With Open Hands Again

But if God is everywhere, then how can you know for sure where you’re supposed to be?
— Hannah Anderson

I’ve been repeating myself a lot lately. This might be new to me, and old to most everyone who knows me, but it’s been a lot of the same that has gotten me through. Peace, consistency, rhythm, routine, liturgy. I used to dread the days that I would spend the majority of it at home, doing the mundane necessary tasks of laundry, cleaning toilets, dusting the coffee table; but now I wake at a decent hour, light my candles, throw my housecoat on and breathe in a deep sigh of gratitude. I love our home.

So again, I’ve been repeating myself a lot lately. I come back to the same prayers almost daily, prayers I have long been saying over and over again and have written, such as “open hands,” “ I believe; help my unbelief,” “where you go, I go.” I’ve been in Psalm 25 for over six months now, taking one verse at a time at this current moment, and plopped in verse 3,

“Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame…”

What we do, where we are, what we think, pray, what forms our days forms us. I know I’ve said that before. As a person who both loves to adventure and also have a very specific schedule that should never be thrown off, I live either thankful or with a sour taste in my mouth from the daily bread that God gives.

I’ve had many a wrench in my plans, in our plans lately, and have been longing for answers, for hope, for an end to the in-between nature that seems to be a new normal. It has been in this space that I have been assured and formed by the grace of God, His over and over again reminder of who He is. As the things around me seem to be swayed, changing, chaotic, He is unchanging, in control, providential.

I am certainly not in control. Praise be to God for that.

In the middle of this pruning, what felt like something so happenstance has become something very real, something that has left my family in this place of truly having to say, let Your will be done. The in-between before has been merely training wheels for what we now know, no matter the outcome, we will wait and not be put to shame. This place, this season, our home may be new in a matter of weeks and yet, we have found an unshakable foundation based on the unshakeable God.

In celebrating my husband’s thirtieth birthday, he read his new psalm of the year outloud.

"By your favor, O LORD, you made my mountain stand strong" Psalm 30:7a

It is not as if we didn’t know these things or truly pray them before, but again, repeating ourselves, things we knew even a short few weeks ago have new colors, new layers that weave these beautiful tapestry of faith in patterns that we trust are not forged by human hands. So this theme I see in Esther, and in my husband’s psalm, the theme of mourning to gladness, is not new but repeated, and continues to run cycle after cycle of newness in my heart.

Of all the things we don’t know, of all the places he could lead us, we do know this: God has determined the boundaries of our dwelling place so we might find him. And when we find him, we will find our home.
— Hannah Anderson

So again, with open hands, we are abundantly grateful for the daily bread and the numbered days that the Lord has given and is in control of. Wherever He plants us, whatever He calls us, we pray we may be rooted and grounded, built up in His love, and remaining faithful. We are seeking, and we are grateful that He has always done the finding.

The quotes above from Hannah Anderson are located in her article on The Gospel Coalition, called "Finding Our Place: Our Family's Long Quest and Calling for Home." I wholeheartedly have grown tremendously from her thoughtful, wise writing, and cannot recommend any of what she has written highly enough.