A friend sent a message from her farm in Iowa, saying she was praying and that God loved me. Loves me. And I went on about my day complete with emails and tweets and RTs and deadlines and meetings and saying grace and dinner and groceries and all the rest of it. All through it I was fighting against that lump at the back of my throat.
I reached for a cart and forced a smile at a man in jeans and his tiny daughter in orange sandals who held his hand, and he let his steps keep pace with hers. No hurry. No worry.
I wanted to be like him. But my list fit on a post-it note and I was overwhelmed. My cart had wheels that wobbled. And squealed. And so I slowed my roll.
“Even when I don’t know the details, I can talk to the One who knows every bit of it. And you know that He knows,” she had written.
At the register, I stood behind a little girl who asked her daddy for some candy and he said, “We’ll see.” He leaned to see the price of a jumbo candy bar wrapped in orange and paused before he said, “OK” and she smiled big as he did silent calculations in his head and waited for his debit card to clear.
“…I wanted you to know that I’ve been talking to Him about you today, Deidra, and He loves you so,” her message said.
When my turn came, I counted out my sixteen items and chatted in small sentences. I wheeled my wobbly cart out through the doors and thought that’s where my day would end.
But my friend had been praying, and God was on display.
When I walked out of the grocery store at the end of that day, everybody noticed it. The murmuring was unmistakable. “Wow, honey. Just look at that!” The man behind me whistled out a low breath of amazement. It seemed I exhaled from my toes and my heart nearly emptied itself out onto my soul.
And I don’t know if anyone else noticed, as I weaved my cart with that one wheel still wobbling and squeaking, that I fought hard against the tightening at the bottom of my throat. I caught my breath as God waltzed out a love letter in the sky. I didn’t want to miss the dance.
I put the groceries in the trunk and buckled myself into the driver’s seat. I drove myself to an open field and turned off the headlights in the dusk. Opening the door, I turned off the engine and stood with one foot in the car and the other on the ground.
I raised my hands to heaven and my heart whispered, reminding me that clouds are the dust of His feet. And I was small under that great big sky that moved and bowed and shifted colors right before my eyes. Through tears and awe I sang, “Hosanna. Be lifted higher.” My heart bowed low when I thought of one sweet soul sending up prayer songs on my behalf and the great love of this God who keeps pace with us, responding to her in a dance over a field just for me.
The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing. ~Zephaniah 3:1 (NIV)
How about you? Can we kneel before God for you today? Do you fight hard inside, but with a smile on the outside? Can we ask God to keep pace with you?
By Deidra, Jumping Tandem
Sky photos by Michelle DeRusha, used with permission.
Lisa H says
You said it-do you fight hard on the inside, but with a smile on the outside?-
Yes, Yes, Yes!
The people closest to me (2) know the struggles in my head and my heart. They know the depression that is stealing every ounce of my energy and desire. Others, even some really good friends, see the smile on the outside, see me taking care of my kids, see me taking my kids for fun activities and ice cream. What they do not see are the tears at night, the headaches, the panic inside all from this depression.
I am working on it. I am in counseling, weekly. But my doctor just informed me she is closing her practice Dec. 1st to move her family to Alaska! I cannot commute there from Ohio. So I have 7 more appointments with her. I need prayers that God will move this mountain before me so that I will completely open up to my doctor. Putting it all out on the table so that we can do some seriously hard work the next 7 weeks because going to a new doctor is not an option for me at this point. I am not willing to put myself back out there for a new doc. It takes me too long to get comfortable before talking again, so I need to work through this NOW.
God is already working, he had kicked it into overdrive just in the last week and man oh man does it hurt. But its work that needs done, its memories that need processed, its hurts that need to be felt. All with the understanding they will NOT cause new wounds–this is my struggle. I’m afraid of getting hurt again so I cannot separate the idea that processing old memories and hurts will not cause new wounds. So I struggle letting myself go ‘there’.
Deidra, I love the pictures. I am a nurse by day and I love photography on the side. I love taking pictures of God’s backyard. Skies are my favorite next to anything with water!
God sees you.
