Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A note of encouragement

Typically I write a blog post for myself, but today I want to write something for you: a note of encouragement.

Right now life is really good. That's only for one reason though: I'm trusting the Lord and He is providing. The last five years felt mostly like wandering around in the wilderness for me and I feel like I've finally reached the promised land. I'm living out the life I was always supposed to have (not to say I won't stumble some more- in fact, I'd bet on it). Maybe you're not there right now. Maybe you feel like you're in the wilderness and it's dark and terrifying. Perhaps you're losing hope and doubting the path that you've taken. Just keep walking. The Lord is faithful and provides. After five years of the wilderness and finally coming out, I know this is true.

Recently we came to a point where there was no reasonable way for our bills to get smaller. However, between bills, food, and gas, we were spending more than we were bringing in and falling behind on things. We started talking about the possibility of me looking for a part time job (and because of Violet that would have almost necessarily meant working at a daycare). It's not what I wanted, but I'm the one who handles paying our bills so I knew it would be necessary. We hadn't told anyone we were looking for extra ways to make money, but right when we needed it, opportunities presented themselves. Someone needed occasional child care that I could provide without taking away too much time from my own home/family and without the headache of a daycare. At the same time our property manager was having trouble keeping up the lawncare where we live and Cameron just mentioned that he would be willing to take care of it if they were interested. No phone calls or applications. We didn't solicit the jobs, they just showed up (one literally at our doorstep). We didn't have a lawnmower or weedeater, but God worked that out too. We were GIVEN both by a sweet couple from our church. Between the two new "jobs" we have enough that I don't have to look for a part time job. Other people had needs we were able to fill, and by doing so, our needs were filled too. Tell me God didn't do that.

Maybe your struggle isn't financial. Perhaps like me God has been talking to you about something He wants you to do or be a part of. Maybe you are holding back for some reason. Whatever it is, talk to God about it. He cares. When He placed a need on my heart, I told my husband but stopped there. I thought about it and did some research on it, but that was it. I told God I was open to doing it, but that I didn't know where to start and I was scared to talk to someone about it. He knows me and He already knew my inexperience and anxiety when it comes to speaking up. He opened the door so that the exact thing I was being called to do was presented to me. Someone walked straight up to me, asked if I would pray about being a part of something and that something was exactly what God had already told me to do.  All I had to do was say yes. He made it easy. That's not always how He works (trust me, I've been there) but that doesn't mean we can't talk to Him about our hesitations. Sometimes you have to do the hard thing, but then sometimes God sends you an Aaron. It's okay to ask God for what you think you need.

Maybe your struggle is your marriage. I know I've only been married for five years, but trust me, we've been through struggles beyond our years. We've hurt each other in ways that no one but God can heal. Praise Jesus that He is the great Healer. I've felt alone, abandoned, misused, betrayed, unappreciated, you name it. I've done just as much to him too. Marriage is hard work. Don't let anyone tell you differently. You will hurt your spouse and you will be hurt by your spouse in ways you never imagined. When you feel like giving up, hold on even tighter. When you most feel that divorce is the answer, recommit yourself to your vows and let your spouse know that you'd rather do the work than take the easy way out. I know you may think you're out of energy and that it's too much. Maybe you feel like you're doing it all alone. I've been there. God always has more strength to give you. When you think that you are out of forgiveness, that you have none left to offer, God will give you more. You can forgive your spouse of ANYTHING. Remember that God has forgiven you for everything. The Lord is always there, so you are never alone. The Lord has not abandoned your marriage or betrayed it and He wants more than anything to heal your wounds. He can heal all things, all marriages.

Whatever you are going through right now, God is faithful. His word is true. He wants to offer you an abundant life. Take it. Be thankful.