A Day at the Fountain: When God Redeems the Little Things
By: Erin Greneaux
I sat on the edge of the fountain, using all my energy to keep the brimming tears from breaking loose. The park was filled with people preparing for the remembrance walk. Even surrounded by other women who had experienced my pain, I felt alone. Five months had passed since the devastating ultrasound when the gut-wrenching words, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat,” had settled over us like a fog. Five months and I felt more lost and hopeless than the day we learned that we would never hold our first child.
As I sat there, the rough concrete hard and gritty under my white-knuckled grip on the fountain, I asked God the questions that I had been too broken to articulate. The ones hiding in the dark corner of my heart. Why did this happen? Where are you? Can you hear me? Do you care?
There was no answer. I have never felt so incredibly alone, rejected, forgotten, unseen, and unheard.
In the years that followed, I waded through the tough questions I had aimed at God that day in the park. He continually proved Himself faithful, not because He answered my fervent prayers for a child, but because He kept His promises in the waiting. Promises to never leave me or forsake me, to walk with me through the valley of the shadow of death, to give me hope and a future, and to grant peace that passes understanding. My submission to His will, which looked so different from my own, and my gratitude for His blessings in the midst of loss allowed me to emerge from the cloud of grief with an inexplicable joy and faith. Our journey led us through infertility, testing, discovery, treatment, and finally, a pregnancy that blessed us with a beautiful, healthy girl.
Just a few years later we were anticipating the arrival of our second baby girl and taking baby bump photos at the park. Our strong-willed toddler was defiantly boycotting the pictures in every way possible- running away, tantruming, and refusing to smile. I finally resorted to using animal crackers to lure her into the shots. When she dumped the entire bag of crackers into the fountain, we decided to call it a day.
My daughter laughed in delight at her accomplishment as I sat on the edge of the fountain, my pregnant belly bulging as I tried to retrieve the bag from the water. My husband scooped out handfuls of soggy crackers while others spewed into the air in the spout of water. We ended up laughing in spite of ourselves at the absurdity of the situation.
In the midst of the chaos of the moment, I heard His voice, and everything stilled.
‘Do you recognize this place?’ God asked.
I looked around, and it hit me so suddenly that it took my breath away.
I am sitting in the exact same spot at the same fountain that I sat so many years before, with broken soul and pleading heart, wondering why my God had forsaken me. Surrounded by my beautiful family, the circumstances were strikingly different. In that moment I felt Christ’s presence so encompassing and tangible. I could almost visibly witness Him reach through a wormhole in time to all those years ago and press His nail-scarred hand to the shattered surface of my heart. I saw myself sitting there, like a lost and hopeless child. And there He was, right beside me.
He was with me then, just as He is with me now. He has never left. I let the circumstances become so consuming that I was unable to pull back the barrier of blame and anger to see Him. But God, in His infinite mercy, loves me intimately enough to redeem even as small a memory as that day at the fountain.
I still have struggles and challenges each day that have me clinging to the promises that remain true when everything else falls away. I still have unresolved prayers and unrealized dreams. I still have a thousand little things each day to be grateful for. But I see all of these circumstances with a new perspective, because I know my Redeemer lives. I know, because He has redeemed my story so beautifully, in vast and inconceivable ways. But even more so, He has renewed the most insignificant, intimate details that demonstrate the depth of His love for me.
God cares about every detail of our stories. He is making all things new. He is taking every shred of loss, disappointment, failure, and brokenness and weaving it into a beautiful tapestry of redemption, with an ending that we never could have written for ourselves. Whatever questions you find yourself asking today, know that His promises are true, His work is not yet finished, and His character is unchanging. As you sit at the fountain, He is right beside you. At the appointed time, the sweeping breadth and intricate depth of His love will leave you speechless in His presence.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV).