An awful lot is going on in this world. I cannot wrap my little brain around it. How is one supposed to process it all? My heart just breaks in two as I hear from what some of you have gone through as a result of COVID-19 and even things you’ve faced prior to it. Only God knows your complete story. He alone holds the key to restore the emptiness and ache in your heart.
Last summer, when I was going through a valley, facing a loss, it didn’t feel like there was a way that my heart could ever heal. I fixed up a little motto where I wrote, “I bring my broken dreams to You. You heal, love, and make new.” Taking a rose, I took it all apart and spread the petals around the motto, symbolizing my crushed heart. I set it in the kitchen where I’d see it often. Now looking back, I can tell that yes, God has healed, loved, and made new in ways I didn’t think would be possible; I can’t say it doesn’t hurt anymore, but neither does it sting like it used to.
Yes, take heart; keep giving those crushed, broken pieces back to the only One who can do anything about it. Oh ya, I forgot to mention that at the bottom of the motto in big letters it said, “His love is never-ending.” True, whether I can connect with that idea even a single percent or not, it’s true.
You fill in the blanks of what cuts into your heart. I know, after reading some of your letters that undoubtedly some of my weekly letters to you all have to cut into your heart, reminding you of a loss in your life. Without question, memories are brought back so real that it feels like it’s just happening all over again. I know what you mean, why just writing about the valley I went through last summer has brought fresh tears again, yet I know God will use this to heal on deeper levels of my heart — areas that are really too deep for any other human to see or understand. I have to think of a phrase in a song that has become special to me, “No one can see the pain inside like my Father can, no one can give a brand new start like my Father can…” While others are a tremendous blessing in our lives through times of loss or grief, there is only One who can heal.
I have to think of our heart as a room with many compartments. Sometimes some corners really feel too painful to even think about. Leaving that door tightly closed and not visiting that corner feels so much safer. But then as we allow God to really ‘take a peek at it’, and we simply pour out to Him the hurt and pain and rejection we feel, giving Him all the pieces that have been hiding for so long, there seems to be a balm, a ray of His love light penetrating deeply in that area of our heart. Healing takes place like we never imagined possible, and yes, in the end we say it was worth visiting that painful spot because we were not alone. Our Savior walked the way with us.
Many of you are parents and know the fight in a mother’s heart to want to protect her children from having to face hardships. Life is so uncertain, no one knows what all their lives will hold. Why if only I could just protect them from it all. Last winter, when they were sick, it dawned on me anew that even little things as such can help prepare them for the hard knocks of life.
And as much as I like taking all of them with me to run errands, it’s just not always practical. Yesterday when I had to make a quick run to the post office to check my options on shipping granola, my mother heart ached for one of my little ones running to me with outstretched arms to tell me bye. I could see he was blinking back the tears at the disappointment of not getting to go along. After assuring him that I’ll be right back, I was off with my taxi driver. I knew that even this can be an opportunity for them not just to play the pity poor me game.
Many times my faith has even been tested when our little darlings had lost their prized toy and told God about it, detailed about what they were doing and how it got lost, then finally asking God to help them find it. To my shame, my faith has at times wavered, wondering how they’ll handle it if the prayer is not immediately answered. I have been amazed many times how God just seemed to bless their faith, then other times, they had the opportunity of developing patience as they waited on God for their answer.
Talking about our children motivates me to share their all-time favorite recipe with you all. We eat these nutritious fiber balls almost daily, they’re a perfect replacement for other baked goods. Note that they are also gluten-free! If the little boys need a good pass time and a snack all in one I’ll give them a frozen ball or bar to enjoy which keeps them entertained for a while.
No-Bake Fiber Balls
1 1/4 cup peanut butter (I use sugar-free)
1 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
3 cups quick oats
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup oat bran or flax meal (optional)
1 cup coconut (optional)
2 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)
1 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup raisins
Mix together peanut butter, honey, and vanilla add remaining ingredients. Shape into balls or if you happen to be in a hurry just press into an air tight container and cut into bars. We generally just do them bar style since we don’t have too much extra time floating around. You can use a large container for flatter bars or a small one for a thicker style. Refrigerate or freeze. I just make bigger batches and keep some in the freezer.
Note: As you can see these can be made to suit your own taste buds. Things such as sunflower seeds or chopped nuts can easily be used instead of dry ingredients. Your imagination will be the limit.
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427