“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
– Isaiah 41:10
This past weekend, amidst the busyness and beauty of our weekend Youth Group Retreat, Breakaway, I learned of two of my wonderful mom friends who had experienced great traumas. At the news of both, my heart sank and I was overwhelmed with sadness for their situations. Right away, the worries and what-ifs sank their ways into my heart and discourament settled in quickly.
Sometimes, life is just hard. Sometimes, hope is hard to find and heartbreaks happen.
In both situations, prayers were offered up. Texts were sent out and calls made. And knowing that there were groups of people praying offered comfort where it was so desperately needed. And as I write this post today, I can say that in both situations, God’s hand has been seen. His goodnesss has worked its way into hearts and minds and even circumstances and for this, I am so incredibly thankful.
Because even if you can’t always see it, God is always working on our behalf. He reminds us so beautifully in Isaiah, that we do not have to be afraid or even dismayed. He is our God. He is strengthening us. He is helping us. And He is the one upholding us.
Of course, being at Breakaway this weekend, there were times that I thought of our friend Michael Einfeldt. Because he attended many Breakaway retreats and we always loved having him with us.
I remember his first year, where he stood up in front of everyone and shared the ways that God had touched his heart. For the record, I always admire this. Because it’s not easy, to stand up and tell others what you believe. But it is powerful. And impactful. And a great confirmation of what God is doing. And I loved when Michael shared his heart, just like I loved hearing the hearts of those students we had this year that were changed because of their love for Jesus.
Yesterday, we got to go and see Michael. At his home. In Eastport. And it was awesome. This was the second or third time that he’s come home for an overnight visit and with each one, we know that he is getting closer and closer to being home for good. When we walked in, he was smiling. And while we visited, he was engaged and making sounds and truly it was so good to see Michael doing so well. He turned and looked right at Jeremy when Sally asked him to and when we went to leave, he gave us big smiles again.
When Michael had his accident, we were devastated. And in the tumultuous months right after and then the years that he’s been in rehab we’ve experienced every emotion you could imagine. But seeing Michael yesterday was a reminder, that God is still working. Sally shared that things are lining up in God blessed ways for Michael’s transition home. Seeing her and her family come around Michael with love and support has always been a way that I’ve seen God’s hand working.
Friends, there will be times in your life where things seem hard and hopeless. There will be calls received that will break your heart and there will be times where it’s all you can do to keep upright. But be reminded that God loves you and He promises to uphold you. There is nothing too big for Him and nothing that He is unable to help you through. This was my encouragement for today and for every day.
*I’ll leave you with another verse because it’s been my life verse and it’s also attached to a beautiful picture of Michael’s smile :).