What’s Your Inside Story?

My husband was recently home on a twenty day break in the middle of his twelve month Army deployment.

It was a bittersweet time.

We desperately wanted to enjoy each other’s company, but the black cloud of his impending return to Kuwait was never fully out of sight. It was a feat of sheer willpower for us to focus on our time together instead of the long, dreary days of separation ahead.

We were determined to enjoy every one of the 28,800 minutes he was home.

And we did.

He and I splurged on an adults-only overnight get-away. The whole family took several hikes along our favorite trails. We played games, face-timed far away family, worshipped together, ate special meals, and took lots of pictures.

But by far, the most memorable thing we did was take the boys on a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Grapevine, TX. What a blast! We swished down the water slides, splashed in the pools, and relaxed in the hot tubs – together. My kids will probably never forget my terrified screams as our 4-person raft careened into the torture device known as the Tornado.

We add these fun times to our family memory bank. Like bricks stacked upon one another, they build our inside story.

When the time came to say goodbye, it still wasn’t easy on any of us. But we were able to muster a smile as we thought back to all the fun we had together. Those memories will help to sustain us through the next six months of separation.

Remembering what God has done for His people in the past has the same effect on our tough seasons here on earth.

Remembering His past faithfulness, gives us courage to believe His future promises even when our circumstances seem bleak.

Remembering His immense displays of power to save His people from Pharaoh, fills us with courage to rely on His might in the face of adversity.

Remembering that He loved us enough to send His only Son to save us, inspires us to trust Him when we feel unlovable.

In Joshua 4, God commands His people to erect two sets of stones (one on the river bed and one on the far bank), so that they will always be reminded of how He brought His people across the Jordan River on dry ground. These memorials would stand for the whole Nation of Israel to see. When the children would ask what they stood for, parents could pass that story on to the next generation. When times got tough, they could look back to the stones and be reminded of how God brought them out of their desert wandering and into the Promised Land.

Building an inside story with God sustains us through the trials and temptations of this world.

Building an inside story with God sustains us through the trials and temptations of this world. Click To Tweet

Building an inside story with God sustains us through the trials and temptations of this world.Some of the stones praise Him for returning my husband home safely from previous deployments. Others rejoice over the day God joined us in marriage, the birth of our children, promotions, healing from disease, and how He protected my son during a nasty fall while I was hiking with him in an infant carrier. There is even one stone for each family member family, quoting our specific life verse.

Whenever doubt, fear, or sadness creep in, I find encouragement, strength, and joy in these reminders of what God has already done for me.

Share one of your own God-memories in the comments below so we can all encourage each other.

For more encouragement please join the discussions on these fabulous blog link ups – Suzanne EllerThought Provoking Thursday, Susan B. Mead, Faith Filled Friday, Grace and TruthFaith and Fellowship FridayGrace and Truth Friday, Good Morning Monday, Soul SurvivalMonday Musings, Rah Rah Link Up, Tell His StoryWoman to Woman Wednesday, Women With Intention Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Word of God Speak, Testimony Tuesday.

21 thoughts on “What’s Your Inside Story?

  1. Have 3-4 Bible verses to sustain me in times of trouble/joy…Ps. 46:1 (my confirmation verse); Ps. 46:10; Ps. 118:24 (Aunt Susie said this over the phone to me the day Steve died); Prov. 3:5 (Steve’s favorite verse–said to me many times when he was suffering). Thank You, Lord, for Your Word, to remind me of Your faithfulness & love……xo

  2. My family spent many years in a cult when I was a child. Many of my stones are reminders how He was with us during our abuse, He was carrying us when we made it out, He held us up when we were in pieces and He gave us strength to carry on. If ever I need a reminder of His faithfulness, I just look back at the darkest place He brought us out of. <3

    1. Wow! That’s powerful, Kim! And I love that you have framed it the way you did. When we look for how He is at work in our MESSES, we see His provision and are able to then use His past faithfulness to encourage us when our journey of becoming MASTERPIECES gets difficult!

  3. As a family of 13, it’s easy to worry about provision. My favorite verse for that is “Look at the birds of the air. They do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” That helps me so much! And a big thank you to you, your husband, and your children for the sacrifices you make everyday for our country. My son is in army reserves, and I know it’s not the same, but I almost couldn’t handle it just when he left for boot camp and AIT training. Your strength is so encouraging! I’m visiting from the Make My Saturdays Sweet Linky Party. Have a great week!

    1. So glad you stopped by, Shelly! Wow, 13! My husband is on of 7 and that’s big to me! I get how you much have relied on the Lord for constant provision!

  4. So sweet! Love your pictures. We have fond memories of Great Wolf Lodge too:) Our boy was so little then. Now that he’s 16 – ugh – I definitely miss those ‘little boy’ times. Now he’d much rather hang out with friends, but we still force him to have family time. Heehee. He’ll thank us for it later!

  5. I have had the thought swirling through my head of writing those God moments down so that I don’t forget them when I need the reminder. I loved your post, it is such an encouragement for me to do just that! Also thank you so much for what your family sacrifices for this country. Blessed to be your neighbor at Monday’s Musings

    1. Hi, Winter! Yes, there are lots of ways to keep track of what God has done for us, scrapbooking, journaling, my rocks of remembrance. Our feeble human minds need some tangible way to translate our MEMORIES into holy confidence as we become MASTERPIECES. Blessings!

  6. Hey neighbor! Heehee. OK, I already commented above but I wanted to say hi again since we’re neigbors at Intentional Tuesday:) Love hanging out beside you!

  7. Liz, many years ago, I wrote a book about my spiritual journey through infertility. The introduction is called “My Pile of Stones.” Needless to say, I love what you’ve written here–every word! I’m so glad you were able to spend all those precious moments together as a family and trust that the remaining months of your husband’s deployment go by quickly.

  8. Liz, I love that you h ave stones to remember God’s faithfulness in yours and your family’s life. Those remembrances are what get us through the difficult seasons of life.

    I’m so glad you and your sons got to have some time with your husband. As a wife of a retired Air Force man and the mother of two sons, I know that time together is essential. Building memories together is priceless. May God strengthen each of you for these next six months.

  9. Such a great reminder to recount His faithfulness to us – to remember that He’s gotten us through so much. Thank you for your service – and for sharing your husband with us. Praying God bridges the distance between you two in the months ahead. Blessed to visit from #tellhisstory today.

  10. For me God has made all things new (Revelation 21:5). I am not the same person I was a year ago and God has brought restoration to my relationships with my mom and my sister. Yeah God!

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