Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Praises for My King

Life is full of good and bad, ups and downs. Hard days will come, days where your soul feels stabbed and your heart wonders if it will heal. We don't have a choice whether or not we feel those days. But we do have a choice of how to respond.

We are in hard days. Dan is now unemployed. I have no idea what to say beyond that. The details are a little sketchy to me.

I sat at coffee last night with Audrey, who is without a doubt my own gift from the Lord. She and Mark have walked next to us, and often upheld us, through thick and thin, good and bad. She reminded me of many things, and I wanted to share a few with you.

1. God is big.
He is not constrained by time or space, He is not surprised by events, unaware of our pain, or out of control of anything even when we feel like our lives are out of control. My big God will care for hurting hearts, including mine, but more importantly for those I can't help right now. And so I praise Him. I do not doubt Him, but draw near to Him. I do not question His plan, but submit to His will. I do not weep only for what we have lost, but for the lost. I do not dwell on pain but move forward in faith. I do not act out in anger, but pray.

2. Things I call mine, are not mine.
I am not responsible for other people's faith. I am responsible to serve where I am, to love those around me, to nurture what I can, but God holds people in His hands, and He is responsible for their hearts. I cannot call anyone "mine" and mean "mine to be solely responsible for." "My" students are actually God's students, and He loves them more than I ever can. I thank the Lord that He knows all "my" students by name, He formed them, loves them, holds them in His hands. He will guide them, grow them, challenge them, and see them through.

3. Character and Integrity are sometimes all you have.
Sometimes circumstances change in ways you hate. Again, how you respond is yours alone to own. My choice is to walk uprightly, not gossip, slander, defend myself, or in any other way defame my character by defaming someone else. That might rank with life's hardest actions. I will bite my tongue, keep my mouth shut, and prayerfully decide what to share and what not to, even if I feel like I have the right to speak up. In that way I will always have my integrity, and at the end of the day that's what we really have to stand on. So as you ask me questions or read something I write, don't make assumptions, don't jump to conclusions, don't take it personally if I don't answer. I praise God that we have been through this before, and we know the value of integrity. I praise Him that we are being refined.

4. God Provides.
Dan took Gabe to MMA yesterday and told his instructor it would be Gabe's last day because our future is very unsure right now. Beau, Gabe's tough, tattooed teacher, told Dan it is not Gabe's last day. He said he has always known that pastors don't make a lot of money in the first place, and that he wants Gabe to keep coming even if we can't pay him for a while. That one still gets to me and there are tears as I type.

Both my parents and Dan's whole family have been 100% supportive. They are all pitching in to make Mckenna's birthday special. Mark and Audrey are too.

Our friends have called and texted and emailed to offer us support and help, encourage and uplift us.

I have wept tears of joy at each call, email, and text. I am completely aware that we are blessed beyond measure with people who love us, believe in us, and support us. I will never take that for granted. My mom said she prayed that God will take care of us, but instantly changed that to thanking God for taking care of us. He always has. He always will. It's not always comfortable to see God as our provider, but I am not in this life for comfort. I praise the Lord that He has seen fit to remove our comfort that we might grow in our faith, and move in His direction.

5. My husband is the most Godly person I know
Without a doubt, he loves the Lord and never compromises. He loves people, even when they are somewhat unlovable. He sacrifices his money, time, and emotion for others. He literally gives from the heart. He changes strangers' tires in the rain in a suit. He puts out brush fires on the side of the road with a blanket. He gives away his Bible--all marked and loved. He uses his own money to buy things for the youth group or church, for others. When he earns side money, he puts it away in cash to spend on me. He cries at the pain of others. He loves without asking for love in return.

Daniel--whose name means "God is my Judge"-- is the closest person to Jesus I know, and I count it an honor, a blessing, to spend this life with him, to learn from him and follow him and weather ups and downs with him. I will never cease to praise God for my husband, who I met when I was only 19 and not wise enough to pick such an incredible, mature man.


Heather said...

Praising God for upholding you at this time...

Nicole said...

It is a sweet blessing to read of your trust in our great and sovereign God. We will be praying for you guys. May God continue to be your comfort, rock, shelter, refuge and strength. And may He allow you to continue to respond to this trial in a way that honors Him and with Joy.

Anonymous said...

I LOVED reading the things you learned bc it made me grow in just what u wrote, wow such huge reminders for me. U have no idea what a blessing that is! We are praying for your family, we love u and miss u. Abby