I wish I would have had time to write this when it was fresh and I was in the moment experiencing the emotions. God spoke to me yesterday. Clearly. I did a bit of driving this week visiting my sister and inlaws that consisted in four 2-hour stretches. Driving long distances with a sleeping baby and no music is just asking for ruminating thoughts. (Read my previous post if you’re curious about my radio silence.) I ended up crying for the most part of the first two drives and the third one was looking to follow suit. I just kept thinking, “God I don’t understand.” And then this car pulled in front of me.
I know I shouldn’t have taken a picture while driving. Trust me I was super quick and didn’t even check and see how it came out, hence the blurriness. If you can’t make out the license plate it says, “Eowyn”. As soon as I saw it I started bawling (as safely as one can and still drive).
For those of you who don’t know, Eowyn is a character from Lord of the Rings and those of you who know me even a little probably know that I am a huge fan of Tolkien’s high fantasy adventure. God’s method of communicating with His children is so very personal. He uses the things we connect to or feel passionate about to get through to us. He knows what makes our heart tick and how to speak in the way that is most powerful to each of us individually. God knew He needed to bring out the big guns for me as I had been largely ignoring His previous attempts to get my attention. I couldn’t exactly ignore this physical message driving right in front of me for miles.
God didn’t just reference Lord of the Rings, He brought up Eowyn, a character that is definitely on my list of favorite fictional characters, if not the number one. I literally created an entire city wide event for teen girls around her character. If you don’t believe me, here is the opening slide for that event, featuring Eowyn’s epic victory.
Now that you have some backstory let me get into the details of the conversation I had with God on I-95 in the middle of Jacksonville traffic. When I first saw the plate I knew God wanted very badly to speak to me. So I opened my heart to listen. I was immediately reminded of one particular scene.
Aragorn: What do you fear, my lady?
Eowyn: A cage. To stay behind bars until use and old age accept them and all chance of valor has gone beyond recall or desire.
Aragorn: You are a daughter of kings, a shield maiden of Rohan. I do not think that will be your fate.
Dispair is very much like fear, neither of them allow for hope. If I could sum up the desire I have for my life into one word it would be “Adventure”. Life with Jon promised adventure. We had big ideas and big plans. Being left alone with not one, but two children to care for felt (and still kinda feels) like being trapped. I could only see the cage of single, welfare mom struggling to survive in my future. What adventures could be had in the life I was now forced to lead? Over and over I heard God speak to my heart Aragorn’s response to Eowyn’s fear, “I do not think that will be your fate.” For the first time since Jon was taken from me I felt a tiny glimmer of hope, a small shaft of light in my dark world.
I had forgotten the first part of his line so even now God is speaking to me more, reminding me of my identity: You are a daughter of the King and a shield maiden. Several years ago, while I was in ministry school I went through a season where for months God spoke those two things over my identity. My very name Stephanie Erica means “Crowned” and “Mighty Hero”. Every time someone speaks my name that is what I am being called. It’s who I am. I had just lost myself in the fog.
In the story Eowyn falls in battle. Her body is whole but her spirit was overtaken by a dark force. She is brought to the House of Healing where, through a prophecy being fulfilled she is healed. God reminded me of this part and made it clear that I too, need to go to the House of Healing. For me there is only one place that I know of that fits that description. Grace Center, the church that was my home in Nashville. Obviously I can’t just up and move there as much as I would love too. Realistically I need to have this baby here at home with family. But I think after the baby is born I will go to the second year of the ministry school I attended before. I think I have it figured out financially, but I don’t know exactly what it will look like logistically with two babies. Regardless, I feel like this is the path laid before me. I finally feel like I have a direction and with that comes hope.
Eowyn was not trapped to the fate she feared and when darkness came she made it out of the House of Healing (and ended up with Faramir. I could write an entire post on all the reasons book Faramir is amazing.) If God is saying my story is going to line up with hers, I think I can take it. I think I can finally see a path through the fog.