For years the dominoes had been set, one at a time, in swirling circles and patterns around us. We couldn’t see the hand that spaced the pieces even distances apart, then left them poised and waiting. Until Labor Day ’16, the tip. Only it wasn’t a gentle finger tap that sent the first and critical dominoes cascading forward- it was a wrecking ball. A heavy blow to our family, sending splinters of hurt in all directions. Amid the emotional chaos one of the flying pieces of debris- quietly and completely unseen- was the exact catalyst needed to spark a change. It spiraled out from the mess to provide the tipping of a most unexpected series of events, each one prompted by the previous. I still can’t believe it, even looking back a year later. It’s a bit incomprehensible that at the very moment we felt most forgotten, the most isolated, the very point at which I screamed out “we can’t do this anymore”, right in the middle of the wreckage wreaking chaos. RIGHT THERE: the moment of IMPOSSIBLE. That was the exact moment the unveiling of a new path tenderly, carefully, beautifully began. It is very hard to grasp that beauty from chaos doesn’t just mean that God takes what’s left over from wreckage and turns it into something. It means He is standing firmly planted, right in the middle of the chaos, using even the destruction itself to prompt beauty rising. How can that be? But it is.
I don’t know this, and there are lots of semantics some may argue on “God allowed” versus “God did” versus “God redeemed”. But I have this picture in my heart that is so unreasonable to me, I can’t shake it. Maybe He even swung the wrecking ball that day. Maybe with tears He pulled it back with one hand, while extending His other in a careful cup around us so we wouldn’t get totally blown away. He didn’t block us from the blow, but he stood ready to let us grasp hold when we went reeling. He was carefully intentional. Knowing that the fear and pain of that moment was exactly what would set it all in motion.
Miracles are amplified, and His glory most fully recognized, when there is no other way out. When by all other accounts it is impossible.
“Your road led through the sea. Your pathway through the mighty waters- a pathway NO ONE KNEW WAS THERE.” -Psalms 77:19
You know what I think? I think the parting of the Red Sea wasn’t one bit glamorous to those who had to trust that the walls were going to hold. I bet it was terrifying. But they had no other path. The Israelites were chased by a terrifying enemy, one IMPOSSIBLE to beat. And in the very moment when they felt most forgotten, the most isolated, the very point at which they might have screamed out “we can’t do this anymore.” The moment of IMPOSSIBLE… was the exact moment the unveiling of a new path began.
The Israelites had to look complete destruction in the face, terrifyingly chased by the enemy with seemingly no escape for the miracle to be necessary and noteworthy. For God’s full glory and power to be revealed. The Israelites couldn’t see it at first, but God made a way. A way no one knew was there.
Many dominos had fallen before we caught on to what was happening. Months later we could see pieces that had long before been poised and ready and we noticed they were falling. When we moved a bit of the rubble that had blocked our view, one day we saw it. And gasped. Two months after that terrible Labor Day, on my birthday in October, papers were signed. And 2.5 months after that we stood before a judge promising forever to our 3 bonus ones. For nearly 6 years we had prayed for redemption and rescue for those three. And suddenly there was a path. A most unexpected path. An impossible path.
You know what I’m thankful for? I’m thankful that the Bible tells us the Israelites had wandering years even after that up-close view of His unexpected provision. Because don’t we all? There are tiny splinters stuck in my fingers from life’s flying shrapnel. And sometimes I get so obsessed with those reminders of the past destruction that I forget to remember the beauty that rose up. I lose faith that the same God that provided an unexpected path will indeed provide bread and water. I cry out for MORE.
But He is kind and good and faithful. He’s given me a gift this Labor Day of looking back at the last one with an amazing picture of His powerful presence right in the middle of our storm. I can see him cradling us there and I can see that He carried us both before and after. I know He stood in the middle of our pain creating a path.
Only 365 days later, three kids who didn’t last year, were yelling “Mommy, watch me ride!” and “Daddy, lets go!” as they joined in with family and friends in Labor Day traditions. When we recounted the weekend of fun over dinner on Monday night, all three stared at me in disbelief when I reminded them they’d only been part of those traditions once before. It was as if, in their hearts, they’d always been there. It was as if they were finally home. How did we get here? God made a way. And how will we get to tomorrow? He will make a way.
I wrote this post on Monday night, Labor day. But I didn’t post it. partly because ANOTHER mellow dramatic post about our adoption. really. and partly because we are still struggling through faith, family, life, marriage, relationships. I don’t want to risk ever being misread on that- we haven’t “arrived”. BUT THEN. This morning we listened to a Sermon on this very topic: The provision of God, the faith that it builds, the impossible paths He asks us to take, and the lies that threaten our ability to completely grasp hold. As we sang the final song, I was flooded with pictures of families I know waiting on an impossible thing, for their marriages, their kids, their health, their family members. Kingdom changing, impossible paths, yet to be revealed. and I was reminded: THE SAME GOD. The very same one. In His name, NOTHING shall be impossible. This is a truth that needs to be shared. If the daily struggles of my life threaten my witness of His power in our story then what is it for? I won’t stop sharing and hope you’ll join me. Tell someone.
Let Your glory go on and on
In Your name they shall be done
Nothing shall be impossible
Your kingdom reigns unstoppable
We’ll shout Your praise forevermore
Jesus our God unstoppable