From the Wilderness to the Promised Land

//From the Wilderness to the Promised Land
Today marks 6 years since Hosea “graduated” to heaven. We had such a wonderful celebration of his life this year on his birthday in April and wanted his heaven day to be a continuation of that. For anyone who has ever lost someone dear to them I’m sure you know what “marker days” can feel like.


There are certain things that may trigger memories and even the time of day can take you back to that moment in time when everything shifted. 6:28 is a time on the clock that I will always remember. While there are still waves of sadness at not getting to live this life out with Hosea by our side, we truly have found a grace to celebrate that he is alive. On days like this it feels like more of a choice to celebrate that fact. When memories trigger thoughts or even physical reactions as a mother, I choose to take those thoughts captive…as opposed to allowing the thoughts to take me to a dark place that I’ve been set free from. I choose life. I choose to continue to move forward. I choose to be thankful. And I choose to say that my God is good.


For years, our children have asked for a dog and we’ve said “No way! We’ve got kids!! That’s enough!” But yesterday we welcomed a new puppy into our home. He is a symbol of new life, new beginnings, and the new season that we’ve been walking in.


Choosing his name was a big deal! All of our children have very symbolic names for big events that have happened in our lives. We believe a name is powerful. It’s not just a name; it speaks destiny and calling over our children. As silly as it may sound, we felt that this little guy’s name was equally as important because of the timing of when we got him and what we believe he symbolizes. Micaiah was certain his name should be “Toby,” which means “God is Good.” Eden wanted to name him “Abel” which means “Breath, Vapor” as a reminder that life is a vapor…live it to the fullest. And Asher wanted to name him “Astroid Boy.” Nothing symbolic here. Just a favorite cartoon character! 🙂 The girls thought we could shorten it to “Astro” maybe. After 24 hours of deliberating, nothing fit perfectly.


Driving in the car this morning, we were talking some more and suddenly the name came – Canaan. If you’ve ever heard the story of the children of Israel in the Bible, you know that they were slaves in Egypt and were set free to head to the promised land of Canaan. Canaan was the land God had promised to give them and it was full of blessings and everything they could ever need. The Israelites had to cross a wilderness to get to Canaan and fight many battles. They were even tempted to go back to Egypt when faced with the trials to get to this promised land of blessing.


I know our family is not alone in feeling like we’ve walked that journey. We’ve been set free from bondage and slavery from so many things that kept us stuck in life and prevented us from moving and walking in freedom.  We’ve certainly hit the wilderness. There have been many days and nights where we wanted to turn back to what seemed “easier” or “safer” but that was only because those memories were familiar. In reality it was still bondage, but the unknown often seems worse than the awful places we’ve left behind.


Our new puppy, Canaan, is the perfect picture of the wilderness we’ve left and the Promised Land of life, healing, hope, freedom, and blessings that God has taken us into. All of his promises are “yes.” It’s up to us to agree with what He’s already said is true!


So as I write with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes over my 6 year old little man that I wish I could hug today, I’m thankful for Canaan….the promised land of blessings that is all of ours should we choose to believe and take hold of it. I pray, friend, that you too will choose take hold of what is yours today and walk out of the wilderness!


This has been my theme song for the last several months! It’s is amazing to put yourself in Joshua’s shoes…a great leader who had to follow in the footsteps of a great leader named Moses. He had to finish what Moses started…lead the Israelites into the promised land. However, there was one city standing in their way…Jericho. Likewise, so many “walls” stand in the way of us receiving the fullness of all we’ve been promised as God’s children. The words of this song are a powerful reminder to me that I’ve never walked alone through any “battle” and He is the One who leads me home.



  • Thank you Jenni for sharing. Today is our youngest son Ryan’s 8th birthday but it is tainted with the sadness on Ryan’s face as he celebrates for the second year a birthday without his brother. It is a journey full of ups and downs, while I am so thankful to have moved out of the first year the pain at times is as raw as it was April 6th, 2011 at 7:08pm when Matt was forever healed. I’m 55 weeks, 3 days and 20 hrs closer to seeing him again, it makes me giddy to think about it! We have friends in Fla that lost their 3 wk old son this week to SIDS, I have thought of you several times and am going to share your post with them. The only consolation I find in burying a child is knowing God can use Matthew’s story to impact another persons life forever. I still hope to connect again soon. Thank you for your open heart…Kim

    Kim LaRocca 06.05.2012
  • Ahhhh, feeling it with you sweet family. What a great way to celebrate! Trusting God to use little Canaan to teach you even more about yourselves and each other on this journey.

    Sarah 06.05.2012
  • What a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing.

    Sharon 07.05.2012
  • I love the way you wrote this article. This is wonderful. I do hope you intend to write more of these types of articles. Thank you for this interesting content!

    Jeremy Scott 30.09.2012

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