Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In the garden

Have you ever had one of those CRAZY moments where there's a profound need in your life, then all of a sudden certain details intersect forming the perfect answer to that need? Much more than coincidence could ever create. So extraordinary, in fact, that there's absolutely no way to explain it other than to say it was God? And even saying "it was God" sounds trite, because you know it really WAS Him....the Most High Almighty come down for you alone? And later, when you try to explain it, words are so----not enough? So you end up just hiding the magnitude of it in your heart for always.

Knowing Heaven came down, just for you.

Right when you needed it.

And you'll always be thankful.

Well, that is the story of my garden.

Words can't describe what God did for me there. But I'm going to attempt to put at least some of it in writing. Because I am so thankful and I never want to forget.

Here's a little background:

It'd been an exhausting year for me already after a failed operation, and other painful procedures that led to the conclusion that I now needed an enormous surgery I'd been dreading. (I just deleted where I wrote out what the surgery entailed because it's a tad too violent for this little blog. ;0) Suffice it to say that I now have a 10 inch scar down my stomach and my back. Yikes.

ANY-way, the months leading up to that procedure were an emotional roller coaster.

And the week right before....I completely lost it.

One morning in particular, I woke up claustrophobic with panic. I couldn't stop crying. I quickly called my mom and she came over to help with SaraRose. I knew I needed some space; to get away and go.........somewhere. As I headed out the door I grabbed some info Andrew had about a local Catholic church's prayer garden.

I glanced at the directions, saw it wasn't too far, and decided to drive there not knowing what I'd find or if it was even open to the public. I just knew I needed to get away, even if it was just the corner of a parking lot where I could sit in my car (what I usually ended up doing when I needed to be alone. Not ideal, let me tell ya!)

But when I got there.

Oh, when I got there, I knew this garden was where I was supposed to be in that moment.

I knew God had guided me.

It was freely open, with no fences, no "No Trespassing" signs, no locked gates.....and it was gorgeous. Filled with paths and trees and edged against the open water. It was spacious and peaceful. It was secluded and idyllic. It was just the kind of place that for years I'd been hoping to find.

And best of all, not one other soul was there.

I got out of the car, walked to a stone table overlooking the water and sat down. And then a miracle happened. God came and sat next to me. In my time of greatest need He was there.

I stayed for three and half hours. Just me, God, the blue sky, and the garden. I prayed out loud and cried deep tears. There was no worry of someone hearing. I told Him every fear, hurt and disappointment. The guilt about the burden I was putting on my family. My concern for little SaraRose Joy. The pain that because of me, Andrew was struggling too. The anger, the fear of my health in the future. I talked and cried til there were no more words and no more tears.

At times I sat by the water. At times I laid on the grass. I swung on a hanging porch swing. I walked thru the paths and gardens. God didn't answer my questions, but He was with me at this beautiful place and it was enough. He didn't take away what I was having to face. But He made me able to bear it.

And the beauty of that day in the garden stayed with me. The rest of the time before the surgery, I felt peace. Not because everything was better, but because I knew He knows my deepest needs and that He's able to do the supernatural.

Makes you want to go, doesn't it?

It's been a year since that surgery. And I've since gone back to the garden many times. It's always lovely and fulfilling. But nothing compares to that day. That terrible, perfect day when God Himself guided me and was with me when I needed Him the most.

PS. And I'll never listen to this song the same again....yep, you know the one. ;0)


  1. Kristen,

    My heart knows. You have your moment, the moment that you can always go back to where you KNOW God met you in all this. It is a memorial. Sacred. I have one too. Mine is at the beach. I cried for two hours. It was evening and I didn't care who heard me. The weight I had been carrying for so long finally gave way to tears. Before then, I had tried to cry. I had tried to create some release, but nothing would do it. I never thought it would lighten and I didn't know how to lighten it. Then there was that day where it flowed out of me like a river. After crying and praying and walking and sitting, my sister Jo came for me. We walked back to a parking lot and sat down. I looked up. Clouds were passing over the moon. Then they passed and all that was left was the clear bright peaceful moon. He spoke to me, "This is passing too." I will never forget that day. It is a memorial. A sacred memory of the God of heaven meeting with me and tangibly showing his compassion and grace and love to me. A wonderful memory. Thanks for sharing this. All this is for a purpose. I don't know what exactly, but He gives us enough to keep going, to keep walking, and to keep from turning back. He IS good.

  2. I tried to think of what exactly I wanted to say. All I could come up with was a head nod and a quiet "ya".

    I love you!

    And the hymn, it one of my go to's when I sing to Gavin.

  3. Kristen,

    Thanks for sharing this with me. What a gift. I had such a moment that launched so much of who and where I am today. It's such a gift to have that vivid picture to lean on when the road seems dimly lit and full of stumbling blocks.

    Love you!