The God who sees...

Sometimes I am totally stopped in my tracks by the Lord...warning, this is long! You know those moments, where you just pause and your heart overflows with praise because of something the Lord did for you? I'm typing this while I'm in the middle of one of those moments. Just when my spirits were low tonight, I decided to take Ryley out and get the mail...maybe my People magazine would cheer me up?

This has been a long mission's trip for some reason; I'm just really missing Travis. Unfortunately, last night I got very little sleep and that didn't help. I've had a slight sore throat this week, but last night it became more than a sore throat and I found myself coughing, sneezing and aching all over...yuck. So, I dragged myself to the minute clinic and it turns out that I have an upper respritory infection. Double yuck. Of course this stuff always happens to me when I'm home alone, and out of communication with my husband. So, I pouted a little this morning, mostly because my ears hurt and I can't breathe, and I sort of felt sorry for my lonely, sick self. But, God saw me and he heard my plea and all day he's been giving me doses of grace.

I didn't anticipate hearing from Travis until Monday night, because they headed to the mountains today to backpack for a few nights, and obviously there is no cell phone service there...however, of course he found a random spot with service and he called this morning while I was in the shower, so I missed it. You have to understand that when Travis is gone, I carry my phone next to my ear the whole time...I HATE missing a call from him. I need to hear from him. So, to miss that opportunity this morning, I started my day in tears. I knew this was going to be a long weekend! But God saw my tears and while I was getting my haircut this afternoon, I missed another call from him...I was on the verge of crying in the mall when I decided to try him, knowing he wouldn't answer. But guess what? He did answer and we got to talk for 15 minutes, which suddenly made my day and made me feel that much better. Thank you Lord! I needed that.

So this afternoon, I walked around the mall a little bit and picked up my prescription and was totally I headed home. Since then, I've been laying (lying?-whatever) in bed, feeling worse than I did this morning, with a fever, by myself. I'm bored of tv, I've been on the internet all day, and my dog is staring at me because I've basically ignored him. It hasn't been my best night. But, like I said, I got motivated to get up and take Ryley out, and I figured I'd just get my mail too. Again, God graced me.

I found a white envelope, addressed to me, with no return address in the stack of bills. It didn't look at all familiar and it's not really close to my birthday, so I opened it with no idea what to expect. Inside I found this letter:

Dear Stephanie,

Here at LeaderTreks we wanted to express our appreciation to you this week as your spouse is out on a trip. We understand the sacrifice that you must make having your spouse in a leadership position in ministry and away from your home. Thank you for supporting the work that God is doing in the lives of the students and the community they are serving. We understand that it may get difficult at times, carrying on at home and not out on an adventure, but the support you provide your spouse is admirable.

We simply wanted to thank you and bless you. Please treat yourself this week by using the enclosed gift card. It's our small way of showing appreciation for all that you do throughout the year that many times goes unnoticed in ministry. Thanks for allowing your spouse to make an impact on the Kingdom this week and focus on the development of students. We hope that your week is enjoyable for you, too!

God bless,
The LeaderTreks Staff

Along with that letter was a $25 visa gift card. Can you believe that? I share this because I know that most of my friends who read this blog are walking in my shoes, being the wife of a youth pastor. While it brings such rewards and lots of joy, there are real times of discouragement and lonliness while your husband is out ministering and you're home working or taking care of the kids. I cannot tell you what those words have meant to me tonight. I still feel bad, my nose won't stop running, and I look awful, but my heart is touched and sensitive to what I read. I truly believe the Lord uses things like this to reach down and put his arms around us, and remind us that He sees us. He knows the long days, the one-sided chores, the lonely nights, and the longing to be thanked, acknowledged. And while he doesn't have to recognize us, because we're so unworthy in light of him, he chooses to delight his child and walk with us hand in hand. I'm in tears at the thought of my Savior caring so intimately for me tonight. He wrote those words for me and he knew I'd need them tonight. I haven't gotten the mail for a couple of days, so it's probably been sitting there, but I needed to read that tonight, right now.

I hope that lifts your hearts and I hope you can claim those words for your own long days. It's a privilege to be a child of God and I want to praise Him before you, our El Roi, "the God who sees."


Sarah said...

Thanks for posting your heart. I'm dreading Jed's trip to Costa Rica. It kills me that they need a female leader, and with all three of my small group gals going too! But it's either be away from my husband for 10 days or away from my little baby. I'm so thankful our God is compassionate in times like these.

Stacey Bevers said...

You have such a sweet spirit, Stephanie. Thank you for your encouraging words! I haven't had to be away from Beau in a while, but I know it is coming with him returning to ministry in a couple of weeks. I will remember your words in the lonely times. I am sure they are soon to come. I miss visiting with you and pray you feel much better soon!

amy said...


What an encouragement! When Justin was gone to Montgomery, AL for 6 weeks, it was the hardest time in my life! I wish that someone from my church had blessed me as you were blessed! God is sooo good!