Many of you know me, many of you don't and those that have been following my blogs over time will know that our lives were tipped upside down over three years ago when Jamie lost his job suddenly. As you can imagine it was a time of broken-ness, frustration and worry and stress. I didn't think we would last six weeks let alone three and a half years. From time to time I have touched on our journey and wrote about how I was feeling, what was happening in family and what God was doing in our lives and through us. God has never before been so evident and tangible to us personally, as a couple and as a family as he has in this time.
Here we are three and half years later, our world still shaking as we await Jamie's hip replacement and six to eight weeks of recuperation after it. Then well......... its a blank space baby. Do you know how that feels perhaps? Its all very well to make plans of what is to happen next, to have an idea of where to from here but what happens when you are relying totally on God as we have done this entire time, to come up blank? Its like the bottom has fallen out of time.
Its hard for people to understand this, to understand the journey that we are on, if they aren't believers or maybe haven't been at a time where they have had to or wanted to, put all their entire lives and trust in God. Its so hard. I can understand why they would think we were nuts, think maybe we are being irresponsible or perhaps even lazy. I can understand the frustration they might feel towards us. "How can you live like that?" Its something that I have heard many a times. I can live like this because its what we are called to do at this time. Its not easy of course it isn't. But my faith and trust in Him, my love for Him is strong and is real.
I don't want to ever forget this time. Ever. Period. I don't want to ever forget what it was like to lose a very very good income in a matter of hours. I don't want to ever forget what it was like to watch your husband be turned down for jobs time after time after time. I don't want to ever forget having to tell you children that from now on there is no pocket money, no treats, no new clothes or toys. I don't want to forget what its like to lie in bed and try to work out how you will pay the power bill due the next day, to see your pantry supplies dwindle away without the means to replace them, to rummage through your freezer for meat for dinner and come up empty. I don't want to forget what its like to have 39c in your bank account or to have your card decline at the supermarket or to have to transfer money out of your kids account just so you can put ten dollars of petrol into your car. I don't want to forget the feeling of not being able to buy loved ones birthday presents. I don't want to forget what its like to have to ask to borrow some money to help pay for rent or to get a tooth fixed. I don't want to ever forget what it was like to be receiving a food parcel from the community food-bank. A feeling of most intense gratefulness but of embarrassment all at the same time all the while seeing the glory that is of our God at his perfect timing. We learnt a big lesson in humility that day. I just don't want to forget. We have always been very reluctant to ask for help as we figure that God knows all our needs and our hope is in him but there have been times where I think the lesson has been in humilty of having to ask for certain help. I tell you it really really does suck!
Because if I forget then that means I would have to forget the miracles of God, the seeing of how God does provide and how it felt when he blesses you above and beyond your expectations. The feeling of seeing my husband studying something he is passionate about and preach Gods word for the first time. The feeling of pride at seeing him graduate a straight A student. The feeling of gratitude and amazement when you get given clothes for your kids of things they so desperately need. The feeling of seeing God bless your son with a new bike days after he has poured his heart out asking God for one. The absolute gratitude when family and friends gift money unknowingly at just the right time so you can buy food or pay the power bill or put petrol in the car. The absolute thankfulness when someone provides you weekly with a fruit and vege box knowing that on some night fruit and veges is whats on the menu for dinner. The feeling of knowing that family and friends have your back and are praying for you, understand where you are, support you where they can, lend a listening ear and share wise and encouraging words. I don't want to ever forget.
I know you can essentially say that we have chosen this for ourselves and I suppose we have. Yes we have chosen this, we have chosen to be and remain obedient to God and to follow the path that he has us on. Yes it isn't normal for a family of 9 to be willingly on this journey I know this. Don't you think I know this! Sometime I don't want to be different because sometimes its get just hard, too hard and tears come, tired angry tears. Tears of frustration, of "how long will this go on for" tears, "I can't do this anymore" tears or even "Come on seriously God?" tears!!
And here we are now...for us we are standing at the edge of our Red Sea, with the army of Egyptians crowding around us from all sides and are pressing in. Our toes are about to get wet as the sea laps up onto the shore. All we see in front of us is a vast mighty ocean and the wind is whipping at our clothes and hair as we stand in wait. God has to move mightily He WILL move mightily. The sea we see before WILL part and we WILL walk through it dry and unharmed. In time, all in His time, His perfect timing. We will come through this victorious and righteous!! Amen!! We just don't know what our other side looks like yet.
Some of you may say....."if God was real and in this "where is he? or why doesn't he make things better for you?" Well he could, in an instant. But what would we have learnt? We wouldn't have seen all the miracles we have, we wouldn't have grown in ourselves, we wouldn't of learnt more of Him, we wouldn't of felt the love of our family and friends. I know we wouldn't have the heart for the lost, the poor and the needy that we now do. He wouldn't be able to use us like he has and we would be unequipped to really connect, help and share the love of Christ with those who are where we are now. Its one thing to say your faith is real and strong when you haven't suffered. Its easier to say that you believe when things have been rosy for you. I know we were there once. Believing that God was happy and pleased with us because our lives were blessed. That he loved us because we were reasonably well off and were living in the "land of milk and honey". But God wanted more from us, more faith, more trust and more obedience and over these past few years we have done our best to deliver. We are not perfect. We get mad, lose faith, doubt Gods word (even though we have see him come through time and time again), we even believe that we are entitled to more. But God doesn't owe us anything. Jesus is enough.
So do not fear, for I am with you;