Trying to Feel Something That is No Longer There

As I write this it's 3:35 AM in the Philippines and thanks to jet lag I will have to accept that four hours of sleep will suffice for tonight.

Our team arrived late last night and I am already impressed with how God orchestrated this team. Each member has truly been hand picked for this trip and I’m so eager to watch the Lord work through them these next couple of weeks…

From the day I found out I was pregnant with Joshua I frequently found myself unconsciously holding my womb. Maybe it’s a maternal thing or maybe it’s not- but what I do know what how much peace that brought me…. Holding and rubbing something alive inside of me.

Last night as our team was worshipping I couldn’t help but wish Joshua was still with us. I remember when I first found out I was pregnant one of the first thoughts was “Joshua gets to go with me to the Philippines and Thailand! How amazing!” Yet again in worship I opened my eyes to see my hand rubbing what was once the home of my growing Joshua. I closed my eyes and asked the Lord to comfort me and asked him what He was trying to teach me this season…

So this is a blog on when you go to feel something that is no longer there….

I’ve been studying the book of Joshua for 37 days now and have been more inspired by the word of God than ever. However, for some reason I just can’t get past chapter 3 where Joshua lead the priests and the nation of Israel across the Jordan River…

Three days later the Israelite officers went through the camp, giving these instructions to the people: “When you see the Levitical priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant of the LORD your God, move out from your positions and follow them. Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you. (‭Joshua‬ ‭3‬:‭3-4‬ NLT)

“Since you have never traveled this way before, they will guide you…” I must have read this verse nearly 50 times… But wait, the story continues!

The LORD told Joshua, “Today I will begin to make you a great leader in the eyes of all the Israelites. They will know that I am with you, just as I was with Moses. Give this command to the priests who carry the Ark of the Covenant: ‘When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there.’” (‭Joshua‬ ‭3‬:‭4, 7-8‬ NLT)

“When you reach the banks of the Jordan River, take a few steps into the river and stop there”

These two verses have cultivated such hope inside my heart lately… I feel as though Jesus has knelt down before me, grabbed the side of my face and gently whispered, “My sweet Elizabeth Anne, since you have never traveled this way, I will guide you. People will know I am with you… Take small steps. I will make a way.”

I’m sure you’ve heard the story but it continues to go on and share that as the priests cross the river and stop with the Ark of the Covenant, the nation of Israel is able to successful cross and continue on into the promise land.

I love how God always gives specific instruction… I love how He spoke to Joshua to tell the priests that once they reached the Jordan River to only take a few steps then stop…

It even shares the fact that it was Harvest season and the Jordan was overflowing! What a reflection of the challenging seasons in life… Overflowing and overwhelming… (Maybe I’ll start to substitute the word challenging season for the harvest season…)

When I started to meditate on this scripture the Lord asked me this: How do you think it “felt” when I lead my people across the Jordan River and there was no water beneath them?

So I come back to the idea of feeling something that is no longer there… But this time, with a new perspective. When my hands find my empty womb I no longer feel as though my baby was taken from me, but rather that my baby is actually where it belongs- in His Promise land… Heaven!

There is nothing weak about admitting that I don’t know what to do in this season… All I continue to hear is the soft whisper of Jesus…”Since you have never traveled this way before, I will guide you.”

God delights in stopping a rushing river to help his babies get to the other side. To me, rivers reflect and mirror the action of cleansing and hydration. And maybe you haven’t experienced the “harvest” or the spiritually dehydrating feeling of losing a child but maybe you are hurting. Well, I am writing this to tell you that despite the amount of pain you are in, Jesus really does care…. I’ve come to learn in this season that all I have to do is step toward His River {prayer, worship, His word} and he will do the rest. He will make a way where you thought there was none, He will cleanse and hydrate your hurt and pain with his peace and hope, and he will continue to infuse his character into your very being….

So I leave with this; when you feel something that is no longer there, I promise it is not as it seems! There is a God whose ways are higher, deeper, and more vast than our tiny brains can comprehend. And I promise in your season of hurt, He will never fail to stop the rushing wave of trials to help you get to the other side…

ebie hepworth