A year ago, I was also wondering if we would go into full-time vocational ministry. We had talked on & off through the years about it, especially if something cataclysmic happened. This seemed cataclysmic to me.
A year ago, I was wondering if we would move to Minnesota where all of my family lives.
A year ago, I was wondering how long our savings would last. Would it be enough?
Now, I know the answers to those questions: no, we didn't go into full-time ministry, move to Minnesota, see a zero balance in our bank account, or even try to sell the house.
But last summer, no one could tell me what would happen to us. They could only tell me their stories. Alike but different. No one knew the answers to those questions except One. And He wasn't talking.
My head wanted answers. He knew what my heart needed: the day-by-day practice of trusting Him and of seeing Him work in the big and the little things.
the hydrangeas in our front yard
Eight boxes of food were given to us the same day we had three extra children at our house. They stayed for five days. God gave to us so that we could give to others. My husband and oldest son "just happened" to wait a long time and then be given free doughnuts the first Saturday after the lay-off.
God didn't work in mysterious ways. He worked through a friend showing up at my door with groceries for a nice dinner. She came on a day that I was particularly discouraged. Another friend gave us a gift certificate for a restaurant and an offer for free babysitting. God gave to us abundantly.
Others gave us money. At different times. In different amounts. Because "we love you." All those gifts of money were the reason we didn't see the zero balance in our bank account. We were humbly loved. How sweet it is.
We canceled two trips up north to see family. Through the contrast of ease of travel to then not being able to travel, I saw how sure it was that God swept me up to Minneapolis at just the right time to be there -- at my brother-in-law's side when he took his last breath. He battled cancer for three and a half years. I live nine hundred miles away. Yet, God took me there at that moment. I was able to be with my sister for a week and half just after he died. How thankful I am that I was able to do something and be there when I live 900 miles away. And just as sure as he swept me there and back to Tennessee, I was unable to travel at all for 13 months.
Two canceled trips. He showed me that He is in control when I'm not paying attention (such as the ease to get to Minnesota just six weeks before) and when I am disappointed about rearranged plans. We canceled the enrollment of my oldest two in a writing class. Instead, we hosted a sign language class at our house, which became a treasured memory from last school year. His plan is better than mine.
Peace came through trusting Him. It did not come through answers or even a job. Yes, I was happy and relieved when my husband was offered a job six months later. But relief is not the same as peace.
Today, I am thankful for my husband's job. I am thankful we were able to get back to Minnesota to visit family after a 13 month hiatus. I am thankful for a tree house that we built because of a canceled trip. I am thankful for more ways that God provided than I can list here. I am even thankful for the disappointments and the loss for I have gained something greater than any loss I felt.
"What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord..." Philippians 3:8
I am thankful for the lessons learned while we were sailing on the Sea of Saturdays.
May I continue to walk in peace and not relief.
May I continue to know the surpassing greatness of knowing Jesus,
Welcome Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood from Jen @ Finding Heaven. Link on over there to find more inspiration of God at work.
Do you have a story to tell about looking back and seeing the hand of God work in your life? I would love to hear how God works through you, too.