• Dana L. Butler

In Which God Makes Giants our Bread {or the medicinal value of water and adrenaline}


Yesterday is Stan’s birthday, so I throw on a tank top I know he loves, don my dangly silver earrings (his fave), throw some gloss on my lips, and leave the kids in the care of a sitter.

I run around buying ridiculous balloons, tracking down party hats and noise makers because Isaac simply cannot wrap his almost-4-year-old mind around celebrating Daddy’s birthday without them.


I covertly get ahold of Stan’s coworkers who, equally covertly, plot to let me into the office building. I show up at his desk, plop the multi-colored balloon bouquet down beside his computer, and announce that I’m here to kidnap him for lunch.

The weather is perfect and we sit in the sun at Chipotle, enjoying burrito and tacos and one another’s open hearts, and we chat about the dramatic shifting of our perspective in these days.


The kids and I pick Daddy up from work early. Swimming has been medicine to our souls lately, so we make the trek 25 minutes south to a different pool than normal — with one heck of an awesome water slide.

The kids are of course too little to ride it, so Stan and I take turns hanging with them and letting each other climb several stories, push off at the top, fly around twists and turns and splash into the 4-ish feet of water below.

What. a. rush.

My 3rd time down, I flatten myself as much as possible. I am wildly aerodynamic (or so I imagine) and I’m flying, grinning uncontrollably, water drops hitting my face, my heart about to bust with glee.

It’s been years since I’ve been on a real water slide, and God knows speed and adrenaline are my love language. It doesn’t matter an ounce to us that we are the only adults giving the slide the time of day. We slide over and over, throw dignity to the rushing wind.

And the wind is lifting off months’ worth of heaviness.


****

For so long now, I’ve written around the pain of this season, processing my heart’s journey through the pressure and tension of this long waiting.

They say what’s most authentically inside you will come out when you’re squeezed, and say this season we’ve been living for sure counts as a squeezing.

And looking back at what’s come out, I’m actually {mostly} thankful.


As I wrote my most recent post, I sensed that the writing in circles around acute pain and ruthless trust might be shifting. Even as I typed, I grew weary of the words that were coming out of me. Not in an insecure way, but in a something’s gotta *give* way.


Over the last decade or more, the themes of my story have revolved around loss and hope deferred. Owning those themes makes me cringe a little, because the last thing I want is to come off like I’m defined by my losses, or like I live with a woah is me mentality, which I honestly don’t feel I do.

But it’s through all my revolutions around loss and unfulfilled longings that Jesus has taken my hand and invited me repeatedly to press into His heart in the agony. To experience the fellowship of His sufferings.

By His grace, I’ve learned to journey hand-in-hand with Him through deep, dark places of heart-anguish, and I’ve seen Him in that darkness with profoundly life-altering intimacy.

And the truer theme that wraps and redeems all that loss and hope deferred? 

He. Is. Faithful.

This season has been more of the same for me, so while I’ve allowed myself to lean deep into the pain, He has so filled my vision that I’ve been deeply sustained by Him even in my sorrow.

But after I wrote my last post, it began – this Divine tugging at my heart, and Stan’s too.


The invitation this time is something along the lines of: “You don’t have to live *under* the pain of this waiting anymore. I’m calling you to yes, continue to respond to me in the midst of it, but to simultaneously rise *above* it. See it from my perspective. Begin to pray authoritatively relative to it.”

Via communication from a few different friends, along with a book Stan’s currently reading, God is drawing our hearts toward scriptures related to the authority that’s ours in Christ.

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. —Matthew 18:18

These evenings find Stan and I tucking our kids in and rehearsing over piles of folded laundry the story of Caleb and Joshua and the giants in the promised land. How God wanted to give the giants to His people for lunchhow the giants’ protection had already been removed, if only they would see from His perspective. 

If only they’d look with eyes of faith upon all that stood between them and God’s promise.


So we’ve held hands and wrapped arms around one another and agreed in prayer over the sale of our home, and our prayers are moving away from Lord, PLEASE–, and toward Father, this is what we believe you’ve promised us, so we’re standing in this together, trusting you for breakthrough.

Have we seen a shift in the natural realm yet? Nope. And do I still have moments of feeling discouraged? Um, yes.

But my heart is lighter, my days are brighter, and I feel less like a victim of this season and more like a confident conqueror, because God wants to make all these pesky giants our bread (Num. 14:9).

****

I turn on the playlist I made for the kids this morning as we wrap up breakfast and move into our day’s routine. Is it my imagination, or are they more peaceful than usual? Either way, my heart is peaceful, and there’s something creeping up around the edges of my soul that feels a lot like…

joy.

And that, my friends, is feeling pretty good right about now.

Also? Can I say again that your prayers, your companionship on this journey, and your reflecting back to me my heart as you read it here, are invaluable to me? Because they are. I am so thankful for each of you.

–Sharing with my sweet friends Lisha and Kelli and their lovely communities.–

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