Friday, October 07, 2011

Back to Posting After a Brief Hiatus~

I know plenty of others who have faced the "What do I write about after a long hiatus?" ordeal when returning to their blogs after time away. And that is where you find me today - wondering what to write about since my last post three months ago. A dear friend (and a clever one at that!) asked where I had run off to since my last post (which, if you scroll down, had to do with running and pretty new shoes). Well, the reality is that I haven't really run off anywhere. Other than our long-anticipated and much-enjoyed time visiting family in Texas, we are back in the 'Ville with no definite end in sight to this season. We thought with near certainty that we would be heading further north shortly after arriving back here in July, but life can take a sudden turn at a moment's notice. Rather than go into the long explanation of the events leading to us not ending up in Ohio, I will let you read my husband's personal account of the very difficult and confusing situation we found ourselves in (and in doing so give a shameless plug for his new blog): "What Happened With Ohio."

In the days - and now months - that followed, I feel that he took the shock much better than I did. Maybe we handled it differently because of how it affected us. He took the brunt of it since he was the one who would have been that church's pastor. He is the one leading our family, and is making concerted efforts to move us beyond this transitional season. Here is how I processed things initially; I liken it to a memory from my job working at the hospital during our senior year in college. Families would come in with the patient being admitted, and while the patient was calm yet nervous, the families were often an utter nervous wreck. In the aftermath of Ohio not happening, I was a real mess of emotion some days, bouncing around from angry to relieved to confused to sad, with a lot more confused thrown in the mix than the others. I just didn't understand what had happened, what had gone wrong, even after we received a very gracious and heartbreaking explanation from the gentleman who led the pastor search committee at this church. Even in the moments of relief, I didn't understand. Why would God bring us so very close to launching into the church ministry our hearts have longed for, only to have the door slammed in our faces, and from a church very likely heading towards complete failure? Why was the one real hope for my husband finally stepping into a pastoral role in the context of a church barely making ends meet? Why, after two years of simply trying to get his foot in the door is my husband continually faced with churches whose criteria he just doesn't quite meet? Why are search committees even the ones given such a great and serious responsibility anyway? The questions continue to come on those days when I find myself more reserved and caught up in my own thoughts. I don't understand, I may not ever understand. And perhaps the most scary question of them all: Is all of this church searching worth the effort, worth the pain and waiting and wondering? Scary, but honest...

Once the initial impact passed and the reality of an unknown timeline set in, I was made keenly aware of the truth that I have a choice to make. I can sit idly by, waiting for tomorrow, not investing my time or energy or heart into anything while we anticipate when and where the next chapter may occur...or I can taste and see that the Lord is good. The verse goes on to say, "Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" (Psalm 34:8) I can embrace this season as one of rest granted by the only One who knows my weary and confused heart completely (Psalm 139:23-24). I can direct my thoughts toward being grateful for what my husband and I have been given: my wonderful job where I continue to grow and excel, a place to live with a fridge that's (usually) full, a good small group at church who collectively desires to encourage one another, family to support us even from hundreds of miles away (and who I miss now perhaps more than ever), two dogs that bring us such simply joy and lots of laughs, and we have each other. I have never known my husband more, known his daily joys and deepest struggles more deeply, and I have never loved him more than in recent months.

On those days when idleness is the easiest temptation to slide into, I want those to be the times when I fix my attention and affections on the Lord:

Still my soul be still, and do not fear though winds of change may rage tomorrow.
God is at your side, no longer dread the fires of unexpected sorrow.
Chorus: God You are my God, and I will trust in You and not be shaken.
Lord of peace renew a steadfast spirit within me to rest in You alone.
Still my soul be still, do not be moved by lesser lights and fleeting shadows.
Hold onto His ways with shield of faith against temptations flaming arrows...
Still my soul be still, do not forsake the Truth you learned in the beginning.
Wait upon the Lord and hope will rise as stars appear when day is dimming...
(Keith & Kristyn Getty)

But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
His mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in Him."
The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
to the soul who seeks Him. (Lamentations 3:21-25)


Terri said...

Thanks for sharing that! I feel much the same way with the mission stuff. We did EVERYTHING they asked us to do and then all the doors slammed shut. I find myself asking why? So does John. But God has a plan and we have to trust Him to bring it about in His timing. So we keep moving forward and living life each day to the fullest. I am finding that I enjoy my days much more than ever before as I fill them with meaningful activities with my kids and husband (when he is home) and friends (when I can). Know we are praying for you both and God's direction for your ministry and lives. Love you bunches!

BreAnna Fowler said...

Been there. Totally get it. During that time, God kept reminding me to come with my heavy burdens and rest. Explanations will never come, but rest is there waiting for me. Like a child who hears their father tell them, "its for your good". This is the answer we must accept. Somehow, I felt like it was a rejection of me personally, I could have handled it better...but I know better. God will provide when the place and the people are fully ready. We wait with you, friend. Still waiting for our place too. ((HUGS))