When God Brings You Into a Desert {part 1}

We had been anxiously waiting for several months to find out what our next Air Force assignment would be…


I was speechless.

I hadn’t known this was even a possibility. {I admit, a quick scan of the world map oriented me to its location.}


We arrived the summer of 2006. I was a wife of four years, and mom of two boys, ages 6-months and 2, in an unfamiliar part of the world, far from the comforts of home.

We found a home in a small village – a beautifully restored farmhouse of red brick. We were surrounded by farmland criss-crossed by narrow, one-lane roads more accustomed to tractors than cars. A smattering of houses were quietly nestled into the landscape, smoke rising from their chimneys.

My children were babies, so naturally I stayed at home most of the time. When I looked out my windows, I was hypnotized by the stillness and serenity that surrounded me.

There were no distractions. Solitude became a faithful, yet silent companion.

My being here in this wilderness was no accident. God knew exactly what He was doing. He wanted my full, unwavering attention.

{His deepest desire is to be in

communion with us.}

It was here in Belgium when I would realize how far I had walked away from Him.

I could no longer ignore the voice in my head, 

The one raging at God from inside of me,

Waves of resentment, self-pity, and bitterness plagued my soul.

I had been carrying that voice with me for four years. I could no longer distract myself or mute it with the treble of other worldly noises.

He had allowed my brother to die. He could have saved him from death, but He chose not to.

I could no longer ignore the state of my heart,

Cracked beyond repair, 

Needing mending that I alone could not provide. 


In her book, “anonymous: Jesus’ hidden years…and yours”, Alicia Britt Chole, says this about the word Desert:

Desert is translated from a Greek word that refers to the abandonment of a person, cause, or place. Though it can refer to a tract of arid, barren land, or a waterless region, the primary meaning, when used to speak of a place, is that of solitude or emptiness. In this sense, desert is actually a descriptor for lonely places and uninhabited regions. (pp.50)


I was in my Desert. God had brought me to this place.

For what purpose, I would soon find out. But for now, I was entering a place of anonymity. A time for my roots to dig deep into the darkness…

Branches and fruit would one day follow.


Are you in a desert place right now? Have you been there before? What is God teaching you, or what have you learned from your experience? What, of His character, might God be revealing to you during this time? 

Imagine yourself there. Imagine yourself saying “yes” to the desert place. Imagine yourself reaching out to accept the gifts God will give you in this place of anonymity.

newly purposed,


This article was originally posted at  Finding Purpose in the Pain on November 15, 2012, where I am a contributing writer.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

2 thoughts on “When God Brings You Into a Desert {part 1}

  1. Jana,
    Thanks for the comment at my place so I could discover yours! We moved constantly as a child and because of that, I always imagined when I grew up I’d be a miltary wife. Strange. It never happened, but I have a special admiration for those who are.

    Belgium! I’ve been there long ago. We went to Brugge (sp?) and saw the Madonna of Brugge. So far away for God to take you, but it sounds as if it was worth it. It sounds pretty storybook like too…red brick farmhouse.

    Nice to meet you.

    • Hi Amy, Welcome to janas3dresses. So happy to connect with you. It’s funny you mention moving a lot as child. My dad was a pastor in the Methodist church. Therefore, we moved a lot and even lived overseas. I swore to my mom that I would never marry a minister, too disruptive to family life, or so I thought. And, then what do you know! I go and marry a military guy. I had no idea how similar the two professions would be. Service before self!

      Yes, Brugges! A gem in Belgium. We visited often. Our life there was very storybook. I miss walking the canals of Europe and admiring the homes and gardens. Europe is truly a remarkable place. My favorite image is the juxtaposition between the centuries’ old structures and the contemporary elements found in the people, art, and fashion.

      Nice to meet you, too!

I would love to hear from you!