He knows all about it, and when you go “there” He is already there.
I am praying for you…
Amy Sullivan says
Often fighting, but always smiling. Your words are like poetry.
Your words here are a blessing…
Southern Gal says
That verse in Nahum is one of my favorites. The clouds being the dust of His feet puts it all in perspective. He’s got it. Thanks.
Yes, He’s got it.
What a gift to us!
I fool myself into believing the outside is all there is; because it hurts too much to look at and feel the inside.
It is hard, sometimes, to look at the inside.
I get that.
I am praying…
See, I went to church earlier, and kept the lump at the back of my throat, and the smile on my lips, and even though I remind myself that God loves me, so much, sometimes it seems like the mutterings of a deranged person, speaking to herself, because no one else speaks those words, even though they are Truth… Thank you for speaking them, and reminding me, and letting me know that I am not crazy (yet;))
God loves you.
You are so very precious to Him.
He has loved you with an everlasting love!
Kristen@Moms Sharpening Moms says
“I caught my breath as God waltzed out a love letter in the sky. I didn’t want to miss the dance.”
I just love this, Deidra! This post is a perfect Sunday dance invite in itself! I am trying so hard to slow down and not miss those or His personalized love letters. My to-do list can distract me as well.
And that Zephaniah verse? It’s one of my absolute favorites! Thank you for this, Deidra!
I remember when I first read that verse. It was so perfect, I thought it must be a mistake. Funny how I could doubt that God would rejoice over me. But He does! He dances and rejoices and whoops it up – over us all!
Thank you so much for allowing God to speak His truth through your words. This weekend has been one of the hardest I’ve experienced in a long time, filled with tough decisions, loneliness, and doubt. But last night I had a dear friend pray similar words over me. It’s amazing how much God uses other people to turn our faces towards Him, isn’t it? Thank you for encouraging us to slow down and let Him sing over us, even when His singing causes us to surrender our pain to Him.
Because He loves,
I’m joining my prayers with yours today. Yes, let Him sing…
I love your post. I am struggling with loneliness. I am a single mom and my oldest just left for college. I really needed to read these words and remind myself how very much God loves me. Thank you.
Holley Gerth says
Praying for you this morning, Jeanette!
I know the letting go… My nest is empty these days.
I’m praying with you as you learn to fly again!
I have lived this way a long time. I sometimes think I am two people. The one that God knows and the one that others think they know. This was a beautiful post. For some reason God has brought you to my forefront. I just found @dukeslee blog as I was looking for Iowans with blogs. And now a few days later you talk about her in your post. I wonder what God has planned. I know I am suppose to start reading both of your blogs but I am curious what else will happen. Thank you for sharing your heart!
God is always at work around us and in us and through us.
You can trust that.
I hope you’ll let us know what God allows to unfold in your life!
Holley Gerth says
Deidra, your words are as gorgeous as your heart. Thank you for this reminder that we are loved more than we know, more than we can even imagine. I’m so grateful for you and all you bring to the world, and especially this place.
Holley – Your gift of encouragement always blows me away!
You are a sweet, sweet song in this world. Thank you for singing the melody that God places on your heart so that we all can join in.
You bless me.
Robin ~ PENSIEVE says
Beautiful….just beautiful. We walk our silent pains and tuck them down deep so no one can see and sometimes our body betrays us when the tears can’t be contained.
And then you receive this gift–one you are certain is a gift from God to you alone, but that others can enjoy–and you know He knows you better than you know yourself. He supplies your need.
And you write to display His glory, so we, too, can see and know.
What a wonderful story, received and told.
This God who knows exactly what we need and delivers it right when it’s needed the most – this is the God who loves us beyond measure. More than our hearts can hold. God who walks the silent paths…right beside us.
This was wonderful post. I sometimes find myself wishing someone would say to me they are praying for me. But as I read your words I realized God is right there. He knows me inside and out. I see him all around and he reminds me to slow down…not to miss his song to my heart. Thanks so much! I needed these words
Inside and out. Yes!
He knows it all. And still He rejoices!
That just makes me smile, every time I think about it!
Inside and out. Tammy, you are so right!
