Six years ago, I read a blog.
My sister in law and I found her as we tried to learn as much about our new lives as possible.
She was a military wife and she was fabulous. She had recipes and furniture plans that made me feel like maybe I could build (I cannot, turns out), tips for making base housing feel like a home, and an amazing attitude about navigating an unusual way of life. She was honest and relatable. We were both pretty hooked.
Woven in through blueberry cream cheese danish recipes and deployment realness was a story she told in a quieter voice. It was a story the likes of which I’d never heard.
This was the story of this woman’s very lovely, free spirit of a preschooler. This preschooler just happened to have gender dysphoria. It was heartbreaking and riveting. I read it to Branden, tearful for this family wading through something I never knew existed.
The writing slowly waned, a struggle most bloggers know, and perhaps hers did for larger reasons than I imagined at the time. Soon Morgan and I were military wives ourselves, and we didn’t need to read it because we were in the throes of living it.
And so I forgot about that blog.
I forgot about it for four and a half years. Even at the beginning of learning what E was going through, it didn’t come to me, but when it did, I was desperate to find her. I had so many questions.
She was nowhere to be found.
When my search failed, it occurred to me that maybe she was never meant to be part of my present journey. She didn’t owe me their story, of course, and her answers couldn’t be my answers, anyway. Not truly.
Her writing and her open honesty that showed me a world I’d never before been exposed to, maybe God, seeing our paths in a way I never could, used it. Maybe he found a very sneaky way to open my eyes and soften my heart. It wasn’t the seed, but it was a breaking up of the soil. There I saw the heart of a mother, and how it ached and worried. I saw a bright, brave child in the midst of what must have felt so uncertain. They were easy to see, the feelings easy to empathize with. No mama wants their babies to be on a hard road.
She will never know what she did for me, or how God used her in such an unlikely way. But in this season, with Easter approaching, remembering this reminded me how often his grace goes before us, in big ways and small.
He’s packed up things for a journey we have no idea we’ll be taking, and when that time comes, if we are willing to unpack it all, it somehow has all we need. Miraculous. We often think of sowing as the beginning, but he is working on us well before then. He is speaking words into our hearts that maybe don’t seem to make sense right now.
Oh, but they will.
If faith is made strong from reflection and seeing where God was faithful, then we may be wise to go further back; back beyond the sowing. We need to look at the places where we’ve been stretched, challenged, broken, and uncomfortable.
There is patience in the sowing, there is beauty, so much beauty in the reaping. But the awe of a God like ours, for me, lies in what he’s done before we know he’s doing anything. Such is his story in me, and such is his story throughout creation. His ways are so beautiful and intricate, so patient and loving that my mind can’t fathom it, and my heart can barely contain it.
His grace is sufficient, and it’s there before we dare to imagine we need it, and for that I cannot help but praise.