My 5 year-old's reading lesson this week includes three new sight words...to, too, and two. She understood the concept of two (the number) and to (in the direction of) pretty quickly. It took a bit more to understand the word too. Too - also or very. As I was trying to give her examples of how to correctly use this word, I kept coming back to "too long" as in, "it has been too long since ____" and she would fill in the blank. Later that evening, my mind kept coming back to that phrase.
It has been too long. Too long for many things. Too long since I have allowed myself the freedom to write in the quiet moments. Too long since I have slowed down enough to appreciate the gray that is being added to mine and my husband's hair that represent wonderful years together. Too long since I have sat back and just listened with contentment to my children laughing. It has been too long since I have eagerly embraced whatever it is the Lord may be doing, knowing full well that we should count it all joy. It has been too long since I have counted it all joy.
It has been almost a year since our family began a journey of new ministry, adoption, and surrender to whatever the Lord had planned on those journeys...with great excitement! However, just because you seek hard after the Lord and follow Him, doesn't mean you are going to end up in the place you thought He was leading. Excitement turned to heartache, overwhelming sadness, and a brokenness unlike anything experienced before in my life. For too long there was a darkness over our home due to a failed adoption of a sibling group. Friends and family did not know what to do with us during this time we now just simply call the "darkness." So, instead of saying the wrong thing, they just didn't say anything at all. We felt abandoned. They felt abandoned. Guilt is heavy. You get up every day and put one foot in front of the other because you have to not because you want to. Darkness is thick. Isolation results. But then, in a moment where you feel your next breath just might not come, something happens. Something stirs. It comes in a whispered prayer from your broken husband late at night. I didn't want to hear it because in that moment, months later, I realized I was mad. At family. At friends. At God. But, God loves me. A God who won't relent. Thank God.
After that late night prayer, for the first time in months, I reach for the Word. This was my gift God gave me in that moment. I reached for my phone on the bedside table as I begged God to let me know He had not forgotten me and saw me in my darkness. I pushed a bible ap and the random reading for the day shows. This is what it read (highlighted in yellow on my phone!) I am worn out from my groaning. All night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears. Psalm 6:6
God heard my prayer. God had not forgotten me. God saw me. Even though it had been too long since I had trusted Him as the Sovereign God he is. As I awoke the next morning, for the first time in months, I knelt beside my bed and prayed out to Him. I could hear the pages of my bible turning on their own by the force of the fan while I talked to Jesus. When I finished praying, in the middle of the page, already highlighted in my familiar worn yellow, were these verses - "But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me." Psalm 13:5-6 Restoration is such a beautiful, overwhelming thing.
God is Sovereign. He can do what he wants in the way he chooses to do it. But, it is all good. It is all right. It is all for our best. It is all because He loves us so very much. I am so incredibly humbled that the God who created the universe loves me enough to speak to me in my darkness even when it had been too long since my heart had been open to Him.
Praise God that He doesn't consider it EVER too long.