My mind has been swirling since last night about what to write today. Sometimes it's just hard to get the thoughts going but I'll do my best. Trav and I have been through a lot in the last several years (I think I've heard that somewhere before) and it has become clear to me that it has been a faith building exercise. Maybe one day I'll outline my argument for God bringing hard times into your life. Yes, I believe that even though it flies in the face of several mainline denominations stance on, well, God. That God is all flowers and sunshine and would never, ever want us to go through anything remotely difficult much less make them difficult for us. Even though all throughout the old testament God tells Moses that He is testing the Israelites. But I'm not talking about that today because I haven't formulated my whole stance on it. And if you're going to make an argument like that you have to be able to defend it. Moving on.
Faith. We've come a long way since we first moved here and I was hyperventilating because we couldn't pay our bills. Seriously, hyperventilating. That's how terrifying it was to me. It's now several years later and I can see impending doom- like our mortgage about to adjust to a higher rate that we cannot afford to pay- and say, eh. OK, whatever, God will either a). make a way for us to refinance this thing or b). He'll make a way for us to pay the higher payment or c). we'll lose our house. C) sounds bad but at least I wouldn't have to put a new bathroom in it. I'm kidding. But throughout that whole refinancing process I barely batted an eye, didn't even come remotely close to worrying, and never, ever lost a night's sleep in the process. Even though we talked to several mortgage people that said they couldn't help. I was faced with losing my house and it did not move me.
Now, lest you think I'm bragging I'll fast forward to Tuesday (or rewind- whichever way you want to look at it). Travis car has pretty much died. The tires are completely worn out, it doesn't always shift into gear so sometimes he has to turn it off and then on again *while he's driving on the interstate*! And the less important thing is that it's 14 years old and smells like dirty feet- it used to be my dad's work van- and has no A/C. So Tuesday, we're praying and figuring, figuring, figuring and came to the conclusion that we cannot buy another car. It would make things too tight. Like miserably tight. Then I took a quick trip to the bank and a guy was hitchhiking in my neighborhood. I wasn't about to stop and pick him up and drove past him. He apparently didn't like that and swung at my van and started yelling at me. Earlier when I was in car line waiting for Chloe two things came to me 1. was that God had this all worked out and 2. was a really, really bad feeling. The bad feeling left after I didn't pick that guy up. But it was enough to knock the wind out of my sails and make me want to curl up in bed and cry.
Wednesday I woke up feeling better and then during the wind storm (?) one of our gutters blew off and exposed some rotting on the roof line and some shingles have been blown off. So Trav and I started talking about what the insurance company might do and whatever it is there is a $1,000 dollar deductible and blah, blah, blah and immediately my mood went to discouraged and my thoughts to "I can't take this anymore". Yes, I had two crummy days. Two crummy days that I wasn't expecting which led to my humanity taking over instead of faith rising up to say "God has this too". I'm not beating myself up or anything like that. My thoughts are just that in some circumstances- apparently the far off things that I can see- I can say, 'no problem, God will take care of it, I'm not worried'. And the surprises make me depressed and I want to curl up in bed and cry.
We were scheduled to lead worship for Life Group last night and when I was praying all week I felt a sense of diving purpose for us in that. As I sang through the first song I felt like I needed to share all of that and went into the second song not even thinking about what song it was. After the first verse I started sharing all of this that I've just shared with you and declared that my crummy mood wasn't going to affect my worship to the creator of the universe. Then I realized what the song was- Mighty to Save. "Saviour, He can move the mountains, my God is mighty to save, mighty to save". We picked that song weeks ago and I was singing it and not even thinking about it but God knew.
Later, we broke up into small groups of three and since I'd shared about my crummy two days one of the ladies said, "OK, so what's wrong" and I shared about my awful, crummy, blah, blah, blah. But I also shared about being called to go back home and how it came about and I was so surprised that they were really interested and cared and were excited for me. Then we continued to talk and I found out that this same person was facing really tough financial times too and she had the same questions I had at the beginning of our whole journey. "Why is this happening? Am I sinning? It isn't supposed to be this way"! And I was able to share with her a little bit about it building faith and that it's a season, not forever, even though it feels that way. Then we talked to the couple that host life group and we were able to talk about being called home and he was really encouraging and seemed happy for us and I can't even tell you how much it means to me to be able to talk about it. Because I'm excited and am looking forward to God fulfilling that in our lives.
Then on the way home, we stopped at our former life group leaders house to pick up Amanda (we left and she stayed) and both of our former leaders came out and talked to the little kiddos and hugged us and told us how much they missed us. And Marianne talked on and on about how precious Amanda is and how much God has done in her life in the last few months and how much she loves her. Then she talked about how exciting it is that God has called us home and was so happy for us. And I was able to tell her what was in my heart and that I feel like God has restoration in store for our family. Which she said was exactly what Pastor Dale is talking about right now.
When we left their house I was so very encouraged and excited about everything that God had done. Yes, the other stuff is still there but whatever. We'll figure it out, God has is under control and there's no reason for me to worry and be depressed. So yes, I can go from zero to discouraged in 2.4 seconds but God is there to meet me in those times because he loves me so much. He's not condemning but is there to encourage me and to give me a big hug through his people. And I am very thankful.