We have national monuments. We have memorials for all kinds of things. We even make statues to remember or commemorate special people or events.
But monuments for our own lives? They are pretty much non-existent.
For the last six months, I’ve thought a lot about monuments. I’ve been in yet another period of waiting. I told a friend recently that waiting seems to be the hardest thing in life…at least for me. I can get through hard things. I can keep putting one foot in front of another. But give me something I have to wait for, and I tend to struggle.
But where in times past, I had many moments of freaking out and worry-fests about having to wait, this time was different. The older I get and the more I have to wait, I’m starting to wise up that God really does know what is best for me. And that I’m not going to be totally screwed if I actually put my trust in Him and wait for whatever He has for me. 🙂
I had been thinking about monuments for a few months when I went on my yearly prayer weekend by myself back in early March. I decided to do some pretty serious hiking to be in nature, have time to think, do something active and listen to God (the same trip where I had no cell signal, was 3 miles away from the Rangers station, and was surrounded by tons of wild hogs. Still not sure how I’m not dead!). And lo and behold! On the trail, I began to start seeing rock monuments that people had set up along the way. I guessed that they were there to help you find your way. (My dad had warned me not to go on the trail to the left because I might get lost. Of course I had to check out the left trail after that!) Or someone had just been really bored. But after months of mulling over how people back in Bible days made monuments and wondering what I would build monuments for in my life, I felt like these little rock formations were a gift from God. After seeing a number of them, I started taking pictures of them .
And now that it’s June, I’m still thinking about the monuments in my life. The times where God showed up in huge ways. And here’s what I’ve come up with:
- My purse story – This one is cheesy, but it was my first big experience with some of God’s power. On the way to go camping years ago, I left my purse in the Czech Stop in West…for 3 days!!! When I finally noticed I didn’t have it, we jumped in the car and drove the hour back to West. The whole way there, I prayed my guts out that it would be there. As soon as I walked in the door of the Czech Stop, the guy behind the counter said, “Hey, I wonder who’s purse this is.” I was immediately like “It’s mine!!” And everything was there just like I left it. See, cheesy! But God showed up! 🙂
- My job at church – It was so clearly handed to me from God, and it was definitely where I needed to be for the last 11 years. God showed up!
- The day I found out I was having twins – I had STRUGGLED emotionally for 2 1/2 years thinking we were not going to be able to have anymore kids. A month before I found out about them, we were driving in the car one day and I told Chris, “What if all of this is God’s way of saying we need 3 kids? We never would have chosen to have 3 kids on our own. But what if God gives us twins because that’s His plan for us?” As soon as I found out we were having two babies, I remembered this car conversation. God showed up!
- The day I found out the twins were a boy and girl – Growing up, I had always prayed that God would give me two boys. And then as soon as Caleb was born, I started praying for a girl. So while I was driving back to work after the doctor appointment where we heard boy and girl, God struck me with the memories of my prayers over the years. And I thanked Him for hearing my prayers and giving me exactly what I had asked for. Not in my timing of course, but His. God showed up!
- The day God and I had a funeral – Years ago, I was really upset about something in my life and couldn’t let it go. I let it eat at me for about a year and a half, and finally one day while I was driving to work (Driving is typically where God and I do a lot of thinking together, hash things out, and come up with our best ideas. Now that I’m working from home, we’re going to have to come up with another avenue for our bright ideas. :)), God said “Enough, Stephanie! We can’t go on like this any longer! We are going to have a funeral for this. Today!” And so we did. We had that funeral. And I was instantly free from my pain and ready to move on. God showed up!
- And recently, my new job. I felt like God said a year ago that something was coming. That He and I were about to do something new. And weirdly, that I needed to wait a year or so. So I waited. And I prayed. I spent many, many nights after my kids went to bed praying on the floor in our living room. I unleashed my prayer warrior family and friends on this thing, and they delivered! God has been so wildly faithful to me over the last year, and we are excited about our new adventure together! He showed up!
So, I’ve been thinking about what I wanted my monument(s) to look like. I thought about building some little statues to display for myself. But that seemed kind of weird. 🙂 I finally decided on this:
This now sits on the piano right behind my new home office desk. The six lines represent these six ways I have listed above of times where God has shown up big in my life. They will remind me of His constant presence, love, care and action in my life.
God can and does show up in big ways, but He also shows up in countless small ways each and every day of our lives. He’s just as present in the small things as He is in the big ones. We just have to train our eyes to see Him.
May we all find the “monuments” in our lives. May we recognize them, remember them and share them! Because we all have them.
God does show up!