Thursday, January 22, 2009

The God Who Never Forgets

He's there all along. Jesus. Sometimes, like crusading unbelievers, we bury Him in the plaster of our denials, our doubts and our disobedience. Then we sit in our empty lives and empty relationships and cry, "He's not here! He's forgotten me!". But He is. He's there. He's the God who never forgets.

I've spent time talking to God lately about my life. It's taken a few years, but the realization that my life is, in no way, what I expected it to look like has finally hit me. Perhaps it also has something to do with turning 30 soon. Over the weekend, I told God that I'm tired of not having answers. Will I leave Freeman House or stay? Should I pursue a new career or not? And what's with this sudden... leaning... toward Portland, Oregon? I've never even been there. And I'm tired of the cold. Why do I think of it so often?

When I was small, my parents hung a little plaque above the light switch in my Strawberry Shortcake room. With its old-fashioned lettering and burnt-edges, the paper plastered onto the block of wood looked strangely out of place in my little girl's room. But there it hung anyway, with its large black words:

And you shall seek Me and find Me
when you shall search for Me with all your heart.
-Jeremiah 29:13

It meant nothing to me then, but reading those words every day lodged them in my heart. I'd need them, it seemed, later.

Fast forward back to the present. A time of seeking God. God, I'm seeking You... with all my heart, I said. Where are You? What am I supposed to do now?

Nothing.

I'm not letting this go, God, I insisted. I need You. I'm gonna keep calling until You pick up. I'll seek You until I get an answer.

Still nothing.

Monday night the phone rings. It's my friend Erich. Although we correspond often through Facebook, I hadn't talked to Erich in over eight years. And here he was, calling me. We talked for a little while and then he said, slowly, You've been on my heart, Brin. I had to call you. God... well, God's saying, "I haven't forgotten my daughter." He wants you to know that. He hasn't forgotten you.

I haven't forgotten my daughter. The most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

How can you not weep at that... the picture of a heavenly Father who rises to show compassion to His children? I haven't forgotten my daughter.

I thanked God for His love. And then I started bugging Him again. Your words sound so sweet in my ears, but I still don't have my answer, I prayed.

And I prayed. And kept praying.

Yesterday, sitting outside playing with Millie, I felt it pressed into my heart: Isaiah 49. But the city of Zion said, "The Lord has deserted me. The Lord has forgotten me." The Lord answers, "Can a mother forget the baby who is nursing at her breast? Can she stop showing her tender love to the child who was born to her? She might forget her child. But I will not forget you. I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Your walls are never out of my sight.

I haven't forgotten my daughter. I haven't forgotten. I haven't forgotten...

But I'm stubborn. Comforted, but stubborn. God, I still need my answer, I persisted. Habakkuk, my heart said. If you're a Christian, you know when the Holy Spirit is speaking to you. Your heart gets all warm and glowy inside you, and it's as if, instead of blood, there are words... warm words... pulsing through your entire body. Habakkuk. Habakkuk.

Habakkuk? That was my answer. Really? I flipped over to Habakkuk, a book I read in private school Old Testament class, but not much since. And there He was, in chapter 2, verse 3:

The message I give you waits for the time I have appointed.
It speaks about what is going to happen. And all of it will come true.
It might take a while. But wait for it.
You can be sure it will come. It will happen when I want it to.
My answer. My answer from the God who never forgets. And even though it was a "wait for it... WAIT. FOR. IT," my heart was immediately quieted. He hasn't forgotten. And the answer is coming. I can be sure it will come.

Not sure why I'm telling you about this. Who knows, someone else could be waiting on an answer, too. Or someone might feel forgotten. All I can tell you? God... well, God hasn't forgotten His daughter. Or His son. And His things... well, they happen when He wants them to. And in meantime, we will seek Him and find Him when we search for Him with all our hearts.

How can we not? He is, after all, the God who never forgets. It's the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.

44 comments:

Fire Bug said...

Absolutely beautiful. Thank you for posting. :) I too wait...

Christy said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement. I have been struggling so much lately...feeling so far from God. Feeling as if He doesn't care. Feeling like He never answers so why even bother asking or seeking Him. But your post excited me and I realized that I need to seek whole heartily and be patient :) Thank you for helping me to refocus!

Charity said...

Thank you for sharing this most private conversations . . . I am encouraged . . . as I wait

cathleen said...

