Storms … They come into our world, and we can’t really control them. Now a days, you can try to prepare as meteorologists can predict them … but otherwise, you just batten down the hatches, stock up on batteries, water, and food – and then hold on and pray.
I am thinking of all the friends I have on the East Coast who may be affected by this Franken-storm that is coming! I pray it isn’t as horrible as they predict. Our kids saw a long fleet of electric/utility trucks headed east on our interstate today, and I wondered if they were deploying to the East Coast to help with power outages?
Life’s storms are like this too, aren’t they? We think we are prepared – and yet, there is no certainty. We can’t control things even when we think we know what to do, what to stock up on, and where to go. And yet, we are still completely at the mercy of God. Sometimes we come out unscathed, and sometimes we get battered around and are bruised and hurt. And yet, God controls the storm and its effects on us.
Our lives have been a little stormy lately … Well, really, we’ve lived under the rain cloud for over a year now as my husband had tough decisions to make about a job he loved but knew the changes that were happening there meant his time of usefulness was over. Then we gave the actual resignation. This past summer, he transitioned into working temporarily as an independent contractor. He has had a few job interviews for jobs he thinks he’d like, and he gets notifications by email that he rates “eligible” for many of the jobs he applies for … but so far, no job offer. Then, of course, his accident on October 5th set our journey onto a path where we really had no more control over much of anything. Daniel can’t even work construction jobs again, and after 2 surgeries, he is laid up, as they say, for an indefinitely amount of time.
Due to the nature of his last job (a ministry-type job), we are not eligible for unemployment benefits … the worker’s comp situation fell through as well as Daniel was considered an independent contractor who was supposed to provide his own liability insurance. However, we held onto our previous health share program – and have been paying into it all along – and after talking to them, all medical expenses plus much of the physical therapy to come should be covered!! PRAISE THE LORD!!
And thus, we have seen God’s provision for us, over and over and over. We obviously haven’t lost our home, we are eating just fine (more than enough, I’d say!!), and our bills are covered for now due to a myriad of sources that I can’t even begin to explain or mention! While we will be set back financially – especially if the unemployment goes on much longer – we are still better off than most people we know who have been unemployed.
And so, I praise God in this storm. After a bout of feeling very lonely recently – due to losing my previous blog (and if you weren’t with me over there, it is too long and too sad of a story to share right now!) with its 100+ followers and other circumstances surrounding my church and gross misunderstandings, I really withdrew myself from everyone – more so to protect my real-life friends from being associated with me but also to protect myself from further criticism from yet-unknown sources.
Through my husband’s accident, I think we have made some strides to showing some people who were rather critical and maybe even doubting of my sincerity that we are the REAL DEAL. There has been small steps towards healing … and through it all, my truest, dearest friends have reached out to me as if we’d never had a period of separation! This is only the beginning of the blessings that I’ve experienced.
I don’t know when the sun will fully shine on us again and all this storm damage will be cleared up … but I keep my faith that one day – when the time is right – that God will allow us to be able to get back to brighter days.
I do know that I’ve learned so much about God lately. It has been interesting the things we’ve been told throughout this journey lately. Some are telling us, “God will bless you! God will bless you!” and while I think they mean materially that He will bless us, I realize maybe God chose to continue to let us struggle for a long time – there are NO guarantees that life has to be easy just because we are Christians. BUT the statement is still true: God will bless us if we just trust Him … and actually, He HAS blessed us incredibly already – financially by providing our physical needs and spiritually by allowing us to see a whole different side of life – a side we never thought we’d see.
I remember in my last big storms, which was all my years of infertility and later having to work full-time when I didn’t really want to, I was often depressed, angry, bitter, impatient, and questioned God continually. Amazingly, I haven’t really gotten depressed lately, maybe discouraged and weary, but I am not going back to that angry, ugly place again where I blame God. As our pastor has often said: many times we ask “why me, God?” … but really, we should be saying, “Why not me, God!”. I have no right to demand an easy life or all the things in this world that I think will make me happy … I don’t even have a guarantee of another day or another job or even a job my husband will love if he should be able to work again. Those are not my rights as a Christian surrendered to do whatever God wills. I do think if God ever chose to allow an easier path for us, we will be much different in our response to it. I would hope we’d be more generous, more others-focused, less materialistic, and more grateful than ever!
Ending this long post, I just want to say I still pray for the “perfectly suited” job for my husband whose main goal is just “to make a difference”; I pray God will allow him to do that again some day. I pray he will again be able to provide for his family as he wants to. I pray for God’s favor that one of the jobs we have applied for will open up – that the doors will swing wide open so that we know for sure that is the way we are to go. And I pray our family will grow stronger and closer and kinder and more content than ever before.
I can’t control this storm … but I can control my reaction. I can’t control how we come through it, but I can do my part to do the right things. I can’t guarantee there won’t be any damage, but I can work hard to make things new again. And as storms are apt to do, they must end … and I look forward to the sun shining again!!