands shook as I completed paperwork and I slid into the corner chair hoping to be unnoticed.

The smell. That sterile smell. 

The magazines with happily pregnant women proudly displaying their swollen bellies were laying on every table. And there were many husbands sitting with their nervous wives.

I was there today. A place that, four years ago, brought so much pain.

I remember staring at those magazines wishing, with every ounce of hope in me, that after "this treatment" that would be me. Happily pregnant. And every time I came back to the same office and looked at the same magazine, I was the same. Barren.

As I started feeling those old emotions creep back over me like a dark cloud, I heard a soft Voice whisper to my heart, "You're not who you were when you sat here last. Your womb is still barren, but your heart isn't."

This time, it was different. I sat in that chair a mama. Not the way I had envisioned four years ago, but this time I am a mama to almost TWO babies.  

An old friend called my name, and lead me back to his office. As we chatted about the bitter cold weather, he began looking through my very thick file. His eyebrows began to furrow, and he peered up over his glasses. "Mrs. Satterfield, what happened last?"

Well, doc, how do I sum that up in a few words? "Um, I had surgery, went on shots, and we were ready to start IVF," I said.

"So why did you stop?" he asked, confused as he saw the date. "Well, we just didn't feel like it was right for us at the time. We felt God call us to adoption," I said.

I whipped out my phone and started showing off my beautiful baby girl. And quickly told him of our new baby coming soon. He was so happy for us and we continued the appointment. We made a plan to deal with my endometriosis. He shook my hand and said, "I'll see you soon. It was so good seeing you." And I left.

So why did we stop? Well we know now, at that time, there was a baby girl with big brown eyes, a belly laugh, and the last name Satterfield, only in God's thoughts. And there was a selfless woman, who was going to be in a real tough situation. And there was a little boy, only a few short years down the road, that we would call our son.

There was a weird comfort in seeing my old friend today. Although those times he walked with me, brought so much pain and heartache, seeing him today, in light of who I am now, was sweet.

He didn't know that when I first met him, I wrapped God up in a tiny little box. My thoughts about God and His goodness were safe and practical. They were about what I could do to earn His favor. I thought that maybe if I prayed a certain prayer, He would hear me and give me a baby. He was only good then, if He did what I thought He should do. I loved Him, but in a safe way.

When I saw my old friend today, the Voice who whispered to my heart just a few moments earlier, now cannot be contained to a perfect little box. He has exploded out of the box I used to put Him in. He is really, really good even though I sat in that same office, with the same broken body. He is sweeter. He is more real to me. He is here, with me, listening to me when I talk with Him throughout the day. He doesn't just hear a certain prayer I pray. He hears every word I utter, and I can not get enough of Him. Do I love Him? Oh, I am crazy about Him. Because we "stopped" in the eyes of my old friend, my relationship with God has propelled forward.

I recently read,

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet

by Sara Hagerty. In her book, she discusses adoring God in the mundane parts of the day. As I got in my car to drive home, I was reminded of today's adoration, "The One Whose Goodness Intersects My Every Day-Psalm 27:13."

His goodness intersected my day. Even though I sat with my old friend, discussing my broken body, my heart and my love for this good God, hasn't felt more new.