I spent a season of my life visiting the little prayer chapel every Tuesday during my lunch hour. I started out so afraid to make the trek down the sidewalk and up to the heavy double doors that led into the sacred place of prayer…because I was afraid of what people might think if they saw me. In truth, it’s unlikely anyone ever noticed, and if they did, they probably didn’t give it a second thought, but in my mind, crowds lined the windows of neighboring buildings, and as I took step after step, they would whisper amongst themselves, trying to figure out what was so wrong in my life that I needed to make this trip week after week.
So for those first several weeks, I scurried down the sidewalk and tried to disappear entirely behind the solid doors, enveloped into the privacy of the tiny room. And if anyone else happened to be inside, I’d slither into the back seat, scoot so far into the corner that my hip hurt from hitting the side of the pew, and I’d hold my breath, begging silently to remain unnoticed.
Most of the time, the place was empty when I arrived, leaving me the freedom to relax in my seat and pour my heart out before the Lord. The request was usually the same: when could I meet my husband? I prayed and prayed over the Mr. Missing that I hoped against hope actually did exist out there.
From my perch in the pew – regardless of which pew it might be – I’d glance forward to the art hanging on the front wall. I knew from reading about the building that every element of the place held significance. Every window. Every piece of art. Everything had been crafted to mean something important to believers who would come to pray.
And the art to the front represented the pillar of fire and the pillar of cloud that led the Israelites out of Egypt into the Promised Land. I would shift my gaze back and forth from fire to cloud and beg God to use EITHER of them to lead me. I felt like I walked through a cloud – namely a thick fog. I couldn’t see anything promising in front of me…or behind me…or beside me…or above me. I would close my eyes and imagine what it might feel like to walk behind the cloud and follow its lead toward hope. Cloud. Fire. I didn’t care. I just wanted clear direction.
Six years later, I sit on a couch, beside the husband I prayed for, thankful for the way God did lead. Thankful for the cloud and fire that eventually materialized and led me toward that Promised Land. And yet as I sit here, I am again in a season of waiting. A season in which I feel enveloped in fog and completely unsure of where to go and what to do. A season in which I move forward in prayer and try not to fall back into old habits of worrying about what others might be thinking of my struggle.
The details are different than before, but the confusion that swallows me feels the same. I find myself facing forward, begging God to lead clearly, and yet even as I ask, I know He’s doing it. My marriage is proof of that. Even when I couldn’t see…when I plodded ahead in the fog…He led. And eventually it became clear and I followed in confidence. So as I plod forward now, I do so trusting that the fog will eventually clear and ahead I’ll find a clear leading – in the right timing.
Trusting doesn’t get easier in terms of waiting for the right time, but it does get easier in terms of knowing I can wholeheartedly trust the One Who makes the clouds and leads by them. His compassions didn’t fail for the Israelites, they haven’t failed for me, and they won’t start now.
Bekah Shaffer wears many hats throughout the day, serving as a wife, writer, blogger, radio producer, and commuter. But under the hats, she's a redeemed and restored daughter of the Most High King. She loves life with her husband, after waiting 34 years to be married, and she loves to scrapbook, cook, make memories and point others toward the Lord!
Find Me Online: www.bekahsbits.blogspot.com