For a moment, I was keenly aware of…well, everything. My past and present, the familiar and unfamiliar, sparkling bright and dreary dim, warm fuzzies and icy cold, all at the same time.
I was standing in a place where I had stood a thousand times before, the office space where my desk had been in the early 2000s; yet the footprint of the office had been redesigned as part of a major renovation. Through an open office door, I could still see out the window. The intercoastal waterway sparkled like diamonds in the morning sun. I smiled; oh, how I had enjoyed the snippet water view from my desk! As I glanced around me, I shivered; the not-yet-painted drywall and concrete floors made the office cold and unwelcoming.
In an instant, as quickly as it had onset, the vivid awareness was gone. I felt peaceful, yet perplexed. While I couldn’t make sense of what had just happened, I knew there was something I was to glean from it.
Later that evening, as I was working on my Christmas cards, I thought about my year-in-review newsletter that I written to send to friends and family. In it I emphasized how, in my new job, I was thriving. I had regained my confidence and the restoration literally impacted every area of my life: my enthusiasm reengaged, my passions renewed, and my dreams rekindled.
And then I got it.
I grabbed my journal and flipped to the entry I had written that very morning. Several times over the years, the Lord has used verses from Isaiah 52 to speak to me. After I had reread the chapter in my quiet time, specifically verses I had underlined, I journaled about some of those times: when I was given permission to loosen myself from the chains of a broken marriage; clarifying my calling to encourage; to not make impulsive, fear-fueled decisions; and the assurance that no matter how painful and oppressive things were, one day I would be restored.
That moment of keen awareness? Isaiah 52:8:
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, they shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes, when the Lord restores Zion.
In that moment, I literally saw - with my own eyes - the amazing restoration of the Lord. Those days long ago that I had spent in the front office had been really, really good days…and now, in my current job, I was once again experiencing really good days. I had survived the oppressive, difficult and painful in-between days. I had come full-circle. These are my days of blessed restoration! To God be all glory.
If you are currently enduring the “in-between” difficult days, hold on and keep on keeping on! You are not alone. The Lord will show himself strong and powerful on your behalf (Isaiah 52:10). Do not let fear influence or hurry your decision-making. The Lord will go before you and will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 52:12) Listen! Watch! Wait expectantly! For soon we will share in your joyful shouts, when your glorious day of restoration arrives!