We had lived here since 2011, and never once did we notice that we could see it through the window. But I noticed today.
It warms my heart indescribably to have discovered this. It's as if Brandon is looking in on us. I have taken such comfort in the cross shining over our neighborhood, but into our home in the grey of winter is even better.
I have already thought of asking the neighbors if I can cut down their trees so that I can see it in the summer, but quickly let go of that ridiculous idea.
Today I had the chance to pull into the park behind our house at dusk, as Aria was sleeping in her carseat and I did not want to wake her. I have been wanting to try to catch the cross lighting up and took this as an opportunity to give it a try.
I sat there for about 5 minutes, just thinking and praying before I squinted trying to see if they indeed did just turn on. The sky was still light, making it hard to see. But as it gradually grew darker it became easier to confirm because the darkness illuminated the light.
|Cross difficult to see in the light|
Today was also the Angelversary of a beautiful woman Brandon and I had the privilege to know, who one year ago, won her battle with cancer. I remember we followed her and her family's journey through cancer and hospice in awe. Their faith carried them through, praising God and trusting in His plan even in the darkest of days. With children, the youngest a preschool aged daughter, I wondered how they could bare to find any peace in this terrible situation. I thought to myself that I could never have that kind of faith. To continue to believe when everything is falling apart and life just isn't fair.
But like the cross lit in the daylight, sometimes our faith is also found in the darkness.
I'll be honest and say that prior to the recurrence of cancer, I was the farthest I had been from God since being saved almost 10 years ago. I was allowing myself to be distracted with preparing for the baby, preparing for our dreams to come true. I had mentioned this to a few friends, who lovingly reassured me that of course I was distracted, there was so much to do to get ready, it was totally normal. I countered back a couple times with, "Yes, but what is more important then preparing my heart and my walk with God for a child?" Yet, I did nothing but busy myself with painting, cleaning and nesting. Our dreams were coming true...it was light out.
But like the cross on the hill, the love of God was easier to find in the darkness then any daylight of my life before. I now could understand how that precious family clung to their faith and God's promises to them to get through. For me there was no other way to find my way through the dark, but to seek the light.
|Beautiful view of the cross at sunset|
Many people have told me that I have been an inspiration to them for the way I have walked through this with such grace and continue to trust God and love God in the valley of the shadow of death. I don't know how to respond to this. It is not my strength that has gotten me through, it is the strength of God. All I can claim is allowing the Spirit of God to work in me. That is it.
But until we experience suffering like this first hand, we often doubt the strength of our own faith. I surely did. And now, others are telling me that I have impacted them the same as that family impacted me. It's quite a surreal experience.
I guess it's like being able to see the cross lit myself, yet a photo does not allow others to see that gentle illumination. It takes our own eyes to see the strength of our own faith when tested in our own ultimate darkness.
|Aria & I at the park |
earlier in the day
Right now, my faith is stronger then it has ever been before. Maybe because I am in the greatest trial I have ever experienced before? Like the saying, "Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom, so you can discover that He is the rock at the bottom."
But I also know that I am human. Just as the Jews doubted after Jesus parted the sea before their eyes, I know the strength of my faith will also ebb and flow. But God knows that. And I am forever thankful for His amazing grace, and always being that light in the darkness.