+[God of Wonders]+

Driving Doug to work yesterday he told me he had opened his bible that morning to "the Lord has been our dwelling place."   And he had smiled...deeply.

When I came home from taking him to work I noticed he had placed his bible on the end of the table with the words circled for all of the family to see.

The Lord has been our dwelling place every day of the three years, 2 months (and counting) we have lived here!  And I can honestly say that has never been the case before.   Certainly we attended church, were even on staff, our kids went to a Christian school and we had coffee and dinner with friends to talk about Christian topics.  We did awanas and youth weekends and service projects. 

But He had not been our collective dwelling place.    We had not crumbled before Him, each asking Him to make us into what He had in mind when He designed us.  Then waiting there, broken, unable to see any movement/healing/change.

Each of us.  Independently and communally.    For our own reasons.  From our independent depth of need.

A smile breaks across my face as I type this.   And again a symphony begins to play in my ears.

Here we each fought our own internal battles and saw, perhaps for the first time, our deep need of Him.   We all came to want Him, need Him, acknowledge Him in new ways.   Doug -  due to job related situations and in his role as leader, husband and father.  Me -  in my utter brokenness and the mirror of who I really was, not who I projected myself to be.   Savannah -  in the deep loneliness and desert of sorting through of who she is aside from sports, teen culture and what the world tells her who she must be.  And little Peyton -  because the nights when breath didnt come and tremors didnt end and legs and arms did not work, He was her only peace.  Songs to Him her only satisfying comfort.  Words of Him her clinging hope.  Remembering those painful moments brings tears this moment.

And I see answered prayers.  Merciful, Kind, Loving, Redeeming, answered prayers.

There is another verse in our home that has been out, and prayed over us for almost 2 years now.  Doug wrote it on a notecard and placed it in our dining area for all of us to see daily.  He has prayed it over us countless times.   It has become our family prayer.  And it has changed us.

So as we do go up from this place, still unsure where we are ultimately landing, Doug stands confident His Presence is going with us.  I stand confident.  And the girls...they beam with a beautiful calmness that proclaims their confidence.   Our innermost beings have been strengthened. 

This time here has not ended with everything wrapped in a bow (hardly!) nor has it not been without extreme financial, physical, emotional and locational cost, but the testimony this Sovereign, barren, Minnesota walk has stamped upon our family brings a fragrant sweetness and a depth that we simply did not have before.  Plainly stated...we are a changed people group of 4.

A testimony.   A testimony!