Shaunie Friday’s Thin Place – Thin Places High and Low

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Everyday and special days. Happiness and heartache. Shaunie knows of Thin Places in them all. After reading her story here, drop by her blog or her greeting card store and enjoy some encouragement.  (Have a Thin Place story you would like to share? Here’s how you can do that.)

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Most mountaintops are thin places for me. If you asked me what God smells like, I would tell you He smells of pungent pine and crisp, snow-chilled mountain air. His power is in the wild wind, His whisper in the flowers-in-miniature that grow, impossible, on top of the world.

I have known thin places on horseback, in basketball games, in babies’ first smiles and at rock concerts—God comes close to play and breathe and cheer and celebrate with us.

I have known thin places in the depths of heartache too . . .

. . . At 17 when twice in one year I dealt with the death of someone close who was too young to die — thin places to be sure, where God taught me to sing through the darkness, that the only way through is…through . . .

. . . At 19 when I had to watch my parents drive away to go home 1200 miles away (or maybe it was a million) and I had to stay in school in the big cold city where I was so unhappy, so alone—a thin place where my Father collected those hot, heavy tears and held me together . . .

. . . At 22 when I thought I had given up the love of my life forever—my roommate’s boyfriend knew I was hurting and told me inexplicably to read the Song of Solomon. What? That was most certainly a thin place where God showed His sense of humor and foreshadowed for me what only He knew then, that very soon he would give my love back to me to be my Hero Husband.

My most vivid thin place came at 31, when I knew for certain that the baby I had tried for weeks to hold onto had miscarried and was gone. As I lived through the sickening slow-motion moments after the doctor confirmed the finality of my miscarriage, I sat alone waiting for the IV to drip through. Heartbroken, I suddenly found myself singing,  

“In the shadow of Your wings,

My heart with gladness rings.

To You alone Lord my soul clings

In the shadow of Your wings.” (Ken Medema)

The words didn’t make sense—how could I sing of a heart ringing with gladness when pain was wringing me out? In that crushing moment when my heart turned Heavenward, I felt Him so close He was almost tangible. It was at once terrifying and sweet beyond description. The memory of Him in that moment completely eclipses the memory of the very acute pain of that loss.

There are thin places on the heights and in the depths, and it is the powerful passionate love of an intensely personal God that pours through those thin places to heal and woo, to call and cure, to help and secure us until we are with Him in eternity!

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