Thank you.

Sidney (Sixy Mama) said...

Very timely, and much needed.

Thank you for sharing this.

Rosa said...

Thank you for your post today.
I too am waiting, although I am slowly learning that I only have to deal with today. A very comforting truth on a bad day when hormones wreck havock on both body and mind.
I mean really,how long is this 'change of life' suposed to take anyways?
It's been 8 years now. . .
(not that I'm counting or anything! :D )

Terri and Bob said...

I am waiting on an answer, too. Thank you for this.

I have a friend Erich who is a principal at a Lutheran School. I love the way he spells his name.

Michelle said...

Brin, God will answer your prayers very soon. I know he has always been there for me and somehow, someway he answers when I need him most. I have a magical board (prayer board, if you will) that I write my prayers on and amazingly almost all have been answered. I will write a prayer for you on it tonight. :)

Portland, Oregon isn't so bad. :) Take it from me. I'm originally from Southern California and I made the leap when I needed answers (while going through a divorce) and it has been so good to me since. I even like the rain! :) Just remember...everything on the outside doesn't 'affect' us...it's what's on the inside that makes us who we are and how we see things.

Hugs.

Michelle (Mocha and Quincy). :)

kelly said...

thank you. i needed to read that.

Koleen said...

I love your blog! You have such a gift with your writing. And, I love how you will just open up and talk about God. I think you touch so many hearts without realizing it. Thank you for that.

Being Samantha said...

Brin,

I"m so glad I've decided to keep reading your blog. I've always been confused about religion in general and have had "some " faith in the world.

After my parents passed away I lost all faith, regarding heaven, spirituality, etc... lost it all.

I thought after my parents passed on, they would visit to let me know I wasnt alone.

Its been 9 years and just in the last few years, "little things" are happening that would regain my faith in life after death.

I"ve always admired people who had such strong beliefs in their faith, so unwaivering that it was confusing to me. "how can you just believe?" I'm sceptic.
I even had a roommate who's father was a minster and he couldnt answer my questions. he'd say : "When its time for you know or start believing, .... you'll just know".

Last year, I put up my christmas tree in the first time since either of my parents passed away, very emotional doing so, I had a chat with my mum, telling her I hope she was proud, cos this was taking alot of strength, emotionally and mentally.
I asked her (and I dont ask much) if she was going to visit on christmas, if she could give me a sign of some sort... maybe make it snow. Which where I live, snow in the city at xmas isnt unheard of, its just not a common thing.

I had my friends over xmas day and early afternoon, I looked outside and yelled "ITS SNOWING" I started to tear up a bit right away and explained to my friends (who were close with my mum) what I had asked of her... It was the first time in a very long time, I had small confirmation that my parents can hear me. :)

Since then, I've asked a few people who have strong beliefs and I'm always warmed by their openness to listen to me, knowing I dont practice a faith.

One told me the following that still makes me smile.

"Those who have passed on, only come to visit and make it known, if they feel you still need the guidance of them".

Then she went on to tell me, I'm probably doing a lot better than I've given myself credit for over the years, since I had not sensed any noticable visits, or I simply wasnt ready to see them.

Regardless, I have slowly gained a sense of belief again. And your last entry made me realize that sometimes our questions, prayers and hopes are indeed being answered, they're just not laid right out in ovbious sight.

Thank you for posting your latest concerns. It's been moving.

xoxox
Being Samiantha

Sue@CountryPleasures said...

Another lovely, true to the heart post, thank you Brin. I found a site you might be interested in, where you write for money, not sure what all it involves but I thought of you, www.hugpages.com
I love your new profile pic too, adorable! I know you may feel alone this time of the year, but please know, you are never alone and much loved! You REALLY need to turn your blog into a book! Hugs!

Life At Camellia Cottage said...

Brin, I am almost twice your age in years, but about half your age in spiritual growth and wisdom. I am learning things from you girl, so keep on posting. If I'm out there reading, there are others who need to hear it, too. Blessings to you sweetie! Becky

Linda Z said...

Psalm 5:3... Keep waiting in expectation. He is faithful!! :) Thanks for sharing your heart. It's a beautiful one.

I have an adorable 31 year old brother in law I wish I could set you up with... he's waiting and in a crazy place in life, too. But I digress! :)

Char said...

