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Remembering the Whole Story

I have selective memory.  When I think back to different seasons of life, I tend to paint them with bold colors.  They were glorious.  They were horrible.  Every day was Christmas.  They were like death on a stick.  I’m not sure why I do this.  It’s certainly not helpful.

This morning, driving Zion to school and Jackson to work, I was pondering a number of pressure points in life right now.  Schedule.  Balancing our seven children and their diverse needs.  Hearing God for things we’ve been invited into like TheCall Alaska.  The families engage in the adoption process through Hannah’s Dream.  The fact that I dropped twenty five bucks in the Suburban gas tank and the needle came up just above the quarter tank mark and knowing how quickly I’ll be back at the pump.

I began to feel a weight on my shoulders that reflected the drizzly day.  Every flip of the windshield wipers began to beat me down a little further.

In that moment, Jackson began to reminisce.  Some might find it odd that an 18 year old has the capacity to reminisce, but he’s got a remarkable memory.  He reminded me of how I’d drive him to school in the second grade.  At the time I was driving an ancient Isuzu Trooper that would literally leave small piles of rust anywhere it was parked for more than an hour or two.  He asked “Do you remember telling me to figure out what happened to the nose of the Sphinx?”

I didn’t. 

“We were studying Egypt and you told me to figure out what happened to the Sphinx’s nose.  You told me if I could tell you after school, we’d get me Skittles.  I asked my teacher and that day we stopped at the gas station on the way home and got Skittles.”

I vaguely remembered and we laughed together about it for a moment, enjoying the bond of father and son.  I began thinking more about those days – in some way, they were like these.  We felt pressed on several sides and the future seemed uncertain.  I remember some of those days with a pit in my stomach.  They were not easy days.

Jackson continued.  “We would drive back and forth to school and listen to those cassettes of Mike teaching IHOP-KC’s prophetic history.”

That caught my ear.  I remember that too.  I remember my heart being stirred.  I remember longing for my own stories.  I remember God speaking in dreams.  I remember the link between desperation and hearing answers.  Suddenly, those hard days seemed glorious.  It was in the midst of this same gray pall that God came near.  Those days were difficult but they were far from barren.  In the midst of need there was a wellspring I might not have found had I not been so dry and thirsty.

I can’t think of a season in our life when God was really on the move that I didn’t feel hard pressed as it was happening.  At times, I didn’t even see His hand until later.  I was that preoccupied with the pain of the now.  Back in those days of driving back and forth to Jackson’s school in a rusty old truck, listening to other peoples’ prophetic history, I did not know those stories would become my own, or that I would add my own stories to theirs.

None of these memories alleviates today’s pressure….but it does make me remember that His nearness comes suddenly, His provision just in time.  I’m writing this as much or more to prophesy to myself than I am to stir a reader.  

Remembering back, we used to sing “…these are the days of Ezekiel, the dry bones becoming as flesh.”  Praying today that God would build a sinewy, flesh and blood reality on this framework of dry bones I feel I’m holding, and that he do the same for yours.  

He’s done it before, in seasons just like this one.


8 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing. I needed it, right now at this very moment. From a young age, I’ve always said one day I’d adopt a child. However I never seriously considered it a possibility. Your story has changed that for me. It’s been heavy on my heart lately and I have been contemplating much of what you touched on. Thank you, once again.

  2. thanks Randy! Nearly your whole post (save the skittles and the Sphinx’s nose) could have had my name on it. I needed the reminder of those days driving around listening to Brainard/No desease known to man/call them Hephzibah. Time to bust those out again. Thanks again.

  3. I’m stirred and you put words to what I was feeling yesterday.

  4. Thank you, Randy. Every season of life brings its own set of challenges (aka as blessings in disguise). It’s so wonderful to be able to be reminded of our Lord’s faithfulness during those difficult times. He’s done it before and I know He’ll do it again…

  5. Amen Randy,
    The pressures of today often cause us to forget the victories of yesterday! God is always faithful but it is hard to see it when my eyes are on my circumstances. I am blessed by your word today! I pray for you and your family often and look forward to seeing you again. Thanks for your faithfulness and for being a good father!

  6. wow. Randy, you touched on something I’ve longed to grasp. God is found in the dry places where we don’t expect Him, and He’s given you a triple measure of the gift of humor so we can all smile and laugh and keep saying yes, Yes, YES Lord. A Joyful heart makes the trials go down like a cup of cold chocolate milk!

  7. Thanks, Mr. B! I’m glad I read this today, I needed the reminder. 🙂

  8. Andrea – it delights me that this meant something to you…even as I cringe that I’m still “Mr B”. 🙂 Your family is dear to us.

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