I needed a miracle, but I wanted the miracle to look a certain way. And if you have followed God for any length of time, you know that isn't usually how it works.
Flipping the page to chapter seven, I read the word "breadcrumbs," and I grinned in disbelief. The author used the same term I've used for years to describe the things and people God places in our path to help us navigate our journey. I've heard these instances called God Winks, Divine Details, and the skeptics call them coincidences. But I had never heard anyone use the Hansel and Gretel path of breadcrumbs.
Ashlee Gadd, author of Create Anyway, describes breadcrumbs this way: "Breadcrumbs are made of peace and lined with grace. When you stumble across one, there is no mistaking where it came from. These divine hints lead us forward as if God Himself is holding out His hand, pulling us along to the next chapter He is writing in our lives. We cannot conjure breadcrumbs up. We cannot predict which direction they will lead, how many we will find, or when they will appear. But they always arrive right on time, in the perfect proportion, like manna."
These "breadcrumbs" come in many forms, often in strange or weird ways. In Create Anyway, Gadd describes a long period of seeing ladybugs everywhere and the time she asked God for a ladybug to confirm her calling. God provided just that – a ladybug crawling on her wall.
I've often seen and experienced His divine details in a Holy Spirit-inspired word from a friend or complete stranger at just the right time. There have been doors opened and answered prayers that no other soul knew about. Provisions have come in weird packages. I've had dreams about butterflies and periods of seeing butterflies emerging from their chrysalises. More times than I can count, He has used songs with lyrics that answered heavenly wonders and challenging questions. And then there are those pieces of Scripture that have leaped from the pages of the love story called the Bible that have followed me around for a long time.
So lean in and let me tell you a story about a relentless pursuit of a white horse rider who took the reins from my grip. Because I couldn't let go of the past. I couldn't let go of the picture in my head of how things should look. During this period, I endured a battle of the mind that felt like a relentless tug-of-war between the little white angel and the pitchfork-toting devil that sits on the shoulders of cartoon characters.
I dug a grave so deep I was only one shovel of dirt away from being buried before I saw the light. I needed a miracle, but I wanted the miracle to look a certain way. And if you have followed God for any length of time, you know that isn't usually how it works. He does things in His ways because His thoughts and ways are higher (Isaiah 55:8-9). Praise the Lord for this because we humans often make matters worse. I'm raising my hand feverishly over here in agreement with that statement!
During an intense mental health battle, I was focused on fixing myself through Doctor Google and other human means because my requests for supernatural healing were denied. I just wanted a time machine to rewind and erase the catastrophic life events that had unfolded in recent months. But God needed me to learn how to persevere and surrender control.
In the darkness, I couldn't see how anything good would ever come from this situation. I hung onto Romans 8:28, "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." And every day, I would turn to God, earnestly ask for His help, and slowly accept the thorn I would carry in this transient place.
That's when God started sneaking some much-needed wisdom from Proverbs 3:5-6 into my life. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths."
He couldn't have spoken the beautiful words of this passage any louder than on the giant-sized poster hanging behind my back. Okay, he could have used a billboard or written the message in the sky! At a kid's birthday party, I first noticed the verse that had followed me for weeks when I walked into the room. I didn't know if I should cry or be weirded out by the stalkerish presence of this verse. I had seen it online repeatedly, read it in books, heard it from acquaintances, and stared at the words on bumper stickers.
Now I know that this verse is particularly popular, and before you think this could have been a coincidence, know it was the exact words I needed to unbury me from six feet of dirt. And my dense, stubborn brain and heart needed the reminder quite frequently (At times, I'm a slow learner). After all, I called out for Jesus a billion times a day; I should have expected a passionate pursuit with a valuable lesson to boot.
The beautiful thing about this verse is that it doesn't take a lot of research to truly understand the meaning. The divine wisdom written by King Solomon is essentially the crux of the Christian life. The guidance speaks volumes to our pea-sized understanding and extremely limited earthly perspective.
To me, these words say, "Hey, there's a bigger plan in the works, created before we took our first breath, and our all-knowing, sovereign God has got this! But for this to work, He needs us to let go of the reins and jump on the back of his white horse. God needs us to quit trying to solve the life puzzle without all of the pieces first. He needs our complete, not occasional, trust and for us to take up our cross and surrender to his will (Matthew 16:24). Even when it is hard. Especially when things keep spiraling downward, we must trust and believe in His goodness. He knows the path for you and me. He laid every brick on this path and anticipated every step and misstep we would take. Keep going. It is worth it as we take our last step into eternal glory with our Savior."
None of us want the storms in our lives. But if we truly trust in God with our whole being and lean into Jesus, He will bring us through. L.B. Cowman puts it this way: "Our God may drench us with grief, but He will refresh us with His mercy. Our Lord's love letters often come to us in dark envelopes." I didn't want to open the dark envelope, but I now know I needed the brokenness and the people and lessons that came with it. I needed the testing and refining to start the process of becoming the woman God designed me to be to achieve His divine purpose.
Friend, when you are going through deep waters may I gently remind you to hold on a little longer. Wait for Him to move. Lean into Him, His Word, His comfort, and His promises. Recline on His chest a while and you will eventually see the fruit in what you've deemed a barren land. God has a great purpose that only you can walk!
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/Ridofranz
Darcie Fuqua is a Business Analyst, Auburn Grad (War Eagle!), Christian blogger & podcast host, and mental health advocate. She is from the deep south of Alabama, where she currently resides with her husband, two energetic fun-loving boys, and a dog named Charlie. She loves sinking her toes in the sand, cuddling with her boys, and having great conversations over a table of good food. You can read more of her writing on her website www.leightonlane.com and connect with her on Facebook and Instagram. Check out Darcie’s latest project as cohost of Therapy in 10.
The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.
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