This past month has been interesting. Oh sure it’s been wonderful with football, volleyball, watching and listening to the kids do their homework with their headphones listening and singing to music or watching football on TV with the occasional comment about their Fantasy Football players in the midst of studies. It’s been full of trips back and forth about a thousand times a week to three schools, the football field, the volleyball court. But I love it. I love carting my kids around because I’ve already calculated that in six years Trevor will be in college and all of this will be gone. So I’m going to love every minute of it right now while it is here and I am able to enjoy it. Even with the dirty, smelly uniforms, the clumps of mud in the entry way from football cleats, the pencils and pens and paper left on the kitchen and coffee tables, the shoes dropped on the tile floor, the dirty dishes left in the sink as the kids are running off to shower or leave for practice or do homework. It’s a season and like all seasons of life, I’m learning to enjoy them while they last. Because when I turn around, least expecting it, they have changed. They have grown, their beauty has evolved, their voices have dropped, their mannerisms appear so mature. And I daily choose to relish in those moments and tuck them in the depths of my heart.
And as the seasons of my kids growing years change, the seasons of my own life evolve as well. The season that has encompassed the past four weeks of my life has been one of sorrow, of hope for a better future, of loss and unfairness and loss of trust. It’s a season I hope not to repeat any time soon but as Psalm 23 says, “he makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul”. And that’s what my Heavenly Father is doing right now. I can’t say every minute of every day I am enjoying the beauty of today, the freshness of the green grass, the calm trickle of the fresh, cool water. Sometimes it’s easier to crank my neck as far around as I can to look back at where I came from and wish I could take a few steps back and stay where I was. But then I look at where the Lord has brought me for today and I’m thankful for the calm, thankful for the lessons of faith, relishing the act of obedience to sit still and wait. Because my truth is that where I came from became ugly. I became ugly. My morals changed, I laughed at what was far from funny, I spoke in words that made me cringe, I hardened in ways I never thought possible. The ugly came out and it stayed even though I didn’t welcome it. As I was walking through my room several days ago, I stopped and kind of jolted when I realized that for quite a while, I had been saying the end of Psalm 27 over and over in my head without even realizing it. It says “Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord”. This is a chapter I memorized years ago and I know God brought it to mind as I was meaninglessly meandering in my safe haven to find who knows what when I caught myself repeating the promises of God. He was calling me to wait. I hate waiting. Despise it. Loathe it. I am impatient to my core; it seeps through my blood and in every bead of sweat I drop. I want things done yesterday so I can cross them off my list and move on to the next thing. I love surprises; just ask my husband and kids because every day when I go to get the mail I get a little jump in my step wondering what lovely surprise just might be in the box today. Sometimes it’s a card from a friend, a box someone has been waiting for, a magazine filled with beauty, an invitation to something wonderful. And sometimes it’s junk, endless credit card applications, bills and more bills. That’s just life. But no matter what it is, it’s a surprise each and every day. And here I am sitting still waiting for the next surprise. The next move, the next assignment God has for me. I wanted it yesterday but today I am still waiting for the Lord, still watching the sun rise and set, still listening to streams of refreshing water trickle past me, still plucking blades of grass as I wait. And while there is beauty in waiting, in learning to surrender my impatience and my desire for what I want in my own time, there is organizing and cleaning and restoring going on in my soul. Sometimes I just want to sit on the naughty bench and say “OK you got me here, get the lesson over with, let’s hug, make up and move on” like I did when my kids were little. But I know it’s all about His timing, what I need to learn in the wait, cherishing the blessings of His goodness when life seems to strike another blow. And one of these days, that blessing will come and we will move on to whatever comes next. But I don’t ever want to miss what I need to learn today. I don’t want to check out and find myself having missed the grace I was given, having rushed so quickly I forgot the little answered prayers; I want to take in, appreciate, relish and savor the beauty of God’s love for me today, the joy of my salvation, the daily provision, the thankfulness that overflows my heart for all that is right and good and lovely and true. Waiting is hard, but in obedience, I wait.
So many of you know how transparent I have been over the years in the struggles we have faced with Ryan, finances, health, jobs, this and that and the other. And I really believe God calls me to be transparent so He can do what He needs to do in my own life as well as the lives of those around me. It’s my testimony of His goodness, my obedience to His calling. And so today, as hard as it is, I am going to be transparent once again even though I am reluctant, even though the hot tears stream down my flushed cheeks, even though I am fearful of others opinions, thoughts, judgments. Because the hard truth is that I have not had a job for the past four weeks. That’s really difficult to say. But it’s my truth for today. It’s my story. It’s my time of living Psalm 23 and 27 as I described above. And I don’t have a job because I was accused of doing something I did not do. Because someone passed judgment on me and didn’t take the time to find out facts and truth. Because for whatever reason, God wanted me to move on and so I have. I was not fired, I quit, but it was not in the timing I would have chosen. The details do not matter. God and my family and closest friends know and are loving me through it. What matters is that I find myself, and my precious family, in a precarious spot feeling alone, frightened, disappointed, and sad. Feeling like I was punished for something I did not do and so very disappointed no one cared to find out the truth. I have no idea what the Lord is doing in my life and why He chose to allow the events of the past four weeks to play out as they have. I have not enjoyed it, I am a huge believer in justice and truth. But no one seemed to be interested in truth and facts so I am here in the lonely, in the desert, in the hot and sweltering fire trying to figure out what God has for me next. And I know goodness is coming. I’m actually experiencing it today. The verse before wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord at the end of Psalm 27 says this – “I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living”. And that is my solid foundation; the truth that God has my back. There are so many truths that keep my feet moving with one step in front of the other. The truth that God’s mercy is new every morning, that He is the one who delights in me, that I am here for His purpose only to do His will in His perfect time. The truth that says “if God is for me, who can be against me?” and that “God will supply all my needs in Christ Jesus”. Oh he doesn’t do it in this impatient girl’s time, but He does supply my needs. There has never been a time we have gone without; the Lord has always, always, always supplied exactly what we have needed when we needed it. Never more and never less.
So please pray with us during this time of waiting. We sure need it and we cherish the prayers of those who surround us and walk this journey at our side. He is a good God and no matter how many times I have to repeat Ephesians 6:10-20 over and over again in my mind, I know this to be true – my Heavenly Fathers loves me with a love I will never grasp or understand. And part of that love means my perfect job is coming. It’s not in my time, it’s not in my plan, but it’s what’s best and I know that in the deepest crevice of my soul. So in my ugly, in my deep time of sorrow and waiting and being completely vulnerable, I will wait for the Lord, be strong, take heart and wait for Him to move. Your prayers are appreciated and I can’t wait to tell you all how God is moving and working and providing in the days to come. You are loved and cherished!