Most of the time, it’s easy for me to look at ugly and have eyes to see beyond, how beautiful it will one day be.
It’s easy for me to do this, because I know who Father is. I’m learning more and more of His heart. That it’s only in His character to do good and be good and give good. He turns bitter into sweet. He raises beauty up from the ashes. He redeems and rewrites and restores. When you know who He is, it’s easy to see past the ugly. Because when you walk in your true identity, a daughter knows her Papa will always rush in. He’ll come to the rescue. It’s just who He is, it’s what He does.
I’m the one who was standing in the middle of the rain last summer on the beach, commanding the storm to pass so my family could enjoy a much needed, beautiful day at the beach. I was screaming to the wind like a crazy lady with my three year old waving her hands around with me. The resurrection power of Jesus lives in me. We have access to way more of heaven’s resources than we could possibly believe. The sun came out that day at the beach and we enjoyed four beautiful hours of sunshine.
I looked outside our window and saw the old, beater that my husband drives because the hail storm last spring destroyed our car. Instead of that beater, God gave me eyes to see new. The car my husband dreamed about. We thanked Him for provision in that old thing. And then one day, while he was looking at his dream car online, a friend said she had one just like that sitting in her yard, she would give to us. So now, instead of the beater, I see with my eyes the car my husband wanted sitting in our driveway that was completely free. We feast, He fights. It makes no sense, but is incredibly beautiful.
Several months ago, I started praying about making an office where I could create with Papa. I looked at the bare walls and He gave me vision to see what wasn’t yet there. I started asking Him how He wanted to decorate it. And a few days later, when I was out of town, He told my friend Amber she needed to makeover my office. So she assembled a team of interior designers, and when I came home I saw with my eyes what Papa had showed me only in my mind. It was truly a dream come true.
Most of the time, it’s easy for me to see past the ugly, straight to the beautiful.
When I look at Micah’s feeding tube, what I see in several years is only a big scar. I can see him sitting at our dining room table with a full plate of food, eating all of it, enjoying every bite. When I see his feeding pump in his backpack on his back, what I really see is “Satterfield” written in white on the back of an orange football jersey in a few years.
When I stare at my dead plant in the kitchen, what I see is beautiful blooms, and the roots soaking up water, growing down deep.
When I see my foster son’s broken heart bleeding out in his actions, what I see is a grown man with the identity of son pouring out the love of His Father to orphans in a country across the world.
When I turn to the side in the mirror and see my flat belly, what I see is someday soon my hand resting on top of a big bump with a smile on my lips and tears in my eyes from promises fulfilled.
When I looked at Micah’s feeding tube, I saw the pain of all the days we have lived with it there. I saw all of the hospital stays and IV sticks and painful words from doctors. Today, I saw him crying during therapy, turning his head to the side away from the fork. And it broke my heart. Again.
Today when I looked at my plant, it was just as dead as it’s always been. Dust had even settled on top of the soil. When I glanced over at my foster son staring at our tree, I saw sad little boy that won’t get his wish to go home for Christmas.
And when I looked in the mirror at my flat belly this morning, after hoping for yet another month, my womb seemed more empty than ever.
“Give me eyes to see, Papa, what you see.”
Some days it feels as if we are holding onto hope by merely a thread. And even that thread is starting to unravel. When our hearts have been rubbed raw by disappointment. When the rug is worn thin from the time spent there. When the calendar turns another page, yet again, and we’re staring straight into the face of unchanged circumstances. When contending feels too exhausting and laying down isn’t a posture of giving up but of surrender.
That is what faith really looks like.
Sometimes it’s speaking to a mountain, commanding it to move. But most often, faith looks like holding on to the unraveling thread of hope for dear life. Authentic faith is choosing to dig your heels in, with sweat on your brow, and grit in your belly, refusing to move until you see breakthrough.
Faith is staring at desperate circumstances and even though you can’t yet see, believing for beauty to rise up from the ashes.
Because we can see Him.
And we know His heart.
Photos by Sophie Brendle