Seeking His Presence Now: Sarah
Sarah is a dear friend from college, and she was my roommate sophomore year. She is one of the most genuinely kind people that I know. She is calm and thoughtful, and she moves through life at a pace slow enough to notice it. She refuses to get caught up in the whirlwind life tempts us toward, and she reminds the people around her to slow down, to look around, to enjoy a moment. She doesn't do it on purpose, and she doesn't demand it. She just takes a deep breath every once in a while, and in doing so, reminds us all to do the same.I don't get to see her nearly as much as I'd like because she lives in North Carolina. But a few years ago, we took a road trip around the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Because we needed to get together and catch up, and we figured--when else will we road trip around these states? (She's also always up for an adventure. And we have a shared goal of visiting all 50 states, so it was fun, and we were productive!)
Sarah reminds us that God always shows up, even though it may look different in different seasons. Her words are below...
Here in North Carolina, we are starting to see the signs of Spring [she wrote this a few months ago!]. It had been a mild winter here until February about did us in. In North Carolina, we shut down completely for snow and ice, and my grandmother considers snow a “four letter word”. As we are able look at the forecast again without dread and each day takes us closer to the hot summers we love, I want to take a moment to look back. Look back to a day this February, and to that same day in February last year.
Let me set the stage for you: it was February 2014, and I was in the middle of the most difficult season I had faced. I will spare you the gory details, but just trust me when I say I was a mess. A walking dead sort of mess. I actually asked people to stop asking how I was doing, because I was tired of either lying and saying I was fine or, worse, telling them I wasn’t. It was during this time, I was writing something onto my calendar when I noticed a date several weeks out. It was the perfect storm of a day, and it was heading straight for me. I knew the moment I saw the details of that date that it was going to be too much for me. I was not strong enough to handle it and I knew it.
So I prayed. I prayed to my God that had been silent, despite being present. He had been carrying me through each day, and never telling me why it was so hard. Despite His silence, I prayed. As the date came closer, I became concerned. Nothing had changed. Everything was still moving forward as scheduled. I reminded God repeatedly (since He had CLEARLY forgotten!) that I needed Him to fix that day. *Weather Update: During February of last year, it was also a very icy month. We had many snow days and delays. Can you see where this is heading?* I kid you not, I woke up to find that my terrible day I had been dreading for weeks got cancelled. Every part of it. I spent the day at home with my dog. And with my God, who showed up for me right on time.
Fast forward to February 2015. It’s been a long year since last February, and I spent a lot of time since then growing, and changing, and laughing. When I think about the girl from last February, it still stings, but the healing has been remarkable and I am very far from the place I became so familiar with.
During this February, however, I saw another day looming. A day of disappointment and fear. When I got to this particular day and turned in my “Bible in a Year” I saw where I had written a note to myself about last year’s snow day. It had been one year to the day. A few hours later, the storm I was expecting to face this time? It came.
There was no snow day this time. But it was different, because I was different. I was reminded of the time God sent me snow, and I was reminded that, despite the fact that I was snow-less this time, I wasn't alone. God didn't send snow, but He sent me Himself. He showed up for me and stayed with me the whole time.
God has used these days to teach me a lot. One lesson from these Februarys, exactly one year apart (no coincidence there!), is that sometimes God answers your prayers as you’ve prayed them; and sometimes, He reminds you of when He did. God gave me exactly what I needed on both of those days. I still find times where falling on Him and trusting Him to catch me is hard. But I am also learning the joy that is found when I realize that He is always ready and willing!