Brin,
Thank you so much for this post!!!
Earlier today, I had e-mailed some of my praying sisters about a situation. One e-mailed me back and one of the things she said was:"God has not forgotten you." Then I checked your blog and read this. WOW!!
Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with the rest of us. Thank you most especially for your honesty. I think alot of times as Christians, we're afraid to say what we're really feeling because we fear being judged as not having enough faith. Which in turn makes us feel lonely, isolated, and like there must be something really wrong with us.
God bless you Brin. You're in my prayers.
Hugs, Char

Cindy said...

Love this gentle comforting reminder. I too, diligently sit and wait. I have lost patience many times and have wondered if God has forgotten and forsaken me. Afterall...who am I really, but a girl with a tattered heart.

So thank you for this tender writing and for comforting words. May we all someday find what it is we are looking for.

Tina said...

I've never been good in the waiting room but your words of not being forgotten feel so good.
I needed those words so much.
Thanks
Tina

Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Waiting here as well...I think that many many are waiting. Thank you for sharing this even when you weren't certain why.

Kath said...

oh, this is me right now, exactly. Thank you.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

I remember the months leading up to my turning thirty. Even though at the time I was in a "secure" career, was married, and had a young daughter... I still had doubts as to where life was taking me.

On one hand, I think any time we turn a new decade we have that tendency but especially turning thirty.

I just finished re-reading John Piper's small book called Don't Waste Your Life. It's SO good when one is pondering life's big decisions.

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

We are all waiting for something, dear girl. He will make His will known to us in His time. I have said many prayers for my blogging friends and will continue to do so. I am content to know that He has something in store for this 'old girl' ... and I'll continue to praise His name and wait. Keep the faith, sweet Brin. xxoo

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

This is a wonderful post! Knowing what to do next is always challenging. Well, maybe not always, but a lot of the time. It would be easier if he could just tell us, but I think you are very right...we have to wait on His still, small voice.

obsession of the week said...

Wow! Thank you for posting this. I've been asking questions and waiting on answers, often impatiently. This brought a few tears to my eyes and was an awesome reminder that he will not forget me or you. One thing I have been noticing is that there are always little seemingly insignificant things to show me he's taking care of me. Yesterday while volunteering at school someone gave me a composition book, I wasn't going to take it, but she says "here this is yours take it home" I told her I didn't need one and she said to take it anyway. I got home and about 1/2 hour later Mr.16 walks in and says he needs some $ (which has been awfully tight here) for a composition book. I pulled one out of my bag and ta-da. Need met. I knwo it seems almost silly but I see that kind of thing all the time in my life. While there are BIG things I am fully convinced I NEED and NEED NOW I am often reminded that He is taking care of what I really need and not before I need it, His timing is not when I WANT but it is when I NEED it.

wanderingbtrfly said...

Thanks, Brin. I'm waiting too.

daffodilhappiness said...

Thank you for such a beautiful post! It was such an encouragment to my heart... I, too, have to wait. Entirely different circumstances, I'm sure. But the waiting is still there.

Lisa E said...

Amazing. Beautifully written. Very anointed. Thank you.

Georgia Peach said...

You were writing that for me. I, too, have been crying out to God. My husband needs a job SO badly and I've wondered when some relief would come. I know it will but it's the when. I believe that there is a reason that I read this blog everyday. We are here to help each other and get what we need. I needed this badly. Thank you.

cathy said...

You should open a church or become a minister... I'm not a church person, because sometimes churcy people annoy me...but I would come to yours!

Thanks for sharing and may you have a wonderful weekend!

Mia said...

Yes, He has His hand on you and never forgets...

Every hair on our heads is numbered and in His time He will show you the way He wants you to go.

Liz said...

You are not the only one waiting, you are not alone in these prayers to God. And thank you for sharing this post. I've been spending a lot of time in those books as well, for some reason.

*KeliAnne* said...

This is inspirational...thanks for sharing.

April said...

Wow. This post is so powerful! I await (impatiently) for you to write a devotional book! :)

I love the song "While I'm Waiting" by John Waller. They're playing it constantly on the radio, but the message is so profound. It has ministered a great deal to me. The chorus says:
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

No, you are not forgotten and you are not alone. There are a lot of people waiting, right alongside you. And God listens, hears, understands and comforts.

