4A5FDA13-DAEE-46F7-AA0D-25A42EC46C37Like waking up from some sort of deep sleep, the dreams were vivid because they were real. The fog began to clear and all at once I could see again. Grief had stolen so many years. I opened my eyes and suddenly my little kids weren’t little. They weren’t preschoolers or toddlers anymore. I’d lost time. Somehow, one day I was right there and the next it was over. My little people were gone. Grief had come like a thief and taken our days. 

Grief devoured my years with them. The years they moved from little kids to big kids. They were gone. And I missed it, even though I was right there. An entire stage of their childhood. Gone, and I hardly have a memory to show for it. Those years, full of survival and tears and shock. All I had was devoted to pulling them out of the pit, the pit that had swallowed us all. Such long nights, so many tears, so much comforting. I was grieving and living and helping them live and grieve and every bit of me was all used up and nothing was left. No quiet seconds to take that mental snapshot. No corner in my brain to store the moments. Hardly a memory left of those years. A gift and a curse the way grief helps heal our hearts, removing the deep aching memories. Everything colored by pain in that time. 

“I will restore to you the years that the swarming locusts have eaten”                                                           {God}

Staring at an old chair. What was once beautiful is broken, worn, cast aside. Restoration. Beauty restored to the old chair. New paint, new life. Not the same color, not the same life. When something is restored it isn’t made the same again. Some lost pieces stay lost, some are recovered, some are made different, some even better than before.

Restoration doesn’t mean I get it back, at least not the way it was. Restoration doesn’t rewind time and give the years grief stole. Restoration brings new life to what once was broken and worn. Restoration is slow, painful, messy. 

Here I stand, staring at a new thing. I didn’t get my old chair back. I didn’t get to live those years again, the way they should have been. I got a new chair. A new family. The same chair, the same family, just with a fresh color and fresh life. Some times the cracks still show. The creaking as we rock and move hints an old painful past but restoration rules. Beauty overshadows. Not perfect this side of heaven. Still waiting for full restoration.  But the bits and pieces he restores, here, now, just arrows pointing to the future restoration our eyes will see. 

Restoration isn’t what I thought. I never would have asked for it. I’d never go back. Grief stole my years. Precious, favorite years. But in his grace God makes them new. I can’t go back. But I’m soaking up the years with the new one, the youngest, who never would have been if the locusts had never come. I’m soaking up what I have now with the big ones. The learning, the love, the life we have together. None of it would have been without the burning, molding, bonding fires we walked through together. Some days I still ache for what I missed. What they missed. But the beauty of restoration is a precious treasure, unique because of its story, beautiful because of its years. Meaningful because of its journey. God promises restoration. If you are living the locust years, I promise, because he says it, and because I’ve seen it. He will restore the years, in his own way, just for your own story,  because he is good and because he loves you. Now in part, later in full, hold onto the truth. Restoration is coming for you too.

{Click here to read about Dealing with Anxiety. Then scroll to the bottom to receive my free pdf “5 Truths to Tell Yourself When Dealing with Anxiety”}

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