July of 2012 I was coming to a close of the season of living alone in The Southern Lady’s house, looking for new housing, new employment to provide for my continuing in the House of Prayer in Fredericksburg & in general, desperate for some MAJOR encouragement from the Lord.
The week of my birthday has ALWAYS been hard, and that year was no exception. The day before I found myself alone, siting outside a local coffee shop sipping a latte & reading Isaiah. For some years now I’ve followed the example of some wise teachers & starting birthday week will for a year pray the chapter in Isaiah & the Psalms that corresponds with that years birthday.
As I came to chapter 26, my heart leapt to grab onto hope that God would come through for me in all of my needs.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts you. Trust in the Lord forever for the Lord, the Lord, is the Rock eternal.
I closed my eyes & breathed it. Read again, whispered it, held the words inside till tears sprang to my eyes & I gave them back with a desperate plea of “be my Rock”.
The path of the righteous is level; O Upright One, you make the way of the righteous smooth….
Lord, you establish peace for us
Stop, read again. Sit. Open to Psalm 26,
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering
My feet stand on level ground
These two chapters, whispered in desperation as prayer back to the Lord, to be what He says, to make level paths for my feet. As I stood up to leave I noticed a sign in the window of the vintage boutique next door, stating that they would only be open upon appointment due to the owners busy schedule. I had always loved the store. Without second thought & I whispered another “Lord, make my path smooth” & dialed the number leaving a message asking the owner if she would hire me to run her store.
This began a series of funny phone calls & my brief, yet wonderful employment for Joni Ulman Lewis at Visual Treats. She loved my tiny dog and let me bring her to the shop with me when I worked. Joni would come in and Honey would run to greet her at the door, then happily follow her upstairs to joyfully receive scraps from Joni’s lunch. I will always look back at that tiny store with its unfaithful heater, squeaky wooden stairs & musty smell with a deep sense of gratitude. It was my down payment, a continual undeniable sign that the Lord was going before me, smoothing out the road, preparing my steps, resolving the problems.
Looking back over the past two years I can’t deny it. Even with the whirlwind of events, 26 was a year of seeing the path being smoothed, coming into greater levels of heart healing, walking into deeper places of knowing peace & being still. It’s funny how the Lord will answer the prayers we pray faithfully, forever marking them in our hearts. Smooth paths, O Lord, place smooth paths beneath our feet. Places where our feet may land firmly and without doubt as we follow You. Places we can’t forget, like stones of remembrances set up as stories to tell those who come after us so that all may declare Your faithfulness.