First of all - let me say that I am sorry it has been so long since I have blogged. Life has just seemed to be going and going; before I knew it November has come and is almost gone! Whew!!!
If I were to sum up what the Lord has been teaching/showing me in the past few months it would be this: Learning to lean and learning to let go. I know, I know sounds kind of contridictory I know but let me explain.
I have a control/fix it mentality. I really do. I see a problem, I don't want to focus on the problem I want to jump to the solution - often times before I have even fully grasped the problem. I want to FIX it, I want it gone, out of here! It doesn't matter the area of life or even if it is MY problem - I want to fix it. However, often times I can't. I just can't. Sometimes it is because the problem isn't mine to solve, or the solution isn't there yet, or well gulp, I just CAN'T!!! I especially struggle with this in terms of a problem or obstacle that I believe to be MY FAULT...there, I said it. If it is my fault, then I should be able to fix it - right? Nope...not always.
See, sometimes I believe that God allows us to dig ourselves in a hole so deep that we have to come to the point of absolute and total dependance on HIM! He has to be the one to get us out...there is a video I once saw called "A Man fell in a hole..." the whole video is how this man falls in a hole and all these people "attempt" to get him out - they can't. Yet, Jesus comes along and is the only one who can get him out. The man FELL in the hole. He wasn't pushed there, he wasn't placed there, he FELL there on his own accord. Perhaps he was distracted, perhaps he just plain didn't see it - regardless he got himself in the hole. I can relate. Recently, I have found myself in a hole. I wasn't pushed or placed or forced there - I FELL there. In fact, well...I am still in the hole in a sense but don't worry, this isn't the end of the post! I am not going to be left in the hole!
God is teaching and molding me. He is showing me that HIS grace is sufficient that I can LEAN on HIM! That HE will, in HIS time, remove me from the hole. I am learning, I am growing, I am being stretched and HE is ABLE! I don't see the how, I don't see the when, but I know I can trust in HIM to get me out of the hole. I want to fix it - if I work more (more on that in a bit), if I cut out more, if I pray more, if I do more, if I am more, etc....NOPE! Not gonna cut it...it's a God sized hole that I HAVE to lean on Him to get me out....
Now for the letting go part...as stated earlier I am a fixer but I also like to be in control. I want to be the one who determines how and when things are going to happen. In regards to my "hole" I had a plan! I was going to be out of that stupid hole by mid November. I had it lined out, planned out, it looked good on paper and well, that was that! It's November 27 - I am not out of the hole, my plan didn't really work, not sure why, I followed it to the T but here I am. I sat down, I revised, if I subbed just a few more days, if I sacrificed just this little bit of the calling God placed on my life (I'll come back to it God.), if I begged and pleaded just a tad more, if I just got a full-time job, if I gave up this part of our family...THEN I would be out of the hole. It hasn't worked...and I am realizing that until I let go of MY plans, MY agenda, MY timeline that I will stay in the hole. I don't LIKE the hole, it's dark, it's overbearing, it's lonely, it's suffocating and I WANT OUT...and thus the reason that I am learning it is time to let go. It is no longer mine to hold on to, I can't plan the when, the how ,the where the why - I just have to let go and let God.
For a moment let me chase a little side rabbit trail that in it's own way is connected. During my time in the hole (ha ha sounds like a prison cell!) God has allowed my husband to be ever so faithful, so encouraging, so focused, so wise...I have ignored him too. I thought, "Joel just isn't the planner I am. He's not thinking it all through - MY WAY WILL WORK.". My way, wasn't God's way, it wasn't my husband's way and well it didn't work...hmm, something to be said about that. You see, as a wife I am called to submit to and trust my husband. Can I state my opinion or ideas - absolutely! However, at the point in which he states the way we need to handle something then I need to listen, obey and follow. I haven't done that - I have fought, struggled, demanded, begged, pleaded - ok threw a down right temper tantrum to do it my way! Guess what? God AND my husband finally conceded and said "Ok, have it your way." Yep...didn't work. God will not honor and bless if our hearts are not first right with him and we aren't truly where we need to be in our walk with Him and secondly, as a wife I don't believe God will bless until I have submitted to my husband and I am right with him as well.
If you haven't guessed it by now - my hole centers around finances. It is a hole I KNOW to look out for, a hole I am familiar with as well...I have frequented it many times before. Times when I doubted and did not let go, times when I tried to take control and didn't lean on God, times when I failed to do things the way God has called me to...it is a hole that I HATE and yet I know God is still molding and refining me through this hole. The world tells me that I have a college degree and that I can make a decent income using that degree full-time. The world states that working 40-50 hours is the solution to getting out of the hole. The world says it's ok if my kids suffer in school, or lack of time with me as long as the paycheck is coming in....God says something different, something WEIRD in the world's standards. God says..I AM. I AM your PROVIDER, I AM your SUSTAINER, I AM your PHYSICIAN, I AM your SAVIOR, I AM your ALL IN ALL...and I WILL do what I say I WILL do! I do long to use the degree I have, and I believe that God will allow me to do that one day but that day isn't here and it won't come until I fully and completely let go and lean on Him.
This post is definitely a little more "open book" than I typically get but I felt that it was time to confess not only to God and to my husband but to be open about the struggle I am having in this hole. Not for the purpose of a "pat on the back" or "wow, you are so strong" etc. Believe me I am anything but strong...just ask my husband or best friend how many stinking temper tantrums I have thrown during the past few weeks!!! I am sharing it as a record of who God is and what He is doing and continues to do in my life. Many think minister's and their families have it all figured out and together and that life is just "peaches and cream" for us - the truth is we struggle, we fail, we doubt, we wonder just like any other family and in many ways we are harder on ourselves.
Why don't I need to work full time or sub full time? Simply stated - God says no and so does my husband. The more in depth answer - we have two children who need to be at home in a home-school environment so that they can thrive and grow. We have a ministry to a church and community that requires both Joel and I to be available and working within it. We have a son with special needs and learning disabilities that needs extra help and mom-time. We have a daughter involved in extra-curricular sports and activities that requires mom help. We have a home that needs TLC so that all 6 of us are able to relax and let go here...Would an extra income allow for any of this? NOPE...Will God provide the finances we need? YOU BET HE WILL!
"And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:19
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." Jer 29:11-13
Here's the video that I refer to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WCTltHR-Hg