Keeping Faith6:00 AM
For my fall moms/wives of the month(s), I wanted to do another theme. Having done clean eating over the summer, it seemed only appropriate to find something else to stick with for seasons. I tired to think deep down what I would like to share, or have others share, and I immediately came to this:
Keeping faith in hard circumstances.
As you know from previous posts, this is close to my heart because we've been going through a few patches on and off for... well... ever. Lately it just seems like it's been worse.
As I started to seek out women to write and share with you, I realized that I haven't exactly been completely truthful with y'all. I mean, I want these women to get on here and share stories that could make them feel very vulnerable, and yet I wasn't sharing anything completely personal myself. I felt like a hypocrite. I then decided I would start the little series, in hopes that maybe I can encourage others (and myself).
Clark and I got married young. You may remember this from my Married in College series. I stopped sharing these stories after a while, but may continue them again at some point. It started to get too hard to look back on these times of trial and not feel certain emotions (anger, disappointment, embarrassment). While all these times were not trials, it seemed all the times and tales that came to mind were. Perhaps because they made us stronger, or maybe because I have a completely different view of them now a few years later. Still, I stopped. I felt like I was exposing myself more and more with them.
When we found out we were pregnant with Michael, we honestly didn't know what to do. I was about to graduate college, and we were supposed to be moving so Clark could finish his own degree at a different institution. We were faced with a decision. Still move, baby on the way, and trust that Clark could finish school... or "plan" and find Clark a practical job that would provide for his family. We went with moving, trusting that God would provide.
And provide He did.
The first year Clark was in school and Michael was growing, it was extremely difficult. Loaded down with schoolwork and work, Clark was doing his best to do it all so I could stay home with Michael. Though I searched for jobs, it was all half-heartedly done. The last thing I wanted to do was put my son in daycare and go to work, so selfishly I thought it was my right to stay home and let Clark go to school. What you should know with this, is I was providing from home. Even though Clark was working, we never would have made it without me deciding to put money I had inherited towards our well-being.
But after that first year things were getting tougher. Clark was distracted with my ever-nagging voice about money because my inheritance was running out. While I looked for work and found some successfully, none of it was enough for Clark to stop working or to balance out childcare. We were feeling more and more trapped again, and just couldn't figure out to do. We turned to God... but we felt like we were met with silence.
Clark withdrew from school, found a few small jobs, and we prayed for a better one to be provided.
In November our prayers were answered. Straight after our Thanksgiving he packed his bags and was told he'd see us in a month or so. He was not home again until Christmas. Since then his job (working on cellular towers) has been consistently inconsistent. He's gone anywhere from four to eight weeks at a time, usually only coming home when he has to for his USMC-R duty. As he realized he was missing more and more with Michael, and as Michael became more and more involved (and, may I say, demanding)... while we were grateful for his job, we started wondering if things would ever change again.
Here we are in a city with no family. While we have a good church and some very amazing friends, Clark being gone definitely takes its toll. I find myself wishing I could drive over to my sister's house, or call my parents to come take Michael for a couple hours just so I can get my haircut or go to the grocery store by myself. Clark comes home tired and needing rest, and instead he's bombarded with love from Michael and me and never quite catches up. It's the same with me. I find myself even more tired after Clark leaves than when he came home because we have jammed so many things into the time he was home.
We're all tired, grumpy, and not happy campers when Dada's work truck arrives and he waves good-bye again.
We started praying for change. Many things have presented themselves that felt so right, only to fall through and not happen. Again and again and again we find ourselves flat on our faces, and each time we feel heavier and heavier as we pick ourselves up. Many times we forgot to look to God to carry us, and in those times it has not been pretty. Even now we find ourselves constantly battling with God and feeling abandoned.
We question Him. Present Him with our trials and listen, demanding an answer. While I know that I can't demand things of God, and don't deserve His amazing love or the sacrifice and love of His Son in the first place... I get angry. I bang my fists at the silence, cry, and wait.
Two Bible verses give me the most comfort in times like these. I share them with you because even when I don't want to keep the faith, I find myself repeating them aloud over, and over, and over. They remind me that no matter how alone I may feel, I'm not. They remind me that no matter how upset I may be that I cannot plan things or know the future, God has a plan because He created my future. It amazes me that this isn't reassurance enough... but my fickle, human heart always seems to want more.
Here are my verses.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
My friends, if you are facing any kind of struggle, remember to cry out to Jesus. Check back here in October and November for some more encouragement and stories from two amazing women.