I've known for a long time that God is our refuge and that He provides us with strength when we lean on Him and His Word. What I didn't realize was just how much strength He truly gives, especially in the hardest days. We've had our share of hard times, times when we weren't sure what tomorrow would hold, in terms of our future dreams. But, none of those times came close to what my sister and her husband are facing.
Friday, February 25, 2022 started just like any other normal day (aside from being home with Riley who had went to bed Thursday feeling sick). I knew Shay and Nathan had went on vacation the night before, off on another hiking adventure with their turbo twins, Roscoe and Cooper, which meant I expected to hear nothing from Shay for the weekend. When they go on hikes, they may or may not have cell service, so I know that she'll update me with trip photos when she can! I was definitely not expecting a phone call from her on day one of their trip, let alone the call that I received.
When my phone rang that day, I expected to look down and see Jesse's name on my caller ID, so I was pretty confused when my phone showed that Shay was calling. The first words I heard were, "We could use prayers right now, we got a call that there is smoke and flames coming out of our house." No one wants to get the news that their home is in flames, especially when they are hours away, in another state, three miles from their vehicle, but that's exactly how they received the devastating news.
In a week's time, Shay and Nathan have lost a home, but also have been true examples of showing others what it looks like to lean into the Lord, and trust Him during their hardest trial. They haven't let the tragedy of losing their home and cat, Maya, turn them away from His loving arms, but instead through a shower of support from their community, co-workers, and our hometown, have saw just what God's love can provide, including strength to make it through the toughest days.
Each time I've seen or talked to them in the past week, they've shown more strength than I knew was possible in such a short time after having their world turned upside down. They have done a great job of keeping smiles on their faces, even through tears of overwhelm, and have not their love for Christ be pushed aside or put on the backburner. I have learned quite a bit from these two, and I'm sure in the course of the next several months (and more), I'll continue to learn what it's like to really lean in and trust the plan God has in store for us, and hold on to the strength that He offers as trials occur.
What Shay and Nathan are going through shows proof of Psalm 46:1, God is our refuge and strength. He has continued to provide for them in the way of a roof over their heads, and strength to continue to adapt to their new life, and overcome the tragedy they faced last week.
What ways has the Lord been your refuge and strength?