Monday, September 23, 2013

God's Hand of Protection, His Faithfulness, & Other Thoughts

For those of you who are wondering, the future is still very uncertain for us. Of course, we know the One who IS certain, and that does make a huge difference :-). My husband has a job that will take us through most of December, which we are very grateful for. We have absolutely no clue where we will be after that. Right now we are praying through whether or not my husband should leave his field of work behind completely or if he should perhaps still use his training/knowledge but just in a different area than what he was doing before. There are a few people who have heard the full story of "why" he left his job. Let me just say that there is a cost to being a Christian, and sometimes the Lord works in our hearts slowly over time to reveal something. We must hold everything with an open hand. At the immediate time of him leaving his job, we were not entirely ready or prepared to give the full story. Slowly, and as the Lord leads us, we are sharing how the Lord showed us over the past year that my husband needed to leave his career.

For those of you who are really wondering...a huge part of the decision was our strong pro-life beliefs.  (And for those of you who don't know our family personally,  NO he did not work in an abortion clinic or for Planned Parenthood or anything like that! There are several Christians in his field of work and the issue at hand has been hotly debated, even among Christian pro-lifers. We examined TONS of arguments, studies, and evidence from both sides, in addition to much prayer and seeking the Lord on the issue before being led to our decision.). When temptations and doubt come (and they certainly have), it is important for me to remember the many ways the Lord spoke so clearly before we made the huge decision. Going back to that helps me fight the temptations. Specifically, the billboard that we saw in the most unexpected way/ the most critical time in one of our discussions. It said "Protect the Rights of the Unborn." There is not a doubt in my mind that the Lord used that to speak to my husband and I. This was on a road we NEVER take, were not planning on taking, and the timing of it all was just incredible in light of the discussion my husband and I were having. I don't even remember seeing any other billboard on that road as I was focused on an intense discussion with my husband...not on looking out the window! (That is just one of the many ways the Lord spoke to us...of course much scripture was used, as well as many other ways).

 I am not going to pretend that life has been all roses lately because it certainly has had its challenges. I have been struggling with depression & doubt, and my faith is being stretched daily. I suppose I should really have expected trials & temptations to come following our decision. I can say I can honestly feel the spiritual attack many days. There are nights where I feel like I am drowning in tears. I have not experienced anything close to that since the trials we had when our daughter was seriously sick 3 years ago. My body feels like it's been falling apart lately as I have had tendinitis in my shoulders, pain in my back and hips, and horrible headaches (likely related to this pregnancy :-) ). I am about half-way through this pregnancy and am looking forward to the end and holding my sweet baby, though it seems to be so far away still!

 Last week, as I was walking with my kids, I was literally a few steps away from being struck by a speeding car at a pedestrian crossing. I had begun crossing the street with my two kids at a major pedestrian crosswalk with no cars in sight other a truck who was waiting for us to cross. When I was half-way through the crosswalk (in the middle of the road), a car came speeding right through the intersection, literally steps in front of me. It was a young person driving, and it looked to me like he/she had his/her head looking down, perhaps texting or doing something else....I really can't be sure. I am fairly certain she never even saw me at all, even after. Until you've had your life literally flash before your eyes, you don't really know what it feels like. Part of me feels like I stood in the middle of the road, watching that car approach for 5 minutes and the other part of me feels like it all happened in a split second. I found out later that a friend of my mother-in-law actually witnessed our near-miss (she was in the truck that was waiting for us to cross). I am incredibly thankful that I was holding my daughter's hand at the time and that she was not in front of me. I was also pulling my son in the wagon behind me instead of pushing him in a stroller like I usually do. Thank the Lord I was not pushing a stroller in front of me.. I do not even want to think about what could have been...Thank the LORD for His protection. He is truly sovereign and knows the beginning from the end.

That scary experience was an incredible reminder of the Lord's sovereign hand in my life. Another positive thing that came out of that experience was a huge reminder as to my purpose here. Part of this depression thing is Satan trying to convince me that I have no real purpose, am a failure at everything, and am useless. That is a lie: I am here for my kids & for my husband, and ultimately, for the glory of God. Every day that He gives me breath is a gift. In an instant, He may call me home. One can never assume to be here on earth tomorrow or to have another chance to hug your loved ones. When lies come from Satan, I must fight them with the Word of God. Jesus is Lord of my life and HE is the reason I am serve Him...and right now, a huge part of serving Him is serving my family & raising my kids in His ways. That is a very important purpose, though the Devil has tried to convince me otherwise.

After what was a rather difficult week, we were greatly encouraged this past Sunday at church. I cannot tell you how grateful we are for the fellowship of believers.  It has been somewhat surprising to us that many people "get it"...why my husband left his job. I know there are still those who think we are just crazy and others who don't really get it (but are encouraging, nonetheless), but there are also those who truly do understand and support our decision. This past Sunday, one of our church elders and his wife shared some encouraging words with us regarding our recent decision. It was truly the encouragement we needed at the right time, and we thank God for using them to encourage us.

This week will be a busy one. I feel as though I'm coming down with a touch of the flu or something. I noticed Nathanael sounded very hoarse today, so I'm suspecting he may be coming down with something also. I had a rough start to the day today but ended it with reading plenty of books to my little ones, cuddled up on the couch with them. Nathanael has just started saying "I love you" and though he can be incredibly mischievous, he is one sweet little boy who loves giving hugs and kisses. I cannot believe how quickly Elianna is growing up. She is a delight to have around and always is coming up with things to keep me laughing. Her imagination is alive and well and she is also incredibly affectionate, still loving to come snuggle up with me.

I sometimes think of what our family is going through as a chapter in the story of our life (though that doesn't seem quite I know my life is not about MY story but about HIS story, the one already written. My life is for HIS glory, not my own.) I do not know what the next page will read. I don't even know how many pages are in this chapter or in the entire story. I do, however, know that God is faithful. That is written on every page, on every line, and if I would only open my eyes and trust Him for who He is, I wouldn't have to wait until the end of this chapter or the end of the story to read this.

It is not just that He WAS faithful (and He was!) or that He WILL be faithful (and He will!) is that He IS faithful. Today. In this moment. In this chapter in my life. On this page in my life. On this line.
Thank You Jesus for being faithful.

How truly blessed I am. I love my family more than words can say and I serve the living, faithful Savior. :-).


Bonnie said...

I am encouraged to hear you are holding tightly to the dear Savior's hand during this trying time. This truly is a faith-testing period in your lives! That almost seems like an understatement right now and yet at the same time God is lovingly demonstrating how is He is watching over you, protecting you day by day, and providing for your needs. Thank you for sharing your struggles with us so honestly. I too thank God today for a living faithful Savior who reigns throughout the ages and will be with us to the end of the this age and throughout eternity when we will be able to see the whole story and praise Him for it forever.

Kara Braun said...

What an encouraging post. Thank you for sharing this - God IS faithful!
Praying blessings and wisdom for you and your family, especially through the depression you are struggling with. God will carry you through it.
Take care.

darci said...

hello dear girl
it has been a very long time since I have been around in blog land and I obviously have a lot of catch up reading to do...but my heart ached for you reading this. I so get it..I get the spiritual attack. PRAYING for your wee family tonight. And looking forward to catching up.
Today the girls and I were reading about God being our Rock..that there is no other. He is a solid, fierce, loving and protective Father, and you are His.

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