Michelle DeRusha says
Isn’t God so amazing, that in his bigness he loves even little us, every one of us?
And then he sends his love through those here on Earth…just as Jennifer lifted you, YOU have lifted me along in these long, hard weeks. Thank you, Deidra. Your writing, your love, YOU, are a joy!
“…even little us, every one of us…”
Michelle, you bless me, friend. You shine and move through this world with such grace. It is a joy to behold!
Beautiful! Sunsets! God inspires praise in my heart using sunsets more than anything else, I think.
Yes, I would love prayers. The past few months have been a season of pain and struggle in several ways for me. And now, as I believe I am emerging, (THANK YOU, LORD!!), I am struggling to embrace the JOY in the NOW and the good gifts that I seem to have forgotten that He gives. And I so badly want His joy. His peace. To live the life He gave me. Just like He called me to.
I hope that makes sense. I know it does to God. 🙂
Thank you for your beautiful post. And for your prayers…
Yes. This makes sense!
Sometimes embracing the joy after a long struggle is like having someone turn on all of the lights after I’ve spent the year in a dark closet. I have to squint and cover my eyes until they adjust. And then I slowly start to make out shapes and colors and see the difference between light and dark.
Rejoicing with you that the light is on! Praying for you as you adjust to the Light…
You write with your heart Deidra, and it always moves me. I find such connection. I am deeply humbled whenever someone tells me they’ve been praying for me. It is a blessing beyond measure. How amazing that the Father gave you a special glimpse of His love for you. He does love you – so very much.
It’s a gift to know that someone is offering up words to God on our behalf, isn’t it? And those glimpses are a gift…
I glimpsed a gift just last week when I sat at that table with you, eating chips and salsa!
Thank you so much for this reminder that I needed so much today. I am going through a really tough time right now. Dealing with some bad news we received from our vet. You reminded me that God knows my heart and cares so dearly. He knows everything I’m feeling even though I can’t adequately express them. He understands even though most people don’t. As I looked at your picture there I can see “the dance”. You also reminded to look back at my blof/poem called my dance with Jesus.
God Bless you my Sister. You have put a dance and song in my heart with this message from God.
Thank you for serving us here on InCourage with your blessed talent of writing from God.
In Christ’s Love and Prayers
Sis in Christ
So glad you mentioned your poem! I hopped over there to read it. It is lovely! I’m pasting the link here: http://bit.ly/dexKS8
I’m praying for you.
Thank you Deidra! I hope people are blessed by it! Also Thank you for your prayers. It’s a wonderful Blessing to have the greatest gift of prayer from someone.
I felt this way recently…with you by my side. And a kazillion stars above us. Yes. A love letter. That’s what He gives us.
That was a glorious moment! I will forever remember that night!
Ramblings of a Woman says
Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, beautiful love.
Just like several others, I am also dealing with depression. God is working deep within my heart to move me to a place I havenever been. Thank you for reminding me of His love!
Yes, Jesus loves you! Deeply. I am praying…
Denise in Ga says
I just love it when God stuns us with His presence at just the right time, taking our breath away and leaving us speechless and on our knees. He is so faithful to swoop us up into His arms when we’ve thought for sure that we are completely alone. I’ve been living the “dual” life these last few weeks, but He has “shown up” again and is healing…..He will rescue you….
For His glory, Denise in GA
Yes…these words about rescue. God – our salvation and refuge. An ever-present help. I’m so glad God is healing and rescuing you…
Ann Kroeker says
As I’m reading this, Deidra, I feel witness to God’s Holy Spirit flowing from soul to soul: from prayers poured out in Iowa and pondered in the grocery while you pushed wobbly cart, to these words you’ve poured out for us–a prayer for us that we now can ponder today–and then we pray…and it flows on…
It still amazes me! Yes…the Spirit of God flowing…across the country, in the sky, in words and wobbly grocery carts. Soul to soul, indeed…
I don’t think I could eek out words verbally, what with this lump stuck in my throat. So it’s a good thing I can type my thoughts instead. 🙂
I’m in awe over the Truth that He aboslutely, unconditionally adores us. Can you imagine what that must sound like — the sound of God singing over us? Glory!
