A Knotted Blue Ribbon
As we lead up to our Trusting Wholly, Holy Trust brunch, we continue to share stories about women trusting God. Today we're blessed to read from our contributor Susan Disher. The rich story she wrote describes the deep trust she's had with God the past several years. Thank you Susan for being beautifully vulnerable to share your story.
The blue ribbon is a reminder of a covenant I made with God in 2004.
I believe that God is who He says He is. I believe that God can do what He says He can do. I believe that I am who God says I am.
When I was struggling to tie the ribbon using a square knot so that it couldn't come undone, I had no way of knowing God had a plan for that knot and the blue ribbon to become a constant in my life.
I believe that it was no coincidence that I received the blue ribbon one year before Robby's death. God knows what is needed and where we will look for Him. And always, there's the stilled voice, "Do you believe...do you trust?" Will the knot hold tight?
December 2005...I was still wearing the knotted blue ribbon that seemed to be holding me together so that I wouldn't crumble into pieces.
There were cold winter days where darkness fell earlier and earlier and the night hovered over my shoulder with no hope of light. Just touching the knotted blue ribbon brought a peace that would stand guard over my heart. I believe that God can do what He says He can do. Satan you are not going to win.
There were mornings when at last I had no choice but to open my eyes and look into a lost world. I believe that God is who He says He is brought comfort that He was steadfast and unmoving and had not forsaken me. The knot held.
There were trips away from my safety net of home where I wanted to wear body armor to protect myself from people and their stares and their hugs and their kind words that I didn't know how to respond to...I am who God says I am gave me the strength to walk bravely into life.
The blue ribbon sent the fear scuttling away. Mark 5:35 says "Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear, only keep believing," and I kept believing God, trusting that He is unchangeable and knowing he is unmovable. He was keeping his word and loving me without measure.
He can do what he says he can do.
Lamenatations 3:19-24 became a life saving red thread of hope in the face of overwhelming fear that my life could not be mended after crumbling to many disjointed pieces.
The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. YET I STILL DARE TO HOPE when I remember this: The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By his mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each day. I say to myself, 'The Lord is my inheritance; therefore I will hope in him!
The knot became tighter. I believed God.
October 2008 found me in the NICU at DUMC holding my firstborn grandson who only had hours to stay with us. This time the blue ribbon took on a different meaning. It became a weapon. Fear was staring me down, kicking trust out the door and then the words came...do you trust me?
Could I trust Him with this precious soul that still had the look of heaven in his swollen eyes? Could I trust Him in loving my daughter and her husband back into life? Could I trust that was hope to be found? Could I trust Him to dare think about a future? Fear was sauntering in that NICU proudly boasting an anticipated victory when the blue ribbon spoke in my heart.
I believe that God is who he says he is...I believe that God can do what he says he can do...I believe that I am who God says I am...I believe God.
And fear began his retreat as peace rushed in and trust began its reign in that sacred space. And baby Murray offered us a little smile.
In 2012 I found myself once again in a NICU looking at my feisty granddaughter proving the doctors wrong with their first hesitant words about her chances to survive. Her beautiful mother had risked her life with scary emergency surgery to give life to this tiny wisp of a girl and this time I boldly initiated the blue ribbon mantra...I believe that God is who he says he is and he can do what he says he can do and I am who he says I am. And fear was not allowed in and trust deepened as the knot tightened more.
The summer of 2013 my mother dropped dead, just as she would have scripted it if she had been asked. I became an earthly orphan with both parents and my only sibling were gone. I had no extended family of aunts and uncles. This time fear did not walk in, but loneliness did, and once again the blue ribbon answered boldly...I believe God. I am who he says I am...without my earthly family.
Do you know what a touchstone is? The definition: a black siliceous stone related to flint and formerly used to test the purity of gold and silver by the streak left on the stone when rubbed by the metal. It's a test or criterion for determining the quality or genuineness of a thing.
The blue ribbon is my touchstone. It's my stone that I hold up to the refiner's firing of gold to ask one more time, "Is the knot still tied tight Lord?" I can trust God...I believe God.
There aren't many days that go by without my touching the blue ribbon. Life presents challenges daily. Doubts creep in. Fear raises it forked tongue. Goliaths appear and Jericho walls seemingly stand firm yet the thin blue piece of knotted grosgrain ribbon is a constant...a touchstone. Like God, it is steadfast. It will always be there. The mark of trust always appears when I hold it up to God: trust and peace and love and victory and courage and belief.
I believe and trust God.