|My thoughts of God have been forever changed, that is how it is when you come face to face with the magnitude of His infinite grace and love – when you are consumed by it. For there are times that in this life that we must surrender it all, laying ourselves out on the altar – and at this time Father steps down from His throne to gently pick up His children and whisper His love. In this moment the grace and love that have flowed from His thrown since the beginning of time wash over you like a tidal wave and you realize for the first time just how great this God is that you serve, and how absolutely unworthy you are. You are faced for the first time with the evidences of his grace and love displayed throughout your life and you realize that it has always been this way.
I know that God brings us to things to make our lives more beautiful. Trials and suffering bring us into a new relationship with God – a new understanding of the vastness of his love. I can not with any honesty say that I look forward to trials, nor would I choose suffering if the choice were left up to me, but these things are a blessing for those who trust in God.
This year we were called to a journey in the valley of shadows…a time of desperate faith, clinging to the unseen as though we could see it until that unseen became a reality for us. It was a coming to knowledge of God’s grace and the love that shelters us in the midst of life’s devastating storms.
Our valley was the pregnancy of Caleb Levi Riddle. This was a time of leaning on God and claiming the promises found in His word. Our defense against the enemy’s attack was constant prayer. We had to train our eyes to focus on the cross of our Lord when our circumstances seemed so hopeless. In looking to our Lord we discovered a more beautiful world – that world that is spiritual and beyond description. In Christ’s love even the most desperate situations become bearable and we could see the hand of God and the grace that was being lavishly poured on us at every turn.
The following pages are the journey that we walked. It is the truth of imperfect people in a harsh world facing terrible odds depending on a perfect God that chose His loss so that we could be redeemed. It is the journey that has brought us closer into fellowship with God’s grace and has left us forever changed.
In this journey it is my hope that my life has been made more beautiful because of the suffering.