this time last year Russ & I were going through a rough time. God was calling us to a deeper, more intimate relationship with Him - one that required trust and faith. this is what I wrote one night and it's so similar to what we're facing today - I thought I'd share. i don't claim to have it all figured out. in fact, the past couple of weeks have been testament to me knowing absolutely nothing about the mind of God and His purpose. no...i don't have it all figured out. but i have been shattered with the truth of "draw near to me, and i will draw near to you."
when russ and i first got married, we lived in this dilapidated apartment with a ten degree slant. i tripped going to the restroom in the morning and all of my cakes came out of the oven strangely reminiscent to those of the mad hatter genre - tilted and crooked and so completely lopsided. we held on for dear life walking down the stairs to our car because the slant was so severe. we were happy, though. life was simple. my last paycheck from working at new braunfels christian came the week after our wedding - and with it a realization that i needed to find a job. and fast. russ worked full time at circuit city and made a decent amount - but we weren't sure it would hold us over without any other form of income supporting us. we went three months on just his income. i landed a job in august - a few days shy of the "new teacher orientation" - and so immediately my life changed from relaxed to hurried. professional development, lesson plans, new faces and new regulations - a lot to swallow with only a few days preparation before kids arrived. i worked most of august and all of september until i saw my first paycheck. i remember that day - i remember the huge sigh of relief russ and i breathed now that we had added income to help cushion us. i remember the Lord's provision. in moments where we should have been concerned about what was going to happen...we were taken care of by His faithfulness. a couple weeks ago, i began praying earnestly for the Lord to really reveal where He was leading russ and me. it's no secret that this past summer did something to us, like some shift in perspective has landed us in a world where we can't go back to how we were before. it's come with consequences: lost relationships and misunderstandings. but it has also come with great reward: deeper relationships with each other and unparalleled support from our community of friends we have found through the process of pruning. one thing is for sure: the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. blessed be his name. everything came crashing down around us last week. my day began with a prayer: "Father - we can't do this anymore. show us Your will. make it so blatant we cannot ignore." i prayed this in the morning - asking for peace and opened doors and dangerous faith. russ lost his job that afternoon. it was...heartbreaking. sudden and swift and harsh - we were left with a fraction of a life we had before. i'm not just talking about income here...there's something psychological that occurs within you when something is stripped away without warning. grief took over - but not completely. there was no way we could shake the feeling of peace that God was doing something within us and through us. there was no other possible explanation - no other reasonable excuse - to understand what happened. i had prayed to see His hand that morning, and by nightfall, His fingerprints were revealing themselves everywhere. it's been tough. there have been moments of discouragement and moments of worry. for the first time in four years, we are questioning where we go and what we spend - knowing that the future is so unknown for so many people right now, ourselves included. but...we have hope. we've been given dreams. big dreams. dreams of living a life less ordinary and more bent on trust and belief that God is bigger than any injustice in the world...and now, we have freedom to pursue those dreams. this past summer, russ and i came across a verse that spoke deeply to our desires of walking like giants: "And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?" Job 26:14 if you think about it, most of us live our lives content with his whispers. we pray for his guidance in big decisions but never really ask for him to mediate for us in a big way. why do we need a God who will show himself? we have everything we need...our life of complacency and comfort leaves us dry and stagnant. we never understand there can be so much more...there IS so much more... we prayed and begged and waited to experience the thunder of his power - knowing he was whispering big dreams we had never anticipated. we waited. and waited. and waited. and begin to wonder what His purpose was in giving us such big dreams when it didn't seem as though we were getting anywhere... looking back at these past six months, i am beginning to wonder... perhaps all of the tears shed has watered the ground beneath us for new growth. perhaps the doors slammed shut in our faces have given room for others to open. perhaps our ears have been so clogged with busy-ness his thunder has been muted by our persistent ignorance... God is bigger. He's bigger than all of our circumstances and all of our trials we go through. He carries us. in moments of despair - He is there, wiping our tears and cultivating new growth. i sense a beginning taking shape in russ and me. somewhere in the distance, a faint rumble sounds...the recent storm has passed; a rainbow glistens in the rain. i close my eyes and listen. his thunder is here.