Have you ever put yourself in the middle of a miracle? Like, paddled yourself out into the middle of the ocean, KNOWING you’d need a miracle to get back to land? Maybe it’s a miracle in your marriage. Or a miracle in your job. Or a dream that has taken residence in your heart for umpteen years that has been dormant for so long. Or maybe you need a miracle in something you’ve been carrying for so long, yet you have no idea how to let it go or how to move forward.
I’ve never been good at trusting God, let alone trusting others. If I were to be honest, that’s one of my constant struggles. But as I’ve learned (the hard way), when I try and control life, I tend to suffocate everyone involved until it explodes. 💥 I wouldn’t recommend it. 😬
I mean, who would willingly row themselves out into the middle of the ocean, just to be stranded?
Who would willingly run into their past pain + trauma just to feel the deep abyss of darkness where you can’t even breathe?
Who would willingly write a book when no publisher is interested + you’ve never really been a writer?
After my sister passed away, I found myself walking through something so terrible, so devastating, so heavy + I was faced with the reality that I would carry this for the rest of my life. And if there’s anything that will make you quit at life, it’s that right there.
So, why didn’t I quit? Why didn’t I allow the grief to swallow me whole?
Because I’ve never met a valley that He won’t fill.
Because even though I walk through the shadow of death, He is with me.
Because Jesus has walked with me before + He’ll walk with me again.
I’m still alive because it’s not the end.
I reference my sister + dad’s death a lot as they are the most recent fires I’ve walked through. Before June of 2018, you better believe I walked through the fire…. so many fires. So many storms. So much pain + trauma. And for every single one of them, I leaned on Jesus to carry me, lead me, strengthen me. I’ve lost count on how many times I paddled out into the middle of the storm + screamed, “I need help!”.
Every time, I needed a miracle.
And every time He came through.
…even if the miracle was just making it out of the fire alive.
I can remember in November of 2014, I was a full-time working mom. My husband + I were pastoring a church plant (with no financial backing) + it was only wisdom that I would get a job to help provide for our family. This was the cross I carried; the fire I walked through for 5 years. My kids were little back then: Justus was 10, Judah was 8 + little Izzy was 5. One night I got home late from work but Izzy was still awake in her bed. I quickly rushed in to say goodnight but noticed that she was sad. “Mommy, you weren’t there today when my class sang our songs at school. I looked around at all the other mom + dad's + I couldn’t find you.”
My heart broke.
Tears began to roll down my cheeks as her lower lip quivered to try + be a brave little thing + not cry.
All I could do was hug her so tight + cry with her.
I was angry.
I was sad.
I was undone.
In a heartbeat I’d have quit my job + sell everything just to ensure I’d make it to every freaking preschool parent day from that day forward. But that wasn’t what God had for us. So day after day, night after night for 5 years, I paddled out into the middle of the water + ached for a miracle.
And that’s all we can do, right?
The act of getting in the boat + paddling.
Being faithful in the mundane tasks so that God can do the impossible.
I didn’t quit my job to launch Audra Thurman Design until 2019. So my miracle didn’t come for 5 years. But as I look back on that season, I see that the true miracle was Jesus exchanging His strength for mine. I look back + wonder how in the world I made it FIVE YEARS. I missed so many things… so many memories that weren’t made because I wasn’t around very much. But somehow I had enough strength to paddle out + hope for that miracle 1,825 times.
Five years times 365 days.
I’d say that’s a pretty big miracle.
What does it look like for you to put yourself in the middle of a miracle?