Saturday, January 29, 2011

Close to His Heart

Late Wednesday afternoon I received some long-awaited news from James...he had been offered a job earlier that day.  The prayer that we and so many others had been lifting up for 1 year, 9 months, and 25 days had been answered. 

It's been a whirlwind since then, and I've been waiting to post about it because it's been a struggle to find the words that express what I'm feeling.  Then tonight I opened my Bible and saw a verse that I had underlined in Isaiah...

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart..." Isaiah 40:11

I was so touched by that verse when I read it last week, and I had journaled on it after I was finished reading.  So tonight after seeing it again, I opened my prayer journal to read what I had written, and as I began reading, the tears began to fill my eyes.  Surprisingly I haven't had a moment like that yet (since finding out the news).  I have thanked God several times, but haven't felt a true, humbling gratitude.  It just doesn't seem real yet that this is all finally over. 

I journaled on Isaiah 40:11 on Wednesday, January 19th - exactly one week before James received the job offer.  I have debated whether I should post this because it is my intimate thoughts...my prayer to my God.  But it moved me so much to see how he works - that He gave me the comfort He did exactly one week before this journey ended for us, knowing that James would get the job offer on the day that he did - that I thought maybe it would remind you, too, that He always watches over us and sets out a path for us.  The Lord gives and takes away, and He is always good and sovereign. 

Here is a portion of my prayer to Him that night...

"He tends his flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart..."  Isaiah 40:11

Lord,
What a comfort that is to me to think of you carrying me close to your heart.  I feel safe in picturing that - safe for myself and James and the kids.  We have your protection and your love.  What have I to fear, then?  You are my God.  You love me.  You are my God and you love me.  It is a concept I will never fully understand...I will remain in awe of it.  You love me despite myself - regardless of my sin and faithlessness, you love me.  You have a plan - a good plan - for me and my family. 

Thank you, Lord, for bringing us through the past 22 months.  You've taught me many things.  You've shown me a new kind of love - for my husband and children and for you.  I am confident that no matter what happens, you will be there, loving me.  You are the constant.  You are unchanging.  My prayer tonight is that James and I and the kids would know that with confidence - that you love us.  You carry us close to your heart.  You cherish us.  You sent your son to die for us...that is breathtaking.  I pray that regardless of our circumstances, the four of us would know without any doubt that you are there...trying to teach us and grow us and push us through.  And above all love and protect us. 

So here we are...on the other side of it.  I look back over the past 2 years and wish that I could've been more faithful to him through it all.  But it is a reminder that I am a human in need of a perfect God.  I pray that I will never forget the last 2 years...and that I will continue to grow in intimacy with the God that carried me through this...

6 comments:

Rikki said...

carole, i am so glad for you and james and the kids! i know it's been so difficult waiting...praise the Lord for his faithfulness! love you guys!

The May Family said...

You have such a beautiful heart. Thank you so much for sharing. Every time I think about you finally being on the other side I tear up. Tears of joy, of praise and of happiness for my sweet friend and her adorable family. And... the pregnancy hormones make for a nice boost of emotion too!

Blake said...

What a wonderful relief! Congratulations to all of you. Thank you for sharing. :)

Lipe Family said...

Praise the Lord! We are very excited for all of you and for your awesome answer to prayer!

abby said...

I know I've said this before... but I am truly so blessed by the testimonies you have shared during this time in your family's life. Thank you for the example you set and congrats to all of you. God is SO good, ALL THE TIME!!

Marcy said...

We are rejoicing with you! So happy to receive this news and see God at work in your family during this time, drawing you closer to Him!