Have you ever read the little devotional book “Streams in the Desert?” I’ve picked up several copies over the years at thrift stores or at used book stores. I have read and reread and marked up the pages of this sweet little book through the years – its been such an encouragement to me time and time again. (you can pick up a copy here or keep your eyes open for one at your local thrift store 🙂 )
June 2008, a sweet missionary couple was visiting our church in Saskatchewan. Parking their adorable little camper in our yard, we were thrilled they could be with us for a whole week.
Suspecting Laura H was around my age or perhaps a little older, I started probing her with some “hormonal/menopausal” questions. I wanted some answers and wasn’t afraid to ask. Past generations were afraid to talk about such things, but not this girl! If someone had “been there, done that” I wanted to know what to expect and what to pack for the trip!
I’m sure she give me practical advice for the hormonal roller coaster ride I was on, but what I remember most was what she said she learned on her “early ride” through menopause and how the Lord got her through it. (NOTE: I am in no way saying you don’t go see your doctor if you’re struggling with health/hormonal problems; I’m only telling you what helped me in my own personal journey. 😉 )
Not only did Laura have a difficult time with the hormonal side of things, she had also been recovering from brain and neck surgery, and struggling with some outside issues, which made everything else harder and more complicated. But there she was…sitting on my deck that afternoon, still serving the Lord, still loving Him and serving Him.
Maybe you won’t find these little tidbits helpful, but I know it helped save my life…my spiritual life, that is.
Later, I wrote in my journal…
“[Laura] said that one of the things that got her through was just doing right (reading [her Bible], praying, going to church…) out of duty. One foot in front of the other. She didn’t realize it at the time, but afterwards she knew that’s what got her through. Said her ‘feelings’ were all messed up and felt that God was far, far away. Silly, little things upset her (like her daughter didn’t stir her tea right!). So in a nutshell, she said how I’m feeling is normal (normal?! ugh – I hate it!) and it will not last forever! Surely there is an end!
“I know I’ve come across other ladies who really struggled through their menopause and though they’re ‘through’ it, they didn’t really get victory in it. Now they are in other trials and its the same thing – barely getting through and not really learning anything that will enable them to ‘call back’ to others. Laura said that because I want to get through this and be a help and blessing to others, the Lord will help me and enable me to be just that.”
I know as women it can be very difficult not to live by our feelings…VERY difficult! I’ve had many times when God has felt so far away, as I’m sure you have too. But that’s when we need to get our Bibles out, or our little notebooks that we’ve put verses and quotes in, and read it and be reminded what God says and believe it!
Side note: I’d like to challenge you to start your own notebook, if you don’t have one already. Fill it with all the things that help you and cheer you on to keep doing right and living for God. (I love to sprinkle the pages with pretty stickers too 🙂 ) Maybe you don’t have someone in your life right now to give you a little pep talk when you need one; be like David and “encourage yourself” so later you will be able to “call back” and encourage others, like Laura did to me that week.
The first page in my notebook says,
(Don’t tell anyone that I talk to myself sometimes, ok?! Thanks! 😉 )
One last thing I want to tell you about the visit I had with Laura; it will explain the title of this post, in case you’ve been wondering. 😉 ) She brought in her “Streams in the Desert” book and had me read the December 19 entry…
“Life is a steep climb, and it does the heart good to have somebody ‘call back’ and cheerily beckon us on up the high hill. We are all climbers together, and we must help one another. This mountain climbing is serious business, but glorious. It takes strength and steady step to find the summits. The outlook widens with the altitude. If anyone among us has found anything worth while, we ought to ‘call back.'”
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back —
‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith’s light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.
Call back, and tell me He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest’s roots were torn;
That, when heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.
Oh, friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.
But if you’ll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you’ll say He saw you through the night’s sin-darkened sky —
If you have gone a little way ahead, oh, friend, call back —
‘Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
So, my friend, I’m calling back. He did go with me into the storm, and He bore me up and held me where the air was still. Yes indeed, He heard my prayer when it was but a cry and He saw me through the night’s sin-darkened sky. Keep climbing, dear friend; taking one step at a time. Rest if you must, but don’t quit!! Be of good cheer!