I am thrilled to introduce you to Becky of Awaken To Wonder, although I am sure most of you already know her. I can’t remember where I first came across Becky and her beautiful heart spilled out through words, but I am so glad that I did. She speaks of beauty in real life and I always leave her blog feeling challenged in my day-to-day walk with the Lord. Be sure to visit Becky’s blog for more encouragement.
Clouds of white smoke billowed high, glowing orange against the black night sky. Mom pulled my hand in a frenzied dash across the street. I looked over my shoulder and saw Dad at the end of the driveway in his blue-checkered bathrobe wielding a green garden hose against the monstrous flames.
Safe inside the neighbor’s house, I clung to my favorite stuffed monkey that Mom raced back upstairs to save upon my desperate pleas. It was way past midnight but Mrs. Peterson brought us cups of hot chocolate. I sat between my sisters, searched my mug for mini marshmallows, and tried to count the staggering number of Scotty dog decorations instead of thinking about the fire.
Days later after the coals stopped smoldering, we walked through the scorched backyard where the garage used to stand—my great grandfather’s old workshop—ashes of memories. The wood fence was obliterated and I could see straight through to the yard next door. A yellow bucket lay 50 feet away in the driveway, melted from the inferno’s heat in wonky disarray.
I looked up and saw into my second story bedroom. Not through a window—straight through the wall that was no longer there. Back of the house burned right off.
I overheard Mom tell the fire inspector the story:
How she bolted upright from a deep sleep and walked straight to the window. How the flames’ reflection off the neighbor’s tin roof was so intense she thought it was their house that was ablaze. How she woke my dad and us girls just in time.
“Thank God no one was hurt,” she said.
Not even the five red hens in their back corner coop or our orange cat named Pumpkin.
I’m pretty sure Mom caught me listening and squeezed my four-year-old hand tight.
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Now, nearly three decades later, it’s hard to know how much of this story is born from actual memory and how much is borrowed memoir from the retold anecdotes of others. Either way, it’s a real and vital part of my faith story.
The first cornerstone of my God-is-faithful foundation.
I look back on that fateful October night and relish of what one Psalmist wrote,
O Lord, you alone are my hope. I’ve trusted you, O Lord, from childhood. Yes, you have been with me from birth, from my mother’s womb you have cared for me. No wonder I am always praising you.
Since that earliest memory at the tender age of four to today, I can recount significant milestones of God’s divine intervention and clear care for me.
The way God pursued me and kept me close to Him in high school in the midst of loose parental boundaries and countless opportunities to be enticed by the world’s wooing.
The way He orchestrated my college admissions and rejections not according to my own dreams or what test scores and GPAs should have directed, but according to His plan to grow my faith through a specific campus ministry.
The way our first house sold as a newly married couple despite a collapsing market and not playing by the “rules” the banks said we had to.
The way I paused long at a green arrow before seeing the raised pick up truck that came zooming from the darkness and straight through the red light—a trajectory that would have crushed the door where my newborn son slept in his car seat had I proceeded through my left turn when it was rightly my turn.
The way He arranged a ticket to a sold out blogger’s conference and the plane fare to get me there—a weekend across the country that would set in motion a whirlwind of new writing and meaningful relationships. The trigger for the last two years of God-did-this moments, too many to recount.
None of these events were as dramatic as God saving my family from a burning building. But each story is an essential stone in the foundation of my personal faith in Jesus.
Yet, I don’t often think about them.
To be honest, in writing this post I had to strain my memory to recall this many. I think it’s part of our fallen nature, this being so quick to forget.
But when I did take the time to stop and remember the great things God has done, how His protection has been a theme of love woven through time into the fabric of who I am, my heart was uplifted.
By recalling these beautiful examples of God’s continual care for me, my faith was encouraged. Strengthened.
[tweetthis]Every God-did-this moment is a stone of faith. @BeckyKeife #ShareTheBrew[/tweetthis]
I think this is why the Bible makes such a big deal about practices that help us remember. Under the Old Covenant it was building alters. When Jesus ushered in the New Covenant it was taking communion, giving thanks.
The same Psalmist who echoed God’s active presence in my life since childhood also reminded me that naming the personal cornerstones of my faith is not only for my benefit, but also for the benefit of others:
My life is an example for many, because you have been my strength and protection. That is why I can never stop praising you; I declare your glory all day long.
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Are you in the habit of remembering God’s faithfulness in your life? Share a cornerstone of your faith story in the comments below. I’d love to celebrate God’s goodness with you!