Can I be honest with you? In regards to following where God leads, I miss the mark. There are so many time that I don’t listen to His still small whisper, and go on with my day as if His voice didn’t exist. However, sometimes I listen, and when I do, He moves. The day before Easter was one of those days when I listened. Mike and Charlie were napping and I couldn't pass up a nice afternoon or some one on one time with Olivia. So we went to the beach for a walk. It was a beautiful day, and as we walked to the pier there was a group of people there that were chatting with some others. Hmmm… I wonder what they are doing. We continued on our way, and I passed a couple more girls who seemed to be part of the group. They carried a sign that said "What brings you peace? #princeofpeace”. That peeked my interest, just as Olivia got hungry. So I chose a bench, sat down, and let her nurse. I had been reflecting a lot of His faithfulness, and love over the days prior, and I was sitting there in front of the cafe where a year before (literally right before Easter) I was having dinner with a friend, and talking to her about the negative pregnancy test that I had taken the week before. During our conversation she encouraged me to take another test because I still could be pregnant. That was the night I found out I was carrying Olivia. As I was sitting there and reflecting on the past year I heard Him whisper "Tell them about Olivia". Um okay. Who?
I thought the people with the posters were going to come talk to me. They talked to everyone else, but they actually walked right past me. Strange. I guess I heard God wrong, and I do at times. I was about to leave, when two other girls came over from the group and started to talk to me. They ended up being from a religion that had a bit different beliefs than the faith I follow. They commented on how cute Olivia was, and I told them how she was my Easter gift from last year, and how a year ago I was sitting in the café right behind us only an hour before I found out I was carrying her. They asked me how I planned to celebrate Easter, and I shared with them my desire for my children to know the meaning of Easter when many people around us focus on the Easter bunny and Easter eggs. They sat down next to me and asked to show me a video. Then asked me what brings me peace. Do I tell them the quick answer, Jesus, or do I share everything?
I am not really a fan of talking to strangers, it makes me a bit uncomfortable. I don't go on walks to talk to people that I don't know, but that day through some tears I shared everything. I shared with them how we picked out her name when I was pregnant with Charlie but we didn't know he was a boy yet, and how God had placed on my husbands heart strongly to pray for our daughter during that time. I shared about the miscarriage. I shared that Olivia’s name meant peace and her middle name meant God's most gracious gift, and how she is a constant reminder of His perfect peace and the gift of salvation. I shared with them that Charlie was a reminder to us of the joy that we have in Christ. And I shared of His love, how the baby we lost was a reminder of God's love. His love that was even more evident in the valley. God, who was good despite our circumstances being good.
Wow. We want to write down so much of what you said. We just learned so much.
Life isn’t always beautiful, but God is always good.
“What I tell you now in the darkness, speak in the light; what is whispered in your ear, shout it from the rooftops.” Matthew 10:27.
When Jesus appeared to doubtful Thomas, Thomas saw His scars, but also saw that Jesus was alive despite the wounds from the nails that hung Him on the cross. When Thomas saw this he exclaimed “My Lord, My God!”
Jesus had the scars from the cross on His hands. What is in your hands? The day before Easter, Olivia was in my hands, and God gave her a story. She is part of my story and part of His story. Sometimes our lives are tainted by scars. But Jesus’ resurrection shows us that despite the scars, there is life. Life isn’t always beautiful, but God is always good. If God is always good, there is beauty in the scars.
His word encourages us to always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. I want to encourage you to always be ready to share of His faithfulness and great love.
What story has God given you? Are you willing to step out of your routine to share with those He puts in your path? Are you willing to be interrupted, in order to follow where He leads? I am praying that God puts people in your path this week that need to hear of His great love, and the joy and peace He brings. I am praying that you are bold and courageous in sharing in the ways that He has been faithful in your life. Ready. Set. Go.