Sarah Goodrich walked into our church almost nine years ago and I basically made her be my friend. We have boys less than a month apart, so parenting was our first bond, but we’ve covered every other topic of life in real-life conversations around tables, on my porch, and in almost-daily text messages, even since she’s moved a few hours away.
I’m honored she’s sharing a piece of her story here with you because she’s one of my favorite storytellers.
I’ve been married for a little more than ten years, and sometimes I take off my engagement and wedding rings, and look at my left ring finger. Snugly lined up next to its finger companions, the ring finger looks different in the spot where those rings usually reside. I’m pale all over, so it can’t be attributed to a tan line. My rings swivel loosely, so it’s not an indentation caused by rings that fit too tightly. The fact is, however, that when my rings are off, that finger clearly shows a shadow of their presence.
I like to think if I were ever found wandering somewhere, with amnesia, and with no identification or jewelry, a police officer would look at my finger and know there was a husband out there to whom I belong, who needed to be notified. I like to think while Nathan entered my life and made an immediate impact on my heart, my soul, my circumstances, and my future, his rings have also made a slow and steady alteration in my actual flesh. While the presence of the rings announce I’m committed as a wife, I like to think I could take them off, and my body would STILL tell that story.
Lately, I’ve wondered how that analogy might be applied to my spiritual life.
I was raised in a Christian home and baptized at age five. Jesus, the knowledge of Him, has been there from my earliest moments. Clasped hand prayers at bedtime, the faith of parents who were and are truly committed, and a charmed life surrounded by Godly influences. Not that there haven’t been trials, there have been.
One of the longest lasting deserts of my life spanned YEARS, and was characterized by paralyzing anxiety and spiritual dryness. Anxiety gave way to depression as I wrestled with my fear of God, my futile attempts to overcome those feelings through my own efforts, sorrow over moving away from a town and friends I loved, and heartbreak over the death of a friend.
God is doing a new thing now.
When I look back on what God used to bring me back, to renew my spiritual life, and to help me to rest in Him, I’m filled with awe.
He used circumstances surrounding that move and the death of that dear friend. He used a book someone gave me twenty years ago, that I’d read many times before. He used a piece of my love story I’d heard, told, and reflected on over and over that hit me in a new way. He used a new friend and a painful chapter in her life that resonated with me. That connection moved me to deep and intense prayers, which changed the way I saw God.
Jesus entered my life and made an immediate impact on my heart, my soul, my circumstances and my future. I believe that was true in that baptismal pool when I was five years old. But I also hope His life, death and resurrection, and the fact that I cling to them, have made a slow and steady alteration in my actual flesh, the flesh of the old creature.
I hope and pray if all the other identifying roles in my life were gone – if I wasn’t David and Laurie’s daughter; Nathan’s wife; David, Atticus, Louisa, and Susannah’s mom; Chris, Julie, and Abby’s sister; and on and on – that the person who found me wandering around with amnesia would see fruit that revealed I belonged to Someone.
And that Someone was ultimately the most important relationship in my life.
Sarah Goodrich lives in Frankfort, Kentucky with her husband and four children.
I also wanted to share a fabulous free resource from #PorchStories friend Becky Hastings at My Ink Dance. DWELL is a five-day email course that helps women connect with God in their everyday lives. It includes scriptures, devotional messages, encouragement for next steps, and resources. I reviewed the series and shared a Q & A with Becky in a post yesterday, so be sure to check that out if you’re looking for some encouragement to dwell with the One whose spirit dwells in us.
Michele Morin says
Kristin, thanks for sharing your friend with us — and Sarah, I love your heart for relationship. So often we reduce the Christian life to a series of duties or a formulaic thing, when God so loves us, and He wants our hearts.
Blessings to you both!
As much as a formula would be easier sometimes, it’s such a relief that’s not the way God works.
Thanks so much, Michele! As much as I always knew that formulas were inferior to relationship, I wasn’t exactly sure how to make that change happen. I’m so thankful for a Shepherd who leads!
Barbara H. says
Wonderful thought – those we belong to make an impression on our lives in so many ways. May we always display signs of our belonging to Him that testify of his goodness and grace.
Yes, that’s a good prayer, my friend.
Becky Hastings says
It always amazes me how God uses everything. No thing, thought, person goes unused in this world. And they can be used over and over to bring about new things. I love this!
I love that too, Becky! God wastes nothing, and uses it all for our sanctification and His glory. It’s truly amazing.
SUSAN SHIPE says
I really liked the post. It prompted me to take off my wedding ring and see the indentation. Yup, the police would definitely know I had a hubs out there!!! Hopefully, he’d claim me. LOL
I can’t even take off my rings because my knuckle is so large, but they’d surely leave an indentation. LOL
I’m certain he would, Susan! xo
Lisa notes says
This is beautiful, Sarah: “that the person who found me wandering around with amnesia would see fruit that revealed I belonged to Someone.” I hope the same could be said for me. Getting Alzheimer’s is one of my anxious middle-of-the-night fears, but I hope even if I were to get it, that I would still know Jesus deep in my core and that He would shine through.
I hope that for myself too, Lisa!
Thank you, Lisa! That is a fear of mine, too. My husband’s grandmother with Alzheimer’s recently passed away, and I was always amazed through her long illness how obvious it was that she had the peace and grace of Jesus.
I love how God uses so many different things and people to draw us closer to Him! Thanks for sharing your story, Sarah. Thanks for hosting, Kristin!
Blessings to you both!
Thank you, Gayl!
Thank you so much!
So nice to meet your friend….I love to hear and to learn from other’s stories! I am always amazed at what God can and will use to refresh us, renew us or to refocus us. We tend to think it is only the “big things” or the next crisis – but it might something as simple as a book someone gave us years ago! I love that!! What a faithful God we have –
So faithful, and I’m thankful for that. I’m glad you’re here, Jennifer!
Maree Dee says
Thank you for sharing your friend, Sarah with all of us. God is so good I am happy he brought the two of your together.
Thank for your sweet comment and for being here, Maree!