Images Beyond the Picket Fence

Oct 8, 2012 | Faith

Snapshots from the past days have etched my mind. Simple moments.  Yet not so simple.

 Snapshots of lives beyond the picket fence image.

A boy running to the finish line, passing others, winning his first race ever. On the sidelines, his dad just diagnosed with Stage Four cancer, a tumor recently removed from his brain.  God’s breath behind him as he ran hard so his dad could see him win.

A foot-washing ceremony after communion, only for those not able to kneel, they wash hands.  I see a daughter in a wheelchair, stricken with MS, washing the hands of her elderly mother, hooked up to a breathing machine who, in turn, washes her daughter’s hands.  God’s tenderness flowing from the water as both live a moment of care in the midst of difficulty.

A violent scene in a movie theater whose story-line is around human trafficking. Understanding that one out of every four women sitting in that theater has been sexually assaulted some time in her life.  Many in the darkness of home.   Eyes of children in classrooms who go home to silent horror, afraid to break the silence.  God’s heart breaks inside my own.

A mother whose face is wearied by the behavior of her child.  A mental illness.  Far from the picket fence image she dreamed of.

Pictures from Nettie’s story.  Faces of hurting parents needing Tangible Hope when God doesn’t seem touchable.  The largeness of God flowing forth every time someone sees a modern-day Job family living in victory despite death.

Scenes from our own picket-fence journey rush to mind as I prepare my full testimony to share in a few weeks.  Remnants of pain still rising up, reminding me of times I walked in hopelessness. While the pain of our picket-fence journey is still fresh, and being vulnerable with it still scary, I find ease in sharing it with other who need hope of a Living God who redeems lives and restores broken dreams.

Where have your dreams and expectations been shattered?  Where have you seen God in moments that are bigger than life?  I’d love to hear your story.  Your snapshots.  Your hope.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week.  October is also Domestic Violence Awareness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  A reminder we don’t live in Eden.  The garden we live is full of dirt, manure, and weeds.  But the Gardner of Hope weeds out the destructive elements so good things can still grow.  Share your hope in Him with others who are hurting today.

Blessings to You in Him,


Congratulations to Mary Beth M. for winning A Place to Belong!  


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  1. Janette's Sage

    You touched on a couple of mine here in your many of us have testimonies we would never had wanted, and yet, it is through those struggles we are able to minister. Someone said to me one day…show your scars…Christ did!

  2. Tracy

    Hi Brenda – such touching stuff. Glimpses that show one to appreciate what you have, and to see God’s hand in everything. Really makes me think. Great post my friend.
    God bless

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