I unpacked that box of tea a few weeks ago.
I cried a little bit.
I remembered the girl who packed it up. I feel like I hardly know her anymore and I feel like I’m still just like her, all at the same time.
The girl who dreamed of feeling “settled” and thought that trusting would just be easier if things were consistent. The girl whose heart was so sure that if that box of tea expired in some forgotten corner of a storage facility, her hope would expire right along with it. The girl who chose to trust because God was gracious to give her the courage to trust.
I think about her a lot.
I think about her when I watch my baby girl growing up and my mind starts to race with all the ways I could mess up.
I think about her when I consider the complete lack of control I have over either of my children’s lives, born or unborn.
I think about her when bills stack up on the counter, when it gets late and I’m home alone, when I remember just how much it cost me to get a degree I don’t use.
But it’s different now. In my heart, there is a stillness and a quiet that the Lord started growing the day I packed that box of tea and breathed that prayer for the millionth time. Today, I believe.
The way the Lord has tended the garden of my heart– there is no word for it but grace. The way he has grown up that seed of faith into peace through gentle, tender care and attention, not giving me everything that I want, but patiently giving me the things that he wants. It is beautiful. And I am grateful.
And as I sit here and think about heading to the doctor’s office tomorrow to catch a glimpse of our second sweet baby, I remember these truths. And there are so many unknowns and there is so much that I can’t control. And worry and fear want to rise in my heart, but they can’t. Not like how they used to. The Lord has been gently, graciously tending a garden of peace where there used to be a brush pile of worry.
And I write all of this because I remember how that girl sat on the couch and cried because she just knew she wouldn’t be able to muster up the strength to hope and trust and believe for that long. And she never had to. Because the amazing, wonderful, beautiful thing about the Lord is that, while the one thing he asks us to do is to trust, He never ever asks us to do it alone. That tea expired, but my hope and my heart are thriving.
Friends, the Lord has been faithful, not only to provide us with jobs and a place to live, but to continue to grow the garden of peace in our hearts. To call us into uncomfortable places and fortify our hearts with his faithfulness as he meets us in our need, not always (not even often) in the way that we prefer or imagine, but in a way that will make much of him. And the delight in that place? One of the best gifts I have ever received. There is no word for it but grace.