August Vacations

by Chrissy Hampson

October 17, 2018


The August 2015 morning dawned clear on the mountainside, and I eagerly grabbed my Bible, hymnal, guitar and journal and crept out of the house for this last day of vacation. Just a few precious hours remained until the chaos of life returned, and I had determined to meet with God and to get answers from Him as to why . . . why . . . why . . . had life turned the way it had.

Brazen—I know—but I expected, almost demanded, that He meet me there in that place. Sitting cross-legged on a tremendous rock, an ample valley spread out before me and another mountainside to drink in, I called out to Him, I worshipped Him, I questioned Him and I ultimately cried my losses to Him, “What of Your promises here in this Book? What of the plans that seemed so sure?”

When suddenly, like a modern-day Elijah story, the wind picked up around me, ever so slightly, but I felt it keenly! “Is that You, God? Are You still in the wind, today?”

Another breath of air, only stronger this time.

“Really, God? You’d will to meet this headstrong girl here in this place? You’d take the time to reassure me?”

In answer, the wind picked up to gusts and surrounded me. Gust after gust after gust encompassed me and that rock! Eyes closed, hair whipping wildly, I raised my hands, weeping in amazed delight.

I’d wanted answers. I’d wanted direction. And He’d given me words from Psalm 46,

“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted in the nations.
I will be exalted in the earth.”

Life already had been in a holding pattern for so very long as my husband and I prepared to go overseas as missionaries! However, three days after my husband graduated and we were finally free to go, our fourth child was born. Two-and-a-half months later, the doctors discovered she had a heart condition and was, subsequently, in heart failure. A huge stop sign.

Now, up on the mountain, it had been two and a half years since then, and I was ready for change and action, only to receive this new word of direction: Be Still. Stillness is about me not doing anything. In Psalm 46, particularly, God is the One doing while I sit quietly in the knowledge of Him.

Fast forward three years to now, 2018, another bright August morning, another vacation. I’m lying, most definitely still, in a shadowy room, a cold compress on my head, heat on my back. I’m dizzy, exhausted, crazy-head floating, can’t focus, can’t work too hard physically or mentally, I’m sore up the wazoo and am nearing week four of life like this since the car accident and being told I have a concussion.

It turns out the “concussion” bit of my symptoms were side effects from a medication, but I didn’t yet know this, and was therefore avoiding screens, reading and music—bringing me to the quietest place I’ve ever been.

Placidly in pain, alone in that obscure corner, gazing at the beams above, I abruptly sense Him there with me. Without doubt, I feel His presence so suddenly and strongly in that dark, muffled, abandoned place and am almost immediately reminded of the mountainside.

“Why would you come to me here in the darkness, God?”

Then I had challenged and beckoned. This time He had invited Himself. Then I could wave and praise. This time I could barely move. Then I had called Him out, and He had responded with equal stormy fervor. Now, in the serene forgotten hush, He met me in stillness, whispering to me that He sees me, that He loves me.

I don’t know what it is about August vacations, but I’m so thankful that I can point to those two monuments in my life of times when God reached out His hand especially towards me: both times in difficult days, both times reassuring and strengthening to continue the hard path. God is not mute!

Chrissy has resided among boxes for too many weeks - since she crashed in a car two weeks after moving and hasn't been able to work much. You can find her next to the one marked, "Master Bathroom."

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