He had always been there. Of course, He was the Author, Jehovah Shammah—The Lord is There.
We all love stories. Especially our own, and that’s okay when we know the Author, when we know that the Author tells a beautiful story in every life—every life that opens its pages to Him. I opened my pages to the Author at the end of myself.
I was that rebellious teen (starting at age two). While I was writing my own story, a sadness enveloped me. The more the sadness tightened its grip, the more I ran my own way … until I came to the end of myself, until I came to the Author. The Author of Life. Why I ran my own way seems strange to me now. My story was fear and darkness, and the kind of loneliness that intensifies in the crowd and noise of the party. His story was light and love, hope and peace. Joy.
I found that He had been there, always. I could trace Him, everywhere. Like a song playing in the background. When I opened the pages of my heart to the Author of Life, the melody He sang was a sweet and familiar one. He had been there, singing over me. Jehovah Shammah—The Lord is There. So, with a thankful heart, I say again, my story isn’t really my story. It is His. He, who makes beauty of ashes. In Him, my life became mine. He wrote the true story of my life. He knew. He knew me. He knew my heart. He gave me the desires of my heart. He perfects my life. Not in the way of worldly perfection, but by showing me, making me who I am designed to be. Ahh, freedom.
As I near my sixth decade (shocked by that figure), I have peace, peace that passes understanding. You see, the Author has beckoned me to a rich calling—to prayer. He calls me to Himself. He calls me to press on, to get up and start over when I fail. To do so because He is Love. To do so because He understands my weaknesses, my sin, my imperfection, my frailty. I pray because He is There, always ready to lift my face to see His love and grace. My story is His Redeeming Love.
My Moms in Prayer story is woven perfectly into the fabric of my life. Once again, my true story began when I came to the end of myself. When I was ill equipped for the rigors of motherhood and wanting more than anything to do it well. Overwhelmed by this desire and aware of my inability, I prayed. Through those prayers, God led me to Fern on the radio speaking to my heart about moms praying together.
Through prayer, God found me a mom on the playground who was starting a Moms in Prayer group. Through united, scriptural prayer with moms, God returned a peace and strength to be the best mom I could be, to press on. Through prayer, I found in my weakness, a strong God. In my guilt, a loving God. In my lack, a wise God. In it all, a Jehovah Shammah—The Lord is There God.
Absorbing the attributes of God has shaped my life, my understanding, in powerful ways. Our Moms in Prayer hours, poured out for 24 years, always start like all Moms in Prayer groups across this globe, by praising God for who He is. I now know a Righteous God. I serve an El Shaddai, Almighty God; I worship a Jehovah Sabaoth—Lord of Hosts God; I hope in a Jehovah Jireh—The Lord Will Provide God. I wait on a Wise God. I pray to a Merciful God, to a Savior God.
It was always Jehovah Shammah. Always with me God, who knew my story, who wrote my story from before time, who wove Moms in Prayer into the heart of my story.
My story is now of grandchildren, of an empty nest, gray hair and memories with the man who has stood by me through it all. Memories that adorn our hearts like the pictures that grace our walls. It is a good story, a good life, in Him. The struggles, the pain, the joy, such joy, written on the pages of my story by the One who authored me.
Laurie Gaspar embraces an empty nest with Jim, her hubby of 34 years. Although she calls Delavan, Wisconsin home, Washington state sees a lot of Laurie. That is where she can hear her four sweet grand babies melodiously speak her favorite name LoLo. Oh yes, she has three married children and this empty nest thing lends itself to calling them friends.