Pillar of Smoke

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people." Exodus 13:21-22

For those who may not know, Andrew is in Physician Assistant School. It is a very difficult program and pretty much requires undivided attention. For the most part, I have been doing well, and I can only give God the honor and praise for that. He has provided amazing people here who have taken me in like family and are supporting me. And even though I take care of all household chores, the lawn, the oil changes, the cooking, grocery shopping, and also financially providing, God has been filling me with such a joy for it. 

A week and a half ago, I stood in the middle of my friend's house at our Community Group through our church and a group of friends laid hands on my shoulders and prayed for me. I was feeling pretty burdened and I missed Andrew. I missed doing life with him and being a team. Many prayed things they didn't even realize would impact me so greatly. One friend in particular unknowingly prayed one of my favorite verses and then another prayed and said that an image of a "pillar of smoke" was coming to mind, like the pillar of cloud spoken about in Exodus for the Israelites. She prayed that God would give me a pillar of smoke to guide me through these 2 years when Andrew is so consumed with school and I am carrying more responsibilities. 

This past weekend Andrew and I finally got time together. Friday night I was feeling overwhelmed with holiday prep for my business and the house was a mess. Andrew came home from lab and told me to close my studio door, work for a few more hours and then we would go get our favorite pumpkin pancakes from IHOP to start off our weekend. While I worked, Andrew cleaned everything. When I walked out of the studio, the house was spotless. I couldn't help the tears that welled up in my eyes. It felt like we were a team again... picking up where the other left off. 

IHOP and a campfire finished off our Friday night.

The next day, we went on a mini 2.5 hour road trip to a beach in Louisiana called Holly Beach. There normally isn't anyone on the beach and you can walk for miles collecting the most beautiful shells. We ended up bringing our dog Baya and it was her first time at the beach. It was such a perfect day.

After eating our little picnic lunch and several hours of walking the beach together, we started our trek back. As we drove and listened to music, all of the sudden, we saw this...

A pillar of smoke. 

We serve a God who doesn't mess around. A God who is incredibly faithful. When you look for Him. When you keep your eyes open for His fingerprints in your life, He will surprise you over and over and over again. I still can't believe that after a friend prayed specifically for a pillar of smoke, Andrew and I, together, literally drove by a sugar cane brush fire, that caused a HUGE pillar of smoke in the sky. It doesn't get much better than that...
This past weekend was so fulfilling. The moments of laughter, deep conversations about our future, children, God and each other. I felt like we were dating again. 
This weekend was my pillar of smoke. 
A reminder that even though we are in a season that doesn't allow us much time together, that I have his breaks to look forward to. And I can rest in knowing that we will make it through this and be stronger for it. 
Andrew and I have this song that we have always liked since before we were married that says, "out of the darkness and into the fire, I'll tell you I love you". To us it means we will love each other through anything. We will fight for us. We won't give up on each other. And I am so thankful to know that I have an amazing community of people here who are supporting us as well. 

God is so good. 

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