Thursday, February 6, 2014

faith as small as a mustard seed

"...Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matt 17:20

This past year, 2013, was a learning year for myself and my family. We thought we had faith, we truly thought we did. We had prayed for several years about moving closer to home and to family, and at the end of 2012, we moved on that prayer. We took a huge leap of faith and moved. 2013 came with so much prayer and I'll be honest- worry. It just seemed like we were hit by challenge after challenge. We began to wonder if the move was really what God had intended for us. It took us 4 months to find a place to live *after* we had moved.

and so we prayed.

I cried a lot. I knew Arnie was unhappy in his job. I knew the job wasn't what he was meant to do. He knew it as well, we just didn't know what to do. The unhappiness and discontent was affecting everything in our lives.

and so we prayed.

In October, we were faced with an ultimatum. for probably one of the first times in my life, I gave up control and just went with it. We were a family of 5 and we were without a job. We were without a job from November until February. That's FOUR months without an income.

If you've never been in this position, let me just tell you: it is a humbling, humbling experience. with every moment you spend not looking for a job, you feel more guilty. I spent hours...days...doing nothing but filling out applications and making phone calls....with nothing. absolutely...nothing. occasionally, we both needed breaks from job searching...and in those "break times", I felt nothing but guilt that I wasn't looking actively for a job. we heard nothing. no phone calls, nothing.


What many, including myself, don't realize are the little things. Everyone worries about food on the table. Everyone worries about paying bills... but you don't instantly think about laundry detergent, dish soap, toilet paper, shampoo, diapers, wipes, deodorant, etc. So many little things begin to pile up and you constantly question where you went wrong. you question everything you do. you pour over receipts wishing a mistake had been made..

I cried. I cried a lot. I spent nights staring at a ceiling, just crying. what were we doing wrong? what had I done wrong? we fought a lot. I felt like a failure. we didn't communicate well. we were failing each other. tears were endless.

and so we prayed. we told ourselves (and were told by friends and family) over and over...God has a plan.

we had family trying to help us, we had friends reaching out to help us, but nothing seemed to pan out. we had silence answering our prayers. our phones never rang.

and so we prayed. we repeated it, over and over: God has a plan for us.

as our savings drained down to smaller and smaller numbers, my worry fought my faith.....and yet, we never went without (much).
We continued to pray. it seemed as though every free thought, every spare moment was a small prayer.

finally, an answer came late this Januar: a job came through- just as our savings emptied and I had no idea what we were going to do. I know that during last year, my faith waivered but never failed. it was small as a mustard seed. and while at the time, I felt nothing was happening, I felt abandoned....I was wrong. I was dead wrong. my two year old knows how to pray now, she knows Jesus. She talks about Jesus and she loves her Bible. That happened this past year. I don't think that would've happened otherwise.

you know what else happened? my husband and I- we are closer now because of what happened. we learned to communicate better, we learned to make a true blue bare bones budget. we weathered a pretty big storm, and we came out on the other side still holding hands. our marriage isn't perfect, it never has been, and never will be, but we've conquered some pretty large challenges. I feel blessed to have him in my life....and do you know what else?

I wouldn't change a thing.

being in these positions teaches me a lot about character. I have learned to be a student in all situations. there is no area of your life that you cannot learn more in. don't ever look at something and cry, "why me?"...but look at it as a challenge and see how much you can gain.

"...I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."-Philippians 4:12-13