One September day 5 years ago, I was wandering the aisles of an arts and crafts store looking for a distraction. My heart ached as I stood on the edge of a decision that weighed heavy.
Have you ever straddled a line? You’ve got one foot firmly planted on either side of a finish line. Stuck there by uncertainty. The future seems fragile at best.
Are you like me sis? You know God has a plan, but you just don’t see it. And to be honest, seeing is believing.
That morning I spent time asking God to help me believe there was something worth saving in this relationship. I cried out to God to just give me a glimpse of hope. I just wanted one single moment of sweet assurance. As I write these words, I recognize this sounds so composed, when in reality I wanted much more. I wanted a clean, clear answer to a messy, clouded question. Should I stay, or should I go?
As I waited for answers, I wandered down aisle after aisle of creative wonders. I found myself in the aisle of “misfit” items. The clearance rack was strewn with assorted novelties. But one small item caught my eye. It was a rubber stamp sitting up straight, its words clean and clearly printed in bold, block letters.
“The Best is Yet to Come”
Sis, have you ever known, just known without a doubt that words were intended for you? As I walked to the checkout with my little piece of hope, I felt my heartache ease. I carried that stamp around in my purse for a year. I needed the sweet reminder that hope lies in the truth of those words.
Then one day a sweet friend was diagnosed with cancer. She stood brave through the trials of treatment. The only thing I held out to her was a little rubber stamp that held hope. I gave her that stamp because hope holds us up when we are straddling a finish line. She survived that cancer and a year later found a friend needing a dose of hope. The stamp once again moved into the hands of someone just longing for encouraging words.
Oh Sis, are you like me, finding yourself in need of hope on a regular basis?
I had just moved for the first time in 32 years and I was desperately lonely. Then my mom died. Cancer took her quickly. So standing alone in a new place, broken hearted, I needed a glimpse of hope. So that sweet friend dug that stamp out of a drawer and pressed it into my hand. Pressed it right into my heart.
Sis, today I sit here as my sweet friend straddles a finish line. Her cancer has returned this time with purpose. She lays in the hospital ready to cross right into God’s loving arms. Her future home is full of light and life and fresh beginnings. I tell her I look forward to embracing her on the other side. I tell her to breathe deep and know the love she feels flow over her is His. I tell her the blanket of peace that brings her comfort is His. And I send her my love and whisper in her ear…the Best is yet to come, the Best is yet to come, the Best is yet to come.
Each of us stands at the finish line wavering because we are weakened by hopelessness. Lord, thank you for giving us glimpses of Your hope. The hope of eternity. The hope of a new beginning when we just don’t see a way through. You promise that you go before us and stand behind us and are always with us. So no matter where we stand we never stand alone. We lean in and depend on that truth because hope is born there. And peace follows and settles in and we whisper sweet prayers of thankfulness for Your Presence. Amen