One of my favorite meals growing up was my mom’s chili. Though I would avoid the diced tomatoes – there was nothing better to me than eating those maroon colored kidney beans. I just loved them! To this day I have a special place in my heart for my childhood delight for those oddly shaped beans. Now when I look at kidney beans I think of my daughter. They take on a whole new meaning and add an even deeper spot of sentiment to them. And that’s what I want to write about. Does God use or care about our sentimentality?
I was a very thoughtful child. A shy, deep thinker and someone who would watch what everyone else would do and just follow along. I remember asking my dad questions about what he did when he was the ripe age of 9 – and he said he didn’t remember! I thought to myself, ‘I will DEFINITELY remember what it’s like to be a kid!‘ Soon after that I took up photography and writing in journals for that very point – to capture the memory. To hold onto the moment. To treasure deeply the feelings and thoughts that came into my heart and mind. I now have over 33 full journals sitting on my book shelf jam-packed with sentimental heart thoughts. It’s how I process through things, and it has grown into a deep personal time with the Lord!
This year I have also seen the pitfall of this gift of being extremely sentimental. Before, dates, places and special occasions caused a joy of remembrance to smile sweetly over. But we have been faced with pain and sadness to grapple with this year, and my heart has had to learn how these treasures are also a catalyst to remember our sorrow. When sentimental memories or anniversaries come along in light of our struggle, just as the joy used to be full – the tears are deep.
Though God has SO clearly given us grace to walk through this next season of trial and our faith is growing stronger, it still hurts. We are not inhuman. We mourn the fact that Corrie may not have a normal playmate or a sister to giggle with. We have to continually surrender our hearts when we welcome healthy babies into our circles. We have to discipline our minds to look to today – and not tomorrow or next year.
We all have things that can be used for joy and sorrow. All of us have things that can trigger happiness or sadness. But the most beautiful thing about those deep places of our inner being is that GOD knows each intricate part of those places. It was through this avenue that God first showed me His love. It is through this avenue that God has spoken to me His desires! Just has He has been faithful in every other practical way, He also asks us this question: “Do you trust me with your heart?”. Is He not able to lead you through the mountaintops as well as the valleys? Even in our pain, does He not walk there with us and show us His love the same? Yes. I can say that He does.
Be encouraged brother or sister. He knows your deepest thoughts and will use them to show you Himself. Trust Him with all of you. He knows it deeper than you do.