This January will mark 2 years since Brent and I did something crazy.
It was a HUGE step of faith and something that was done in complete obedience to the Lord.
Brent lost his job the same day I quit mine. It was a job that I loved and still miss to this day, but I knew the Lord wanted me at home with Lily. We had already made the decision to tell my principal that day, and even after a phone call from Brent that he lost his job and the GREAT temptation to change my mind, I still quit. (Thankfully, as a teacher, I was paid through August!)
That lasted for 7 months...the whole SAHM thing. Then we moved and I had to find a full time job.
Really, God, you only wanted me at home for 7 months? Gee, thanks.
I was mad, confused, and full of what-ifs. I trusted that God had a plan, but I did not trust that His plan was actually for my good. Because our situation was anything but good.
For two years, we have quietly thought to ourselves, "Where is our blessing?" It's not something either of us mentioned to each other until about three months ago. It sounds so selfish to even think of that question. I'm embarrassed to admit that I thought I deserved His blessing for doing what He asked of me. As if I deserve added blessings to the good news of my salvation.
But God promises to bless the obedience of his children. And we are certain that two years ago when we completely altered the course of our financial life, it was an act of obedience...and we just had no clue why things continued to get harder and harder after that day.
The blessing was there all along. Just not in the form I preferred. For two years I could have run from God and doubted Him to point where I ignored His loving pursuit of me. Glory be to God that He made me run to Him instead to embrace His loving pursuit of me!
Being forced to trust Him was the blessing. He pulled me into intimate fellowship with Him that I certainly wouldn't have had otherwise. For two years I have experienced the comforting reality of a Father who provides for His children. I've had moment after moment where I soaked in the Word and made myself believe it to be truth, even though Satan wanted to use my circumstances to leave me with no hope.
I can truthfully say that for two years, Jesus has become my best friend. He's become my first love. I've been drawn to Him like never before. I've desired His presence like never before. I've learned that all my heart truly longs for is Him. Absolutely nothing else. Other things may cloud this longing, but it's always there. My satisfaction, terrific or horrible circumstances, is in Him alone.
Does it sound crazy to say that I was sad when Brent accepted a new job? Of course, I was thrilled for him. His new job involves everything he's ever wanted in a job. I was thrilled for us as a family because it is a good opportunity for all of us. I am even thrilled about moving again. This job will hopefully end these two years of hardship. At least for now...I'm certainly not going to assume this will never happen again.
But I'm sad to see the hardship go. It's what brought me to my knees so many times, what made me desperate for God, what taught me to pray specifically and without ceasing, what taught me to be content with God's plan, what taught me patience, what taught me to be Brent's helpmate and encourager, what taught me to believe that my Father is my provider, what taught me that He IS good! What didn't it teach me?
I felt like I was leaving my Jesus behind. That sounds weird and I'm not even sure I can explain what I mean by that.
Once Brent accepted the job, a huge fear sunk deep into my heart. What if I don't see my great need for Him anymore? What if I don't fall to my knees in desperation anymore? What if I don't seek Him with all my heart anymore? What if I allow the things of this world cloud my longing for Him? What if I stop modeling to Lily a genuine and deep fellowship with my Savior?
I know my relationship with Jesus doesn't have to all of the sudden become shallow because my circumstances are looking up. I'm just fearful that my flesh will want to let other things be my first love. I pray to still see my great need for Him and model for Lily what it means to truly be a follower of Christ.
Father, thank you for the ultimate blessing of your presence and thank you for the material blessing of a new job. May what you have done for us never become a fleeting thought, but always a deep conviction of your love for us. May your work in our lives always be a fresh memory. Keep me desperately waiting on You, Lord, regardless of any blessing you give me.