Kim said...

What a great post Brin. I think we are sorta on the same page lately. Waiting. God's timing. God's plans. For the past several months I've been praying diligently, I've been waiting and waiting some more. A very dear Christian friend said to me the other night, "relax, let God just wash over you, he wants to love on you right now and hold you, he's not ready for the big reveal just yet, relax and allow him to feed you." So, my advice is the same to you, relax in him and all will be revealed. God bless you.

One Woman's Journey said...

Oh, I wept as I read your post.
Wish you could sit down with me.
Too much to share on paper. But your answer will come. As long as it does not you just keep doing what your doing. God is so Good
He never fails nor foresakes us.
Again, old enough to be your mom and I have walked many paths. Alone at 42 with 4 children. I am getting ready to build a smaller home in the country. So far every door has opened. The big one is for my city home to sell.
You are going to be fine. God loves you.

Daffodil Hill said...

Just wanted to encourage you to keep looking to Him, and surrendering everything to His will. He will show you AND bring it about in His perfect timing. The last 6 years of my life have been one crisis after another, including the sudden deaths of my husband and my son in two separate events. My life doesn't look much like I once thought it would either, but God has been so blessedly faithful. He has used that same passage in Habakkuk in amazing ways in my life. After a long period of earnestly seeking Him, His plan has begun to unfold in my life, and it is incredible! He will do the same for you. Hang in there. It's worth the wait! {{hugs}}

Tricia said...

What an encouraging post. I was just lamenting to a friend tonight how I feel as if God has forgotten me and turned a deaf ear to my prayers...thank you for reminding me otherwise.

fairmaiden said...

I loved reading this post. Your openness and transparency of your relationship with Jesus. How you describe hearing from Him, that instead of blood it is like words pulsing through your heart...that describes it so perfectly. I think you would like a song of Misty Edwards entitled '49' and it is about Isaiah 49...she sings so beautiful of God's heart for us. My daughter danced solo to the song when she was only 8 yrs. old and it made everyone cry. You can find the song on her album entitled 'Eternity'.

amanda said...

Waiting, faithfully, in rough waters. But I am his beloved daughter - thank you for the reminder! Please keep the rest of us - those waiting - in your prayers.

Owen said...

Hi Brin,

I've really been lost in my life recently, trying to figure out who I want to be and what role God plays in that.

I just started a blog and I enjoy writing on it. I just have a lot of reservations about the ways of advertising to bring readers to my site.

I really enjoyed what you wrote here. It's a weird thing for me to ask, but I want someone I respect to give me an opinion on my blog before I waste too much time trying to get myself to promote it. If you want to, you can contact me through the e-mail in my profile. I'm sorry if this is odd. Feel free to delete it or anything.

Celaina said...

Who isn't waiting for an answer??? Thanks for the "devotional". I will remember it while I'm waiting.

Raspberry Grace said...

So beautiful, I have no words.

I pray I am not forgotten either, though how often have I forgotten Him?

God bless,
Raspberry x

martha said...

I know the feeling you're describing. For 10 years we lived in a foreign town, pastoring an unfamiliar people. The last five years were awful. ( They accused us of obstinance for refusing to ordain a practicing lesbian.... etc., etc....) We cried out to God for relief. We fasted. We waited.... After five years of silence, we gave up, sighed towards heaven and prayed "well, we're just going to follow our hearts desire, and move on - are you going to strike us dead?..... We started moving our furniture into the truck. Behind our washer/dryer we found a package of charred tissue paper gift wrap. It had caught fire, undetected, and then mysteriously stopped burning. This must have happened sometime during our miserable five years. When I unfolded the tissue, I was stunned to see that the fire had burned a perfect cross shape through all the paper. I burst into tears. It was such a reassurance that God was with us even when we couldn't feel Him. I've since taken that paper and framed an individual sheet for each family member. Each burnt cross is a reminder of our mysterious, loving, God. P.S. We did move, start a new business, new life. It wasn't easy, but we have a satisfaction and depth of spirit we've never had before. I must add that we are not special. God cares for each of us in that same way....

Laurel said...

I don't know where I've been to not know about your blog but THANK YOU for letting God use you like this. You are an INCREDIBLE writer and I'm officially blog stalking you (grin).

I can't wait to get all caught up on your blog...i see I have a lot of reading to do.

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