Behind the Name

Angie's Story

Have you wondered why this website is named, "My Sun and Shade"? The Founder shares her story here:

 

My mind goes back to my lovely backyard in Marine City, MI often. Not only are my roots in this city, but this is where I found my love, raised my kids, and attended a beautiful church for many years.

In 2017, my husband, and two-grown children, moved to Western New York to pastor a church.

 

Sometimes, I still long for my sunny backyard on Markel Road, where we lived for 14 years.

 

My dad gave me a yard swing for Mother's Day shortly after we moved into this house, and I could watch the sun rise and fall right from under the ash tree where the yard swing rested.

 

Read My Mother's Day Gift HERE

 

On top of having a full view of the sun, sky, and yard at all times during the day, I also had a full view of the front door, side yard, the barn, the driveway, the cornfields that surrounded our yard, and the neighbor's houses.

 

So the yard swing became a favorite spot to think, pray, and watch the goings on all around me.

 

One day, I found myself on the yard swing with a cup of coffee while the mid-morning summer sun hovered above me in all its beauty.

The birds sang in the trees and the sun cast sweet shadows over the freshly cut lawn. The black-eyed Susan's at the front of my garden shed danced in the gentle breeze, and I was all alone.

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I began to pray about a particularly difficult situation our family was facing, and before too long I was crying.

 

This trial was getting LONG, and we were growing weary from the stress.

 

"Why wasn't the Lord helping us in a more evident way?" I asked myself as I cried, and prayed.

 

At that exact moment, the sun became bright in the sky, and I could see it all around the yard, but the ash tree's branches over the swing prevented the sunlight from reaching me.

As I watched the sunlight cast sharp shadows across the lawn, it moved me, and I began to sing a song the Lord had given me years earlier during another trial.

The words of the song are taken from Psalm 121.

I lift up my eyes to the hills,

where does my help come from?

I lift up my eyes to the hills,

where does my help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of Heaven and Earth,

My help comes from the Lord,

He is my God

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of Heaven and Earth,

He watches over me, 

both now and forevermore

He is the shade at my right hand,

the sun will not harm you by day,

nor the moon harm you by night

Both now and forevermore

Image by Karsten Würth

Several thoughts came to me as I sang this song on the yard swing:

 

First of all, it occurred to me that the Lord is indeed my helper, and He will always be the source of my help.  

 

I believed He was watching over me as - The Maker of Heaven and Earth - and I believed He was aware of every thing at all times.

 

So, if He is aware of every thing all the time then He must know what my family is going through, I thought.

I may not feel His presence during this difficult time, but that doesn't mean He isn't with me or my family. He promises to be the shade at my right hand, and my Helper.

He promises never to leave me.

 

Psalm 121 says, If we lift our eyes to Him, neither the sun nor the moon will harm us -- meaning the Maker of Heaven and Earth will watch over us day and night.

As I thought about these things, a realization came to me. When I walk through trying times I can't see things clearly. A cloud might be cast over my understanding, or a tree might be blocking my view of the sun. Either way, I can't begin to know why something is happening.

 

Perhaps the reason for this is, the Lord wants to keep his works hidden from our view so He can accomplish His purposes in our lives without us interfering... interesting...

In contrast, during the good times, I feel the Lord's presence in a significant way. The sun's rays beam down upon me, warm me, and make me feel good. I may even feel the love and acceptance of my Heavenly Father very clearly. 

 

More often than not, I confidently feel I have a grasp on the Lord's purpose for my life during bright sunny days.

Shaded From Sun

When I was on the yard swing that day, I was in the shade, both physically and spiritually speaking.

I had no idea why the Lord was taking so long to help us.

 

Looking back on that time now, I don't know how we got through that long trial unscathed.

But, this I do know: The Maker of Heaven and Earth came to my aid. 

 

He came to my aid by way of peace and assurance, comforting me with the knowledge that He sees what I am going through and He means it for our good.

All things work together for those who love God and are called according to His purposes, (Romans 8:29 KJV).

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of Heaven and Earth

My help comes from the Lord

He is my God

He is the shade at my right hand;

the sun will not harm me by day,

nor the moon by night.

Both now and forevermore

The turnabout in my life happened when I started to embrace the "tough times in the shade" as well as the "good times in the sun."

And acknowledge, they were both from the Lord.

Things began to improve significantly for our family, especially after "Momma" got her heart right and accepted the long, trying situation we were going through.

 

Why did I accept the trial? Because I realized the Lord created both the sun and the shade, and His word says that He is with us by day and by night - in the good times and in the bad times.

Such great thoughts and inspirations came to me while I sat on the yard swing that day. See why it was one of my favorite spots to sit and pray? After my coffee, I would sit in silence and watched my little dachshund Sammy play in the yard. I would rehearse my new found peace and assurance: Just because I cannot see the Lord's hand at work in my life right now, or feel His presence during this tough, long, trial --it does not mean He isn't right by my side every step of the way, helping me with grace and endurance.

He promises to always be with me, giving me peace and assurance along the way -- reminding me He has a purpose in everything that comes about.

 

He promises to always be with you too, especially, if you look to Him in your times of need, and trust that He is there... somewhere behind the shade.

Lift up your eyes to the hills.

Where does your help come from?

My help comes from the Lord,

The Maker of heaven and earth.

Only then, can He be your help in the Sun & Shade.

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