Saturday, June 2, 2012

Setback, Set Aside and Set Up

It's been awhile since I've set myself in front of the keyboard... that was intentional.  Not because I didn't have anything to share... on the contrary.  There's a lot to share... but I was waiting... waiting for the story to unfold.  However, this morning, He really pressed upon me the undeniable fact that the story IS unfolding... how, despite what seems to be a period of frustrating stagnation in our journey to Providence, He is giving us a chance to grow in our faith, to mature in our wisdom.  How our "set backs" are really "set ups"... opportunities to marvel at how He puts everything together... in His timing.

The picture I've posted was taken May 4th, at the Revive Women's Conference in Rhode Island.  Rachel was asked to lead worship and she asked if I would help... of course, anyone who knows Rachel and her amazing gifts will readily recognize the fact that my "help" was not needed... but, I'd be lying if I didn't admit how great it felt to be singing with my friend again... or how much I truly miss leading others into worship.

After the conference, we headed back to Manchester to hang out with Jared and Rachel, as well as our friends, Kim and John Stiver.  That night lent itself to some really good conversations... interestingly, I had very little to say.  But, this is just an amazing testimony to how God is transforming me.  He is making me a better listener.  He's keeping my "passion" (aka emotions, frustration, excitement) in check.  But, at one point, Kim brought the conversation back to me and Jamie, asking the very pointed question: So, where are you guys with moving to Providence?  (This is why I love Kim and consider her one of my dearest friends.  She's just like me: direct, blunt, to the point... and incredibly annoying!) We answered the question the best way we knew how: We want to go.  We feel confident that God wants us to go.  But we have absolutely no idea how it's going to happen... or maybe, if I'm honest, I should say that I'm not sure how it CAN happen.

We ended up leaving Manchester that following morning resolute in one thing:  We can't have a Plan B.  We've asked God to make it clear and He did (I'll have to share that experience at a later date!) So, we need to move forward, totally trusting Him... and not planning for what happens if He doesn't "come through," if you will.  So, on the ride home we decided to put the house up of sale on June 15th.  Up until that point, our plan was for Jamie to find a job first, and then we'd figure out the housing situation.  However, after looking for a job... ANY job, for six months, with not one single (viable) option, we decided that maybe we're not trusting Him... So we decided to trust.  And never in our wildest dreams could we have ever considered what He did next.

That night, while looking for jobs, Jamie found a posting: Providence area law firm looking to hire attorney certified to practice in Maine, that would be willing to relocate.  Did you get it?  Those chills that run up and down your arm?  This was almost tailored made for Jamie... except for the fact that it's foreclosure law, which he knows very little about... but the ad said that they would train the "right" person.  Never, in our wildest dreams, would we have expected anything remotely close to this.  And I wish I could say that the job is his... but it isn't.  The door isn't closed. The posting went down last week and he hasn't received a call... but he also hasn't received the courtesy "Thanks, but no thanks" letter... so we just keep praying.

But in the meantime, we suffered a few other setbacks last week in the journey: my mom was diagnosed with cervical cancer, we learned that our septic system needs to be replaced, and Jamie's income will decrease yet again next month due to rising insurance costs and no cost of living increase. I had a moment the other day, just sitting in my chair, crying my eyes out.  And while it would be easy to say that there's a lot to cry over... the truth was that I was crying about the condition of my heart.  As I sat there, sharing everything with Jamie, I had to confess the resentment that was consuming me... so much so that I physically couldn't pray.  Never in my life have I been unable to pray.  But, last week, I couldn't. Instead, I was pleading with the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf.  I threw myself into the Bible, I listened to at least one sermon every morning while I worked out at the gym.  I prayed with Jamie.  I prayed with the kids.  I wish I could say that all my troubles "magically" went away. They didn't.  However, something did change... me.  Somewhere, somehow... a sense of peace has taken over my heart.  I am completely and totally 100% at peace... while in the storm.  I realized that all these setbacks (my mom, the septic, the income) and the "set asides" (those things that we have to "wait on"... like this job in Providence)... they're all just SET UPS for God to reveal His hand...sometimes in the immediate outcome, sometimes in the journey itself.... sometimes in our hearts.

In the meantime, we're still painting and packing....preparing ourselves for the journey.  Please, keep praying for our family: my mom, Jamie's job (both the one he has now and the one he'll have next...whenever and wherever that is!) and my heart... that a consuming peace will continue to grow, even in the height of the storm.

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