Morning by Morning was one of the first ministries to publish my writing. They’re no longer an active site, so I’m excited to share some of my pieces here in my own space.
It was a typical February day when my family received a phone call that would forever change us. Duke University Hospital was on the other end of the line, informing us of my mom’s brain cancer diagnosis. My family was surrounded by unknowns as my mom began treatments. Since that day in 2011, many things in my life changed in ways I would’ve never imagined. One thing remained constant, though, and that was Jesus. As we walked through the valley, “Great is Thy Faithfulness” was the soundtrack that marked each step of the journey.
Though that season was incredibly difficult, and God chose to heal my mom with him in heaven, his faithfulness was so evident. We experienced the line, “Morning by morning, new mercies I see,” as he daily strengthened my mom to endure treatments and us to care for her. God was faithful to surround us with the body of Christ to pray for us, bring us meals, and simply fellowship with us. The “peace that endureth” enthroned our hearts as we clung to the hope we have in Christ. Truly, there’s no way to describe the peace we had and still have as it really is the “peace that surpasses all understanding” (Phil 4:7). My knowledge of who God is deepened in that season, but when I reflect on it, there is one word that sums up who he was for me in that time: “faithful.” The sweet hymn tells us God’s presence is there to cheer and to guide, and he surely did that for us. There was never a moment where we felt God wasn’t with us and going ahead of us. He guided us as we entered a life without my mom, and we see him guiding us still.
Fast forward to 2018, my husband and I were about to celebrate seven years of marriage with two toddler boys in tow. We knew it was time to grow our family, and God was calling us to do that through adoption. We entered the adoption process excited, but also a little nervous, and the mantra we immediately thought of was, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The title to this hymn has rung so true in our lives, so we chose it for our adoption t-shirts. We saw God be faithful to us in the valley of cancer and death, and we knew he’d be faithful to us in our adoption process. When we first said “yes” to adoption, one of the scariest and most unsure things was the financial aspect of it. When I was unsure of how we were going to make our next payment, the Lord would bring to mind, “all I have needed thy hand hath provided.” Provide is exactly what he did. We have story after story of how a check came in the mail at just the right time or of how a fundraiser went above and beyond our expectations. Not only has he been faithful to provide financially, but he’s been faithful to provide us with support, paperwork, and answered prayers for needed approvals.
Our adoption process is far from over; in fact, it’s taking longer than we’d expected. In this hard season of waiting, I often find myself singing, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” It stills my heart to remind myself of this truth. God will surely complete what he has called us to do (Isa 46:10-11, Phil 1:6). I can trust him because I’ve seen him be faithful time and time again. I don’t know what all we have ahead in our adoption process, or life in general, but I do know God will be faithful; “as he has been, he forever will be.”
Friends, being faithful is simply part of who God is (Ps 36:5, 2 Tim 2:13). He can’t change his character. He is and always will be faithful to us. He’ll guide us through every valley and cheer us on every mountaintop. Unfortunately, we often suffer from a short-term memory of God’s faithfulness. We experience God’s faithfulness to us through a trial or see him answer a prayer, but as life moves on, we forget. I believe this is why God frequently charged the Israelites to remember and even why he commanded them to set up stones after he worked a great miracle, like splitting the sea for them to walk through on dry land (Josh. 4:1-24).
The Israelites saw God do miraculous things for them, but they quickly forgot and turned to idols. It’s easy to sit on our comfy couches as we read these stories and marvel at how they could do such a thing. However, we must remember we’re no better than the Israelites. We too have a short-term memory of God’s faithfulness. We too have seen him work great miracles, but then turn to idols soon after. This is why I often pray God would give me a long-term memory of his faithfulness. I pray he’d show me the “stones” in my life that are markers of his faithfulness to me. These “stones” look like my home, my husband, and my children. One for me is also the sweet song, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” Those beautiful lyrics will forever be a soundtrack to my life. Whatever comes my way, I‘ll sing this song and look back on God’s faithfulness to me over the years. I’ll rest in God’s strength for today and rejoice in his bright hope for tomorrow. My heart will forever praise him with the words, “Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”