Monday, September 21, 2015

September Splendor

September has wrapped herself in the wonder of summer’s twilight. Misty, rose-colored sunrises spread out like a soft veil rising. Apricot colored sunsets melt across the horizon with golden threads of light, weaving a new tapestry every single night.

Sunflowers are the only thing that grew in the big garden spot this year.

They flourished right where they found themselves growing, standing strong and wild with their wide faces pushed toward the sky.

September, she holds some pieces of my soul woven tightly with threads of grace.

In a mere moment, one crisp September morning, all my dreams were wrenched and tangled and I found myself where I didn't want to be.

There was a great uprooting. A ripping and tearing, and if you had asked me then, it would have been impossible to see the good or how anyone could survive it.

Quite frankly, it was a wound I didn't want to recover from. I certainly didn't want to do the work to walk though it and there was no walking around.



Perhaps it was in the pain.

In the silence of dark nights, when dawn refused to rise.

That is where the seed began to grow  ––where I began to grow.

In the stark void of light in my world, this is where I met the God who had pursued me all my life.

The One, whose voice I only heard in small moments and soft whispers.

I was too busy, to proud, too independent to respond.

But this Jesus captures hearts and cares for the vulnerable and brokenhearted.

Have you read about Job? The man who had it all, the man who lost it all, the man who was given more in the end than he had in the beginning? 

The story shows how God is able to redeem what is lost and restore what was taken.

Still, Job buried his oldest seven sons and three daughters.

His loss was greater than most any of us will ever endure, but what I know is that profound loss changes you.

It has the potential to destroy you or drive you into the arms of God.

Or, in my case, when I finally fell apart, He was there to catch me.

September reminds me of the bounty of the season and the beauty in the dying.

JQ swung the small frame of a young girl high, so she could pluck a few leaves from the tree outside the courthouse. Light pierced through the branches holding gold, orange and crimson colored leaves.

September days.

The waning hours of daylight bring out the deep tones, just before every tree around us is left bare and exposed.

On that day, the tap-tap of small patent leather shoes echoed across thick terrazzo flooring, the sound ricocheting off grey marble mop boards and rising above our heads in the massive stairwell that led to the judge's chambers.

The two beautiful blondes, they skipped up three flights of stairs, their giggles arriving ahead of us, leading into the courtroom. There, an over-sized desk, with rich tones of ebony stain, framed the judge in his black robe.

We were wearing our Sunday best kind of clothes and they hid all the scars that had brought us to this place.

With little fanfare and a rap of his gavel, JQ officially pledged to take care of the girls and they took his name.

He had rightfully gained the love and trust of each of us. He held our hearts. He paid our bills. He most always had a yes for every dream that we dreamed.

If only there were more men like him who would stand in the gap for the fatherless.

Many men are called, but how many respond?

For us, there was a September miracle and JQ was much braver than he could have known.

It's no small thing to raise daughters and love your wife well and be all God made you to be.

And who can understand how God weaves families together?

Our family is a blend. A beautiful patchwork stitched together with tears and mistakes and prayers.

And laughter.

And sticking it out when it seemed ridiculous to even try.

And in the unsteady moments, to raise an open palm hand and tell the Lord "no matter what.... You are the One we serve...."

Signing a legal paper was the easy part.

We solidified the family-ness of our family by living one day at at time.

One choice to stay at a time.

One action to love at a time.

If love is a verb ––family is a verb.

The everyday things add up to years and made us deeply who we are.

And we are more together than we are apart.

Undeniably we are a family. 

God mended us together in a way that would display His glory. Gratefully, our family is a testimony to the complete goodness and grace of God.

It is good, so good, to be reminded how God is in the business of picking up the shredded patches of our lives, taking the dark threads to form a backdrop of masterfully woven cords of His grace to display His glory.

Really people..... this is my life story. The one I will tell until I have no breath in my lungs.

Some believe the face of the sun flower follows the sun across the sky. It symbolizes longevity and focused devotion to seeking the light.

And it thrives where it finds itself planted.

May we follow that living example and push our faces to the sky and keep our eye on the Son.

What is your story?

How has God knit your family together?


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© Rhonda Quaney