30 Oct 2012

When the storms come, keep writing

So I sit in the dark as Sandy rages outside and our family sleeps in one room tonight. I sit in the old white rocker listening to Zoe breathe and the winds howl and I know why we need your words. Even in a storm.

Especially in a storm.

Because if no one wrote it down how would we know about small boats and fishermen who lose control and their nets and their minds with fear even when they sail with Saviors.  How would we know about Saviors who teach us how to sleep on unafraid in this dark, cold house?

How would we know about faith small as a mustard seed or the size of an acorn a rattling around our deck porch.

How would we know about Kingdoms that come quietly with Truth that walks beside us in dirty feet and sandals.

How would we know about lions and dark caves and men who just kept right on praying. How would we know about small girls who stood up when he called them by name. How would we know about fellowship and courage and the acts of believing in the face of the Impossible.

How would we know that when the clouds bear down and the rains crack heaven right open and the waters wash into the metro systems that morning still comes? How will we know if the people who’ve lived it don’t leave a testimony.

Tonight Jackson tells me we need to build an altar.

I’m stacking 24 packs of bottled water and my first born turns away from the storm tracker to tell me it is time for an altar.

I’m not sure what to say. My head is racing with the meat I want to cook, the laundry I still need to dry, the phone calls I should make. I look at him, those glasses so solemnly staring. And I agree. Yes an altar of remembrance for the God who can do great things seems a good idea.

They eat their tacos and I turn to the story of a flood that could shame even this one. We read it again. The man, the family, the calling to build a boat bigger than their history would have even been able to make sense of. The days of darkness and fear and frustration. Why hadn’t I paid that part attention before.

The squabbling kids and tired, confined animals. The much longer than 40 days of waiting. We read this story not just because someone lived it. But because someone faithfully wrote it down.

They’re getting restless and there are still lists to be made and I turn the last page and there it is. God’s own writing in the heavens. Plastered from side to side the oath that He won’t let it happen again. The ultimate flood.

Trials may buffet and waters may rise. Roads may wash away and trees ache low over this house of ours. But I believe because someone else wrote it down and left a road map. I believe because of the altars left by the storytellers who came before me and these two boys who won’t sleep in their bunks tonight.

So I type my testimony in the dark while the house sleeps and my glasses are reflected in this small phone’s screen. I type and I tell because how can I not?

They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…

From a small, white rental house in Northern Virginia where we are so grateful to have baked all the cookie dough, this is my testimony.

And so I write it down.

As good men and women have always done before me.

UPDATED: Power back on. So grateful for the brave teams working around the clock to serve so many.

Comments

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  1. 1

    I’m praying for you all Lisa-Jo! I’ve worked in Northern Virginia, and I’ve lived through hurricanes though none so intense as this. Lord keep the one’s you love in this household and throughout all the areas affected by this storm. May your Kingdom Grace & Mercy been seen and known by those who love you and by those who don’t know you yet in Northern VA and elsewhere where the storm has passed or is passing. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

  2. 2

    Beautiful words. Yes! We need to build monuments to make much of His extravagant goodness. “One generation shall declare your works to another…”Hope you and yours are safe and well.

  3. 3

    Blessed by your words in the dark….and words I heard you speak this weekend. Praying you remain safe.

  4. 4

    Keep building those altars with your words, Lisa-Jo. Praying for you this morning.

  5. 5

    I think this is my favorite post of your series, a reminder to lay our words down as our Ebenezer, a stone to remind us–God is our help. In the lions den, in the unknown, and in the storm, we write to remember.

    Praying for all of you on the East Coast today and in the clean up to come!

  6. 6

    Praying for the safety of you and your family, Lisa-jo! Continue writing those words, His words.

  7. 7

    This is such a moving testimony. You write beautifully!

  8. 8

    Just weeping over the beautiful truth of this, Lisa Jo. Wow. I love this so much.

  9. 9

    Thanks … you just confirmed that I did the right thing in continuing on with that 31 Day Challenge, even though my father-in-law died and a dear friend died and we had to drive 600 miles to find a new place for my mother-in-law to live … and and and …

  10. 10

    and again…to become like a child…prayers and blessings…stay dry and warm~blessings~

  11. 11

    Beautiful, beautiful words that made me cry just the littlest bit ;) Thank you so much, Lisa-Jo, for going ahead and writing these words in the dark…words that are moving our hearts all around this morning! I’m still praying for you and your sweet family. (And so very GLAD you showed cookie-wisdom!) God bless you this morning…

  12. 12

    “I type and I tell because how can I not?” This is exactly where I am – processing through a journey of God’s faithfulness, of my questions, and so much more as we try to figure out the delays of our youngest son. I have to write because God is somehow, someday, going to use the story of my son for His Glory. I believe He is already doing so.
    Praying for you all in the storm.

  13. 13

    Amen! Praying for you guys today.

