There is this billboard I used to pass all the time between Roanoke and Franklin County. It is famous for having goats that just climb up onto the ledge to warm themselves up with the lights shining on the sign. I honestly couldn’t tell you anything that has ever been advertised on that particular sign. I just know that every time I pass it, I look for the goats. For the longest time (over three years of passing it), I never saw the goats. It got to the point where I started to consider this was all an elaborate prank like when you tell the freshmen there’s a pool on the roof of the school. Seeing the goats on this sign the first time felt like a miracle. I was so excited. It was real. Now, every time I see them, I smile. It’s just a fun quirk of where we live.
I was driving back from an event in Franklin County a few months ago, and I remember seeing the goats. I smiled as usual, then I really started thinking about them. How they felt so elusive. How seeing them felt like a special treat. How there were times I doubted their existence.
I think we all get like this at times with Jesus. We go through seasons where He feels far away. Where we don’t see a way out of our situation. Where we feel forgotten, left out, abandoned. We moved away from what we knew. We quit jobs, started new jobs, joined a new church, made new routines, etc. So much of this last year and a half has felt like an uprooting. Typically, I lean into it. I love change. But throwing so much new and different into the mix at once was hard especially when we were (and are) so limited in what we can do outside of the house with Evan. But then, I thought about the “goats” Jesus has placed before me in this season of parenthood.
God gave us a church family that immediately welcomed us in and seeks ways to make church a place for all three of us to worship and stay safe and healthy.
God gave us new friends who feel like family and understand what life has to look like for us in this season.
God gave us amazing home health nurses who allow us to be active in our church, run errands, go on the occasional date, and rest without worrying about Evan.
God gave me virtual friendships with other medical mamas that are so dear to my heart. Having friends who “get it” are so important.
God gave me this blog and social media as a platform to share Evan’s story and how we’re experiencing Jesus in it.
God gave us other blogs, podcasts, and social media accounts from those who walked before us in this journey– people who will likely never know us and how their honesty and stories have impacted our hearts.
God gave us encouragement through messages from old friends, family, and even strangers when we have needed it most.
God gave me a sweet reunion with a friend here in the coffee shop as I typed this post.
God gave us the best boy with the best smile to remind us of His goodness always.
God has given to us so much. But we had to look. I would have missed those goats if I hadn’t been looking for them. If I stopped looking at the billboard, I never would have seen that they indeed were real. If you’re winding down a lonely road, unsure of the reality of His promises, unsure of if He’s even there, don’t stop looking. Your goats are coming. Hold on.
“Look at the nations and watch—
and be utterly amazed.
For I am going to do something in your days
that you would not believe,
even if you were told.”