Your words are beautiful, and Michelle’s pictures are fabulous, too.
Love you both. And love this place, where the message of God’s love is simply contagious.
I want to add one more thing … A few months ago, a dear friend Lyla sent me a similar email — reminding me of God’s great love — and it touched my heart deeply. So, truly the message really is contagious! 🙂
Your prayer, your words, your sitting down to type them out… I am still amazed.
And here it continues…
Yes…it is contagious!
I Live in an Antbed says
Beautiful!! How blessed we are when we see through eyes of Gratitude the way He is constantly revealing Himself to us. When we listen to His wooing, gently calling us to Himself, we fall ever more deeply in love with Him!
I am drawn to this imagery of courtship…a love relationship, initiated by God. That’s amazing!
Yesterday was a very hard day.
Hard days come for us all. They strap on the brass knuckles, stand in the shadows of the alley, and yank us in, using the fists of metal to see how low they can make us cower.
I am not deceived. I know that “every good and perfect gift is from above”. That my King cannot be the author of anything but beauty. No darkness is in Him at all – He is LIGHT, abundant. So even as I found myself curled in a ball on my bed, weeping in pain and weariness, I spoke the truth: “God I know this pain is not from You. I am told that you mourn when I mourn. Is Your heart, then, breaking too? Because I am so tired. You give beauty for ashes. Father, can I be bold? Can I please ask for this season to come to its end? Give me joy in the morning – and hope through the mourning.”
It’s not been easy. The fists are still flying. I need to feel His presence. I NEED so badly, and pant for ceaselessly, to FEEL His arms wrapping around me, stroking my hair, in a hug so tight, whispering in my ear that everything will be ok….here come the tears again…that everything will be ok. That He sees me. He’s got me. Unspeakable beauty will come from blackened lungs filled with ashes. I know this because He tells me. And He is who he says He is. So I know that I am who He says I am. I am His. And no height, nor darkest pit of depth, nor any force imaginable, will separate us. My hand is grasped firmly in His, as we navigate this valley together. I am NOT alone. I am not alone! Lord, my God, stay with me and save me.
I am praying with you…
Not just for you, but with you…
Thank you. So much.
My cousin and I look at sunsets and say “My Jesus did that.” What a nice reminder that our Lord and Savior loves us!
We used to live in NC, in the foothills of the mountains. Every day I’d look at the mountains and say to my kids, “Look what Jesus did!” Then, we moved to PA where there were amazing sunsets and I’d say to my children each evening, “Look what Jesus did!” What great love!
Thanks, Dee, for your wonderful words and photos! Thank you also for allowing God to use you and your gifts to encourage so many. Your words are so beautiful and so true. Your readers’ comments and your responses back to them demonstrate the incredible way God gives His love and grace to people and through people — like you. You truly are a gift!
Jan! It’s so good to see you here, friend. God is a giver of rich and wonderful gifts. You are one of those gifts in my life.
Genevieve Thul says
I couldn’t help but thinking of a little cloud lit with gold hanging down below the gray ceiling a few weeks back. God’s little “hello, good morning!” to me after a tough week. My husband says it’s a cold-air funnel, but that sounds too mundane to describe how directly God funneled his WORDS right to my heart. “Love you, can’t wait to spend the day with you, really – you’re going to be okay with ME here!”
Thanks for your post – you’re livin’ up to the blog name! 🙂
Genevieve Thul says
And YES – you can stand with me. I have cancer, my daughter was struck down by a brain infection and now has seizures everyday that have changed our life forever. I speak with Job (in 6:14), “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.” Yet, in our darkest hour, we have been persecuted even by our very own church, and now find ourselves looking for a new church home when we are most in need of support, love, and kindness. I would covet the prayers of any dear saint who would be so kind as to offer us up before the Mercy Seat!
“…creation is [God’s] way of eroding disbelief…”
I hopped over and read about that beautiful, beautiful God cloud. It reminded me of the cloud that led the Israelites through the wilderness by day. God is so very faithful to us.
I am praying…