  14. 14

    Thank you for giving us this beacon. You shine so bright…even in the dark.

    praying we all conform to our childlike faith and worship in the chaos. God can never have too many altars.

  15. 15

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Brought tears to my eyes. I’m keeping you and all of our brothers and sisters in my prayers. It is a scary time, but HE is faithful!

    Blessings to you and your family!

  16. 16

    THIS IS SO AMAZING, I WAS IN AWE OF THE CREATIVE GENUIS IN THIS WRITING … LISA JO, YOUR GIFT IS INCREDIBLE.

  17. 17

    I am so thankful you share your testimony with us. It is a gift!

    Continuing to pray for all those in your area. Much love.

  18. 18

    You typed all that on your PHONE?! Dang, lady – I’m uber impressed.

    So glad ya’ll are staying safe <– (I never say ya'll in real life b/c I'm Canadian, but the sweet southern ladies I met at Allume said I could totally pull it off, bless their hearts ;)

  19. 19

    Out of the mouth of babes…so love this Lisa-Jo. And the heart of your little man. Praying for you all today friend. Blessings.

  20. 20

    Beautiful words Lisa Jo. Our family has weathered many hurricanes in Alabama but I will look upon them with new light next time. I hope y’all are staying safe and dry in Virginia. It was so nice to chat with you on Thursday night at Allume and I thank you for being so easily accessible while at the conference. It was illuminating!

  21. 21

    I follow your blog – I don’t often comment. But I just have to tell you that your testimony is beautiful and I appreciate it. I also know what it feels like to sleep alone in a dark house and pray that my tiny faith is enough to dispel my great fear. I am grateful for the Savior and the promises He has made to us. Sending you warm wishes and thoughtful prayers. May God bless you and keep you safe and protected!

  22. 22
    Julie Reynolds says:

    Oh my Lisa-Jo, this brought tears to my eyes… thank you for your beautiful heart which flows with beautiful words! Thank you,

  23. 23

    simple, yet profound. Glad you’ve got power back (and also impressed with your typing thumbs!).

  24. 24

    LisaJo, you spoke my heart. God has been pouring this verse into the crevices of my life for weeks now. Thank you for the affirmation-I am so glad that you are all safe.

  25. 25

    What a beautiful reflection, Lisa-Jo. I’m a brand-new subscriber and just love your writing! How wonderful that you could not only find strength and courage from our forefathers in the faith, but that you’re passing that faith along to your children. Heard about you at Allume and am blessed because of it. Thank you.

  26. 26

    Thanks for reminding me that, even through all of the chaos, there is a God who loves enough to give His promise. That there is an Ultimate plan, even when all I can see is darkness and the fear is enough to overcome me.

  27. 27

    Oh, my you sitting there in the dark, your family all around you, pouring out truth like you do . . It was beautiful to be able to picture you typing now {even on your phone!} from the privilege of sitting next to you last week when your fingers were a whirl during 5-minute Friday. You are glorious in how you shine, holding those beautiful children of yours and speaking aloud the words He whispers to your heart . . to bless us here. Thank you.

  28. 28

    Love this. Such powerful truth. So pleased you’re all ok. You’re such a strong beam of light, shining for Him.

  29. 29

    Beautiful words. Hope you are okay after the storm. I’m curious…what did your son mean? I thought you were going to say y’all made a makeshift hurricane style altar out of the water bottles.

  30. 30

    You, LIsa-Jo, and your stores are an incredible gift. Thank you.

  31. 31

    Loved hearing your testimony of what He taught you through this storm…glad you are safe and thankful for God’s protection over all of us here in the NoVa area and so many others who were in the path of the storm.

  32. 32

    “How will we know if the people who’ve lived it don’t leave a testimony.”
    He’s speaking to me through your words here. Thank you for sharing this testimony, for reminding me that my kids need my attention before the laundry and the next post. And the next young mom to come behind me will be reminded too. So blessed by you!

  33. 33

    Wow, Lisa-Jo, wow. The way you weave the universal and the personal, the mundane and the extraordinary is exquisite. So thankful for your light piercing through the darkness as you proclaim His light and faithfulness. Bless you and this testimony, these words, your dear family. Grateful you are all safe and holding close.

  34. 34

    Just wanted to drop a note to say thanks for this post; I needed it. And find it interesting that my child also wanted to re-read the “Noah story” as she calls it. I think our children know something more, something deeper than we could ever know in situations like this. And it’s our job to tell them the truth as we know it, that if there is Jesus, there is hope. On another note–really glad you all are safe and warm!

  35. 35

    I didn’t see this post when it first appeared – I saw it today as you re-posted it. I feel as if God had you re-post it today specifically for me. I am in the middle of a storm right now – an emotional one that has left me feeling hurt, broken & empty. I needed a rainbow this morning because I’m not sure why I’m on this path right now – I suppose I simply need to focus on His promise and know there is a plan and a reason for everything….

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