There are so many promises.
A GAZILLION in God’s word and in my heart, Handwritten ones from the One who wrote me.
This week has been one of those weeks where they dance in the horizon, and you wonder if that really is an oasis of fulfillment in view, or if it’s a mirage that taunts your scratching throat and your aching feet.
Breakthroughs and birth certificates are still just out of arms reach… but be assured that I am reaching.
In some moments, I reach with open and faithful hands. And, in others, I try to grab with clenched fists.
And in the midst of it all, a 10-year old blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl showed up and helped me remember the power of remembering.
|This is Lily. Photo by Charity - age 5|
I was Lily’s nanny when she was 3 – 5 years old. We became family through dress-up dance parties and cake-baking. (Some things never change.)
When I left for Africa almost 4 years ago, Lily made a vow that if I was still there when she turned 10 years old, she would come visit me. She started selling lemonade as soon as she turned 9. And here she is today, with her awesome mama, just a few months after her 10th birthday.
Photo from Lily Sells Lemonade
When those blonde curls bounced onto base, with 10-year old sized boots and a sense of fashion that did not involve princess dresses, I realized how long ago it was that we lived like family together. It’s been 5 years since we made dinners and read bedtime stories. And everything is different now.
But then we remembered.
With the help of a few old photos and homemade music videos (that her mom just saw for the first time). Before the grand finale of ‘A Whole New World’, that double-digit diva was leaning into me and we were giggling together, just like we used to.
Remembering what’s real beyond circumstances, fashion statements and hemisphere changes is where the promises are fulfilled. Where all the good stuff is.
Because the kids are going to grow up. And people will come and go.
Nothing will ever stay the same. Except the Truth.
Lily will always have a place in my family.
And I will always have a place in His Family.
And I will remember to remember the parts that are true instead of measuring the parts feel different.
This week, just two months after commemorating the most incredible Family celebration at Sifiso and Lizzy’s new home, we heard news of disaster striking their family. Spirits were crushed, and hope went silent.
Until my leader, John, remembered to remember.
We loaded our team up and drove to that mountainside piece of land that was once a fire-seized testimony of tragedy. It is now a chosen and cared for place of promises fulfilled. It’s a home with a bed for every child, space to sit together, and a front porch that boasts of the Truth of Family.
We gathered there like we had gathered the first time God was fulfilling promises in their family. After the first time disaster had struck.
And we remembered together the Truth that prevailed beyond today.
We put our same family hands on those same family shoulders, and we remembered.
There’s something about remembering Him that breaks through our circumstances and invites heaven to open up. When we remember what true, where our hope comes from, He can’t help but remember how much He loves us.
“But he took note of their distress when he heard their cry; for their sake he remembered his covenant and out of his great love he relented.” Psalm 106:44-45
Same hands. Same shoulders. Different sizes and circumstances.
Same Family. Same God.
He does not forget His promises. He does not forget His Family.
I’m reaching to remember. And staying right here in His holding hands.
“Remember the former things, those of long ago;
I am God, and there is no other;
I am God and there is none like me.
I make known the end from the beginning,
from ancient times, what is still to come.
I say: My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.”