genuine praise as i climb out of the mud hole.

so, todd started a new job yesterday.  he is no longer a pastor at candeo.

it's not really a long story, and it's definitely not a reality-tv-style dramatic one.  the specific position simply wasn't a good fit for him, and him in the position wasn't a good fit for the church.  so he decided (with the support and agreement of the rest of the elder team) to step out of the position so that candeo could be freed up to quickly find a person who will be good at the things we need most right now.  which was the right decision.  but it meant that he moved out of the position before he had another job lined up to move into.

i say all this to preface this statement:  i've been a dirty old stressball for the last month over all of this.  the highs have been low, and the lows have been lower.  i got all in a panic about stuff like, you know, feeding our kids to keep them alive.  which, though not impossible, is infinitely harder to do without a steady cash flow.  and while i knew god would provide a job for todd eventually, i had no idea how long it would be, and i was prepared for the worst.  (i was all like, 'what can i sell?! MY BLOOD!')

and to top it all off, you know what i did AFTER he got offered this new job?  i laid in my bed and cried about how little the starting salary is.  i mean, i knew god would take care of us, but i was whining and complaining about the potential that it might not reach the standards i would choose for my life if given reigning rule over the laws and trajectory of the universe.  (because, you know, i have higher standards than god's and also am smarter than he is about how to go about reaching those standards.  ahem.)

i eventually roused myself from my snot-soaked pillow and came downstairs to find an envelope laying on the counter, sent from minnesota by a girl i (understatedly) hardly know.  and you know what was inside?  a note of encouragement and a staggering target gift card. and i clearly heard god say, in such a kind and compassionate and exasperated way, 'how could you think i wouldn't take care of you?  what on earth makes you think i've changed?'

and i was all, you're so right.  when has he EVER left me languishing in some hole and forgotten about me?  when have the trials of this life been used for anything but my ultimate good?  yeah, there are hard things that we've faced.  unemployment is major, sure, but so is deciding to move to a new town and sell your house by owner and find a new job for your husband and live apart for months just to move into someone's basement for the purpose of trying to help start a church from scratch, all while unexpectedly pregnant and house hunting and living out of suitcases until two weeks before your due date.  and this is to say nothing of the difficulty of actually helping to plant the church.  our whole life here has been insanely difficult and chaotic and jam packed, if i'm being brutally honest.

and our whole life here has been insanely, over-the-top, lovingly blessed by a sovereign god who knows our needs.  and sometimes we need hard stuff.

i have needed these hard things like i need breath.  it is GOD who sustains.  it is GOD who provides.  it is GOD who offers stability in the midst of crushing chaos.  and it is GOD who makes every. single. bit. of this the best thing that has ever happened to me.  i would not trade a single second of it away for an easier life.  

this morning i found myself laying on my face on the basement floor, pleading with god to 'let it be to me according to your word.'  whatever you pick for me, god, that's what i want.  i don't want him to give me my sorry idea of a cherry-picked life.  i want the hard, crushing, meaningful life of following him into unknown, scary territory and watching him work in amazing ways.  like he always has, like he always will.  because that's who he is.

so  THANK GOD for our (thankfully short-lived) time of unemployment!  and THANK GOD for the new job he brought to todd so soon!  and THANK GOD for whatever comes next for us, whatever it looks like.  i am so privileged to have such a wonderful father.


todd said...

Hebrews 6:17-20

17 Because God wanted to show His unchangeable purpose even more clearly to the heirs of the promise, He guaranteed it with an oath, 18 so that through two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to seize the hope set before us. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for our lives, safe and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. 20 Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.

lauren said...

I love you. I love our God.

the jersk. said...

i cannot love this enough. we're in the same sort of predicament and god, as usual, has pulled through even though i doubted profusely. he's so kind to us silly sheep. love you all. <3<3