If you ever visit my apartment, you’ll notice that I have stick notes everywhere. I have a pad waiting to be used in every room. A pen sits nearby. My walls are nearly wallpapered with them. Quotes, verses, ideas, reminders. It all gets written down and stuck to something.
There’s a sticky next to my bedroom light switch that says, “Living Room Light” because one time I left the light on all night, two nights in a row. Since putting up the sticky, I always remember to turn off the light before I go to bed. Sometimes on the front door, I have stickies that say things like, “Garbage Avocado Container” because I need to remember to take things with me when I leave. I have a sticky on my bedside table that says, “every morning my mother cleans grease off the salt shaker”. That’s a writing idea sticky (that’ll be a good one eventually). I have another on the coffee table that says, “I like chips, tacos and pizza. I like chips, tacos, and pizza.” Oxford comma sticky.
I have stickies posted everywhere so I remember things.
When I left my apartment a few months ago, I left behind the sticky notes that I read every single day, multiple times a day. I didn’t think anything of it until I came back. On my first day at home, I read the notes that are on the wall beside my bed. It was almost disturbing to see myself in these little bits of paper. “Fear not” was a common theme. So were the words, “refuge”, “shield” and “rescue”. When I left my apartment, I was scared. I was anxious. I didn’t know how my life was going to turn out. I didn’t know what was happening to my body. I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it out in one piece. But I knew I needed Jesus. Desperately.
When I sit at my desk – a place I haven’t worked at in a very long time – I can read the notes I’ve left myself there, too. They are drastically different than the ones beside my bed. They are full of hope. They are from a long time ago. They are encouraging and sweet and joyful. The difference is drastic.
For a moment, as I read the sad sticky notes beside my bed, some of the anxiety returned. What if I go back to scary sticky note Amanda? What if I don’t ever make it back to uplifting sticky note Amanda? The thought of returning to a place where I was in the midst of a lot of turmoil was scary. I thought of tearing them all down. But then. But then! I realized something huge (this is going to sound enormously silly, but bear with me):
God was there in all of those sticky notes.
He was there in the joyful sticky notes beside my desk, and he was there in the desperate sticky notes beside my bed. Best of all, he will be there in any triumphant sticky note I add to my walls in the future. The sticky note messages show my struggle. They show reliance on God. They show hope. The sticky notes blatantly proclaim growth. They’re a tangible picture of the goodness of God in my every day life.
They tell me that I was not forsaken, I am stronger than I was before and I am deeply loved.
Sticky note THAT.
“…whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8