Since we got back from Ethiopia 3 weeks ago, I feel like we've been running around with our hair on fire! It's been nearly non-stop since we landed at LAX and began final preparations for becoming parents and taking time off from work. Our days and nights have been filled with work, constant errands to Target and Babies R Us, late night email checks, meeting up with friends, long small group dinners, last minute dates with my babies' daddy, kids' room makeover, maternity leave arrangements, turkey day celebration, Christmas decorating and shopping, and 2 baby showers. You have noticed, I've done very little blogging. Now maybe you know why! :)
And even in the midst of all this, I am so energized. All this frantic activity is for our kids, preparing them to come home to be with us forever. I am filled with delight, joy, gratitude, and bursting with hope these days. Very few things discourage me, get me annoyed, or truly aggravate me. It is well with my soul.
Last week, I was able to slow down for a day of solitude at my favorite place to be silent and be with God, The Montage. For the past 5+ years, I've walked to this place almost every month to see this waiting for me....gorgeous, I know!
For the past 3+ years I've processed and grieved so very much the death of a dream [pregnancy], longing [to have a family], and waded through waiting [through our infertility and adoption]. Seeing the ocean when I've walked up to these stairs has been my refuge and now is my Ebenezer.
Walking down these stairs toward the beach every month, I often walked in on the verge of tears and sadness. But I also walked in expectant to see, hear, touch, and experience God in a new way.
Isaiah 40 became a battle cry for my soul. The end of the chapter summarized my prayer:
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint."
Walking up these stairs at the end of my days, I sensed God's closeness and presence in ways I know I would not have had I not taken the time to STOP and BE WITH him. I walked away hopeful, renewed, and connected to Jesus.
It really was from this bench, with this view that the most amount of soul renovation took place. I read. I wept. I sat. I slept. I listened. I journalled. I talked with my spiritual director. I questioned. I waited.
Also, nearly EVERY time that I sat on this bench I saw dolphins swimming by - jumping, playing, making cute dolphin noises. After a few consecutive months, I started sensing that those dolphins symbolized God's great love for me and his desire for me to swim in his grace. I cried every time I saw them.
Last week, when I sat on this bench again I saw something different. I'm not entirely sure what I saw, but for about 20 minutes I saw at least a couple hundred seals swimming about 100 yards off the coast. A multitude of seals! For 20 minutes! I'm not a prophet, but I sensed in my spirit the Spirit saying something new...
Isaiah 43:18-19 has been a repetitive passage for me over the years:
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."
I don't know when I'll be able to go to The Montage again. I'm guessing it'll be a little while. But on this silence and solitude day, there was space to reflect on all God's done and a deep sense of one chapter closing and another beginning. I didn't see a dozen dolphins on that day, like I have for years. I saw hundreds of what appeared to be seals. Something new...