”…for the Lord, in whose presence I have walked, will send his angel with you and will make your mission successful.” Genesis 24:40 (NLT)⠀
Abraham walks in the Lord’s presence, and he KNOWS it. He speaks with confidence. He travels with Holiness and hears only truth. He doesn't see obstacles, because He only sees how the path is lit with eternal light. He plans his sacrifice in advance because success is his Father’s specialty and gratitude is his proven strategy. Friend, you’re not on the side of the road broken down. You really aren’t. God does not forget who’s on what journey. He leads in both big and small ways. He’s familiar with restlessness and recognizes wounded worriers. He offers bread and water at the border of faith fatigue and meditated misery. He offers rest areas every seventh day for anyone willing to recognize how rough the earthly road is. He refills and refuels the parched and panicked. ⠀
I encourage you to stop and rest this Sabbath. Your journey lies ahead. You have far to go. But you don’t have to go empty. You don’t have to go alone. You won’t go as a mindless wanderer. You’ll go as a faithful follower. You are called, after all.⠀
Two weeks ago, we left our kids with a friend and traveled cross country to a writer’s conference. The ticket agent printed it in ink to give validation to the bump we were experiencing. “Interrupted Travel for Brower/Kathy”. Bold, black font branding me with a label I didn’t want. We were stuck shuffling back and forth in terminal C. We had already missed our connecting flight and knew, even before we landed, that the next flight didn’t go out for another 6 hrs. Which put us at our final destination after midnight. This was NOT how we had scheduled our trip. The original plan had us landing in time to pick up our rental car, check into the hotel, and go have a quiet dinner. Instead, we ate in the airport, face timed the kids, and did a whole lot of people watching.
But it didn’t end there. Our final flight landed, and we exited the ramp. Instantly, Ben heard a chime on his phone. The time was 12:06 AM. It was a message saying the hotel had given our room away. We weren’t there. So they gave it away. While Ben dialed a number to figure out a plan B, I focused on our next move. Find our suitcase, and the rental car location. He stayed on the phone and tailgated me through the crowd of sleepy travelers. By the time I checked off both items on my list, he had found us a room in an already booked city.
Sitting in that terminal waiting for that flight, I began to wonder if I was wrong in taking this trip, especially when, 5 hrs after we left I got a text from our daughter that the littlest had a fever. Ugh! The Mama guilt settled right in. Should I turn around? Should I go back to what I know, what is safe, what is my first calling? Should I shelf this idea of writing? Is God closing doors that I mistakingly thought were opening? Friend, this girl KNOWS how to carry guilt.
This is also not my first experience as an ‘interrupted traveler’. Although the questions hung large, my soul has learned to trust the Teacher. There was a moment during that conference that I stood quietly in the back and KNEW. I knew I belonged there. I am convinced it was peace sent from the God I trust letting me know that the path had its bumps, but I held on. (See comments for the rest)
Sometimes we journey through mundane things, wondering if we’re in the right lane. We drive without remembering the route, we walk without seeing the grand, we orchestrate household chores without realizing the importance of our presence in the lives of those tied to our existence. And then the sloppy happens. We growl at the small because we do not see the significance of slight adjustments. But what if that last parking spot was meant to be your refuge, what if the slush under your feet demanded you breathe deeper, and what if the kids under foot were looking for a foothold for their own walk in faith? What if those unremarkable interruptions were God’s way of opening your eyes to a new way of travel? What if He asked you to see the glory in the delays, in the disruptions, in the discontinued? God has asked for thanks in ALL things. What little gift of joy did you notice in the ordinary today?
This week has been a week of transitioning. Trying to honor the life of our son, Charlie, and not forget the two miscarriages that bookended our twins. Trying to remember all the fighting (and sleeping) I did over the last two and a half years through my battle with breast cancer. With all of that, I am also purposefully moving towards Thanksgiving, and gently raising my hands in praise to a good, good Father.⠀
Part of that movement sometimes requires stepping out and growing. So I’m doing that too. Today I’m gathering with other writers who feel called to share their stories through words to help the healing process along, and to glorify their God. I’m blessed to be here, and I’m praying this time will help me encourage some of you with big stories too. Stories that God writes, stories that bring Him glory. Stories that NEED to be told. ⠀
Thank you, Lord, for ALL of these things.⠀
I’ve been working on a few things lately, and part of the course work for some of it takes⠀
place today. I’m eager to share with you, my reader, but it’s going to have to come at a⠀
later time. What I want to share with you now, is how I got here. How I’m able to move⠀
from a broken heart, to a grateful heart. How I Christ blessing all of my bruising, and⠀
how I’m actually grateful to have a few bruises because it shows our journey together.⠀
October was, and still is, my chosen month for a wedding. Ben and I almost had an⠀
outdoor ceremony, but Chicago weather can be skittish, and I’m not much of a risk taker,⠀
so we went with a traditional church venue. I still love spending our anniversary at the⠀
highlight of changing leaves. October is also the month the high-school Ben and I both⠀
attended holds its yearly alumni gatherings. Mine was fantastic this year, and I’m waving⠀
to those of you who were there. And, October is my youngest sons birthday. He’s one⠀
incredible miracle. All of these things make me smile. All of them bring me great joy.⠀
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. I’ve been hyper alert to this since my⠀
own Mama went through the crushing disease at the age of 44. Since then my younger⠀
sister, three cousins, and now myself, have all gone through the ugly-beautiful remaking⠀
of our physical bodies so that this disease would hopefully not destroy us. Sadly, my⠀
mama and one cousin are now resting in the Lord.⠀
After being overtly aware of all the pink ribbons for breast cancer, I’m also, now, owner of pink & blue wristbands. The kind that flex and twist. The kind that people wear in the shower and pass out profusely to anyone willing to grab one. The pink and blue ribbon⠀
stands for Infertility, Infant loss, and Miscarriage. My pile of these added up to too many for several years.⠀
Thank you for being here ❤️ This story is longer than the max word count allows here, but the rest of this story is on the blog 👉🏻 www.kathybrower.com
I’ve unintentionally hidden a bit this past week. Sure, I could use the excuse that life’s been super busy, but it’s a weak one. The truth is this, October was ending. And while that might not mean anything to anyone else, to me, it closes up some memories. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month. It’s also Breast Cancer Month. And, it was Judah’s Birthday. AND, it was my 22nd wedding anniversary to my very best friend, Ben. AND, I went to my 25th high school reunion and LOVED the reconnections. To see October go is a bit overwhelming, and sad, at the same time. But, when the door opens into November, I kind of feel like I am being led into more. Towards an abundance of life. And while October makes me remember, November ushers the way to a place of gentle thanksgiving.⠀
This has not always been an easy thing to do. This has not always been the way I have thought. But I want to spend some time talking this week about how to move from grief to Thanksgiving. Join me. Let’s not just sit with our sad stories, but rather, let’s hold them up to the light and see how they shine towards the holy purpose of giving thanks in all things.⠀