Last October I bought a new house! Well, it wasn't a "new" house, but it was new to us. A very painful divorce was at our heels, and new opportunity and hope was on the horizon. This new home of ours held within it's walls our future...a fresh new start in life for my boys and me.
One day before moving in, I went there to clean. As I walked around the quaint little house from room to room, I imagined the life that once existed there. Grandma and her cute little grandma stuff all around. Polyester curtains and all. I imagined this house filled with laughter and babies and kids running. The smell of grandma's home-baked cookies. There was love in this house, I could feel it all around me. There wasn't much to clean either, nothing in fact! Such a blessing it was to be able to move right in to this new home that I had been praying for.
Then my thought turned to the future. What would our lives be like here within these walls? How will it feel to wake up every morning and go to sleep every night? Will it feel like home to us? It was another big adjustment for my boys, who had already been through so much that year. The future was one big empty space to me. A blank slate. My husband was gone, so I didn't know what my life would look like from here on out. The things I had imagined in my future had vanished. Did God have good things planned for me now? His word said so, and so did many of my loving friends and family. "God has something better for you" they said to encourage me and keep me moving through my grief. "Oh yes, I know ~ of course He does" was my usual reply. But in my heart of hearts I didn't know. I didn't believe it. Were there REALLY good things ahead for me? Probably not, was what I was inclined to believe.
As I looked around this immaculately cared for house, I thought I had to clean something! Nobody moves into a house without cleaning. So I decided to pull out the refrigerator. (No I am not a clean-freak, in fact I can count on one finger the number of times I have done this before in my life.) There we go...dust bunnies! Good! So I picked up the broom and began sweeping. Then it caught my eye...way in the corner buried in the dust...a little red strawberry magnet. I picked it up, wiped it off and just looked at it. I smiled and thought about grandma. Maybe this was a gift from a grandchild, which she proudly displayed on her refrigerator...atop a crayon portrait of herself with hearts all around. I loved this little strawberry ~ what a coincidence that it was a strawberry! I had always loved strawberries and had already planned on decorating my kitchen in strawberries and apples. But this was no coincidence.
As I stood there in my empty new kitchen, God spoke to my heart. He whispered "See, I have things planned for you. Wonderful things that only I know of. They are hidden away deep in My heart, and at the just right time I will reveal them to you." How precious was that moment. It was life changing. It was then that I began to see my future, and the Light that would guide me through it.
So now on my refrigerator sits this little red strawberry magnet. Amid the pictures of my precious boys, family and friends, and the crayon portrait of myself. And underneath the strawberry magnet is a prayer that I had clipped from a magazine months before, when my life seemed very dark and hopeless. It reads "Be ready for unexpected blessings already on their way". My strawberry is proof of that now. Who would have thought that this little red magnet, rescued from its hiding place among the dust bunnies, would be a symbol of the hope of things to come?! On those days when it's hard to see God's hand at work, it reminds me to have strawberry faith.
"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."