It’s 2 am as we speak, most my community is tucked in their beds…. I am not. My head is spinning a million miles an hour. I have butterflies, I feel sick. I have waves of excitement replaced by those of dread, then full on panic. I had a “bomb” dropped on me this week. The news has sent me into a tail spin. My business partner has decided to step down for the sake of her family. Because of this, I have some pretty big decisions to make myself. Do I proceed onward and upward, or do I forfeit the store front- in favor of working on a smaller scale. I love our little shop! I love the people I meet because of it, I love the chances I have to minister to others through those meetings. And that is what this little shop has been for me- my ministry. But I can’t do this alone. So I am left with this unsettling feeling of just what to do.
So-at two a.m. as I turn to my bible, I end up with this passage- and it’s subsequent devotion:
I will bless the L ord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the L ord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. (Psalms 16:7, 8 NLT)
It is human nature to make our own plans and then ask God to bless them. Instead, we should seek God’s will first. By constantly thinking about the Lord and his way of living, we will gain insights that will help us make right decisions and live the way God desires. Communicating with God allows him to counsel us and give us wisdom.
How do I have the wisdom to discern my plans and God’s plans for me? He is good. He has granted us success with this shop. He has opened doors for me to meet people that would have never come into my life, were it not through the store. But, what about the ministry of motherhood? Because right now, we are DEEPLY lacking in that area. My family’s cracks are growing wider. I am at this point- is my glory to Him in a shop or in my family??
Can I be at peace in a simple life? Do I want to define my worth through my children or through my work because, now is that time.
Now is when I decide the answer, and act accordingly.
No scriptural reference this morning- just a little journaling.
Hubs finally got a job offer last week, not one I was happy about. I know. Who’s NOT happy about a job offer after several interviews and many months no work?? Me. Apparently. You see, I had my reasons. I’m upset with the company still (same place that laid him off). I just feel like we have seen our day with this company BUT…. and then there is the small issue of money. They offered less than he’s making now, but NOW they will be taking out for insurance and retirement. We countered- ok he countered- and they didn’t even budge. Not even one penny. So I have my issues with that as well. (Is the employment world so changed that the employer is THAT entitiled!? In the world I remember, they give a little wiggle room so they can move up a bit- but ok). So needless to say for my own selfish reasons I’m less than ecstatic about hubs “new” job. That is until last night at church.
Last night I listened to one of our a church families as they asked for prayer because they just found out- due to recent cutbacks in job- that they will have to sell their house and downsize. I listened to her go into detail about the worries they have putting food on the table and figuring out bus fare to get their 13 year old daughter down to them for her monthly visit. Then I listened as another member of our church family explain uncertainty with their workplace, firings and resignations that have completely tipped his team over the scale of normalcy and efficiency.
Then we continued on our discussion of the book of the Judges.
All the sudden I could see how selfish I was being. How entitled I felt. I’m tired of treading water- I want to get a little ahead. If our car dies I’d like to have some wiggle room that we can make a car payment if needed. But that’s not the plan.., right now. I keep giving God the praise to the outside world but in my prayers I try and negotiate with him. “If you offer this, I will do this in return.” And just as I was shown in sermon last night– Jephthah negotiated with God and he lost. He gave glory to Him when he won his battles but in prayer he negotiated. He negotiated himself out of his only child.
Soooooo…..rounding things out. I was shown the ugliness of my grave sin last night. I am sorry to God for not accepting His gifts to our family graciously. I am sorry to my hubs for causing him to doubt himself and (I’m sure) his ability to provide sufficiently for this family. I apologize to my church family because I thought i was so entitled that i put my needs above theirs and was blind to their struggles. I am human- I am prone to selfishness, poor decisions, works based thoughts for salvation, and ungrateful actions. But that is why Jesus sat on that cross for me. Not because of who I am- but because of His great love for me.
There is a song in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat…..,
Close every door to me.
Hide all the world from me.
Bar out the windows and shut out the light….
Darken my daytime and
Torture my night….if my life were important I would ask will i live or die…..
This song echoed in my head today as I read the story of how Joe got to that space in the first place. You see, he trusted. He put his whole life in the hands of another. He trusted that IF he acted in a certain manner, those around him would act with as much honor in regards to him. He was handed a healthy dose of reality as his integrity was challenged and his lifestyle was stripped away. All because of an egotistically motivated move on the part of those whom Joseph trusted with his life.
Hub’s is out of a job these days. He has been for six months. I couldn’t help but to see the similarities in our story and Joseph’s. We entrusted our lives to his employer. We believed that this employer would look out after us. If H showed loyalty, a good work ethic, and integrity; we would have nothing to worry about. This company has moved us to a different state, and back. H has worked his way from local location to management to corporate. He’s poured blood sweat and tears into them for 11 years. Then, in an egotistically motivated move, H was stripped of his gainful employment. We were stripped of our lifestyle. It has felt in the last few months as though the door has been slammed shut….the window barred. H has been on several interviews, he has worked through dozens of other applicants- been invited back for second, third and fourth interviews, only to have the door brutally slammed in his face at the final selection process. I’ve stood by and watched as he’s gotten excited about company after company only to be passed again. It has been heart wrenching. But today the words of the song rattle around in my ever hopeful brain….
I know that the answers lie
Far from this world
Children of Israel are never alone
For I know I shall find
My own peace of mind.
Joseph was betrayed by those whom he trusted, but he still chose to trust in the goodness of others. He got out of prison and ended up in a better position in life. Today, as H goes back to his old company on a temporary project, I too will trust in the goodness of others, but more importantly I will trust in the Lord’s sovereignty. I will remember that He is truly in charge of my life, of our family. One day, THIS will all be part of the story that built our character and brought us closer to our own peace of mind.
And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” (Mark 8:12 ESV)
Why does this generation seek a sign…Jesus asks in this text. I dare say he asked in a flabbergasted tone. Here he is fresh off feeding the people …twice. Fresh off healing blindness, leprosy, and even death and the masses are still saying show us a sign.
I’m so frustrated. We are going on a while now with Hubby being jobless. It’s down to the wire and all I can say is…show me a sign. Show us what to do God. You are in the drivers seat God. Show us where you want us. And I think he is trying to. But we won’t get out of His way to allow him to forge that path.
There is a scene in “Liar Liar“where Jim Carrey’s character is throwing himself all over the bathroom in an attempt to “kick his own a**”. Am I that character? Am I kicking my own butt standing in my own way, inflicting unnecessary pain on myself because it is easier than trusting in someone else to do your life for you. Is God the gentleman that walks in on this madness, shakes his head in dismay and disbelief and walks out?
I keep saying “God, I need a sign”- and here He is saying back…no sign will be given. The sign was Him. The sign is TRUST. The sign is WAIT. I feel like this is my dark before the dawn. I feel like it is 4 a.m. — I HOPE it’s 4 a.m. in this trial. But I don’t need to be looking for a sign- I need to just TRUST.