I came across this picture while on the search to find another picture. Gosh, it brings back memories. This picture was taken while my new friend Michelle and I were visiting with my dad for a few days in Arizona back in April of 2002. My friend had never seen the Grand Canyon so we hopped on a plane during Spring Break and ventured out West from North Carolina.
I look at this photo and my heart bows down in wonder. This was the rock where healing began. This was the rock where the Lord began peeling back the layers of wounds and speaking words of love and truth to me. This was the rock where the Lord began to teach me the most important lesson I would ever learn: HE was my ROCK.
Some background: The picture above was taken a year and half after the story I share below. In that 18 months, the Lord had taken me on quite a journey. At the time of this picture, I had been sober from alcohol for just four short months. Life was a whirlwind of beauty. I was awake again! I was experiencing a joy so incredibly immense that some days I thought I would burst open because my gratitude meter was truly off the charts. I had received grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy and there was no way I could repay such love.
Below is the story of this rock.
A failed marriage brought me back to my dad’s doorstep in Arizona when I was 27 years old. I had just finished a decade of going from one failure to the next. It was a season of starting over. My only possessions were two dogs, a car full of clothes and kitchen pots and pans. It was hard to come home after living on my own for several years, but I needed to get back on my feet. I knew my dad would have a hard time treating me as an adult. I was his only little girl. After discussing my concerns with him, he suggested I stay in the “guest house.” This offered independence and privacy. Who could pass that up?
The guest house.
Though thankful for a place to live, I jokingly referred to my accommodations as the “shack out back.” It was originally a storage building that my dad had converted into living space. It had one large room which I used as my bedroom. In the corner of the room was a wood burning stove for heat. My new home also (thankfully) had a bathroom.
I knew this would be a special experience from the moment I moved in and discovered two dead mice floating in the bathroom toilet. During the winter, I would prepare a fire at night in the wood burner stove. After several trial and error attempts, I became pretty handy at making a fire that was hot enough to keep me warm at night but not so hot that I was breaking out in a sweat in my tiny living space.
My dad also had an extra microwave oven which fit perfectly on the small counter in the bathroom. I was able to cook my morning oatmeal, make my morning coffee, and shower all in the same room. That’s pretty cool, depending on your perspective. But this was a season in my life when I was deeply grateful for things we often take for granted. I was thankful for a bed. I was thankful for a bathroom. I was thankful for a microwave.
Every morning before the sun rose, my routine would be to stick a cup of water in the microwave and make myself a cup of instant coffee. Definitely not my first choice, but since I didn’t have and couldn’t afford a coffee pot, I was content. I would then take my instant coffee, grab my Bible, wrap up in a blanket and head outside. I always went to the same spot, a big flat rock which was perfect for sitting on and relaxing. Eventually, my dad started to refer to me as a rock lizard because he always saw me sitting on this one rock.
While I lived in the “shack out back,” I returned to that rock every single morning. I looked forward to this time of reacquainting myself with the Lord. After ignoring the Lord for years, we were now talking again on a daily basis. Some days, I would just sit quietly sipping my coffee while He spoke truth into my heart. Other times, I asked for advice or cried out to Him for wisdom. Even though it was a season filled with days of uncertainty, I loved sitting on that rock every morning.
Even though my world seemed to be falling apart, I treasured this time with the Lord.
Choosing to go to this rock every morning was the beginning of huge life change for me. It
was the beginning of a new journey and a new chapter. Failure will often bring you to a
crossroad where an important question must be answered:
Do I continue doing things the same way I have always done them or do I choose to
take a long, hard look at how I got where I am?
And every morning when I wake up today I still have a choice to make. I have to
Will I choose to go to the Rock? Will I choose to consume truth?
After years of running from the truth, I was now ready to hear and consume the answers
found in God’s Word. For years I made the mistake of looking for stability in my life apart from Christ.
What I discovered on this roller coaster journey was that nothing and no one is capable of being my Rock and my Foundation except Christ.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock in whom I take refuge.”
“Keep me safe, O God, I’ve run for dear life to you.
I say to God, “Be my Lord!” Without you, nothing makes sense.”
(Psalm 16:1-2 Message)
I am thankful I can now make this choice to run to my Rock and consume truth with a cup of
freshly ground coffee, brewed in my very own coffee machine!