I was prompted to write this post after seeing the post shared on @sheworkshisway about what I needed to hear 5 years ago. Go check them out on Instagram and Facebook and feel free to contribute. I am also following along with their 2 year Bible Reading Plan (grab it here and join us!)
What did I need to hear 5 years ago?
A lot of things. But probably, most importantly, an answer or an encouragement for the amount of discouragement and no’s we kept hearing as a family. It seemed that no matter what we did, we weren’t allowed to or given the same opportunities as those around us.
A few years ago, my husband was up for a position as a senior pastor at a church in Arizona. Let me tell you, we were so excited. We had been praying and planning for an opportunity like this for years. Since I had known him, I had always believed (and let me say, I still do believe this, even right now) that he was called to vocational ministry and to serve the Kingdom in this manner. To lead and shepherd God’s church. So at the time, it felt like we were FINALLY about to see what we had been praying for over the last 10 years. All the hard work and sacrifice and trial would be worth it. We were ready to literally pack our bags and move our entire family to the gorgeous state of Arizona and begin serving. They sent us out to visit them and we were just in awe. To say we fell in love with that church and community hard and fast was an understatement. We wanted to be a part of that church. We wanted the answer to be YES.
But, it wasn’t to be. He was given notice that they were going to go with someone else. I was devastated. I think I cried for a few weeks because I was so sad for him. I was sad for us. We had fallen in love with the people so quickly, and everything looked to be in our favor that it never crossed my mind that it would be a no. Were we not good enough? Christian enough? Did we look bored? Did they see something in us that screamed FRAUD? Did my big mouth say something I shouldn’t have? (I have always worried about this, that I would make him look bad in public.)
We were devastated. Then, from that day, a series of events and heartache unfolded over the course of two years. During that time, I found myself having to pick up the pieces of brokenness, heartache, and uncertainty. Trying to keep it all together when everything is falling apart is exhausting. I was spiritually, physically, emotionally and financially exhausted. I found myself as someone who was suddenly afraid to make decisions and questioning her faith and who she was and whether any of this was worth it.
Whether walking with God was worth it. I questioned it. I couldn’t understand why it felt like I was constantly under all of this pressure and anxiety and our family could never come out from under the dark cloud that constantly hovered over us. I wanted out. I wanted something different. I was beyond tired.
Now, on the other side, things still aren’t as I had hoped. I am still struggling to provide and I am working hard to make sure our kids have what they need, even if we don’t have much room for extras. But, I am starting to grasp why God said no.
None of what our family has been going through has been a surprise to Him. He knew this. He already saw this. I don’t understand why He allowed it, but I do take comfort in knowing that He knew and He has been taking care of us for awhile. I think about what would have happened if all of this transpired while we were in Arizona, away from those closest to us. It would have been a lot harder. We would have been far more isolated and felt more alone if we had been away from everyone and everything. So I am grateful that, for right now, we are here and close to those who have been a huge support and encouragement to us. I still struggle asking for help, I am working on it, but I am ever so grateful for those who have chosen to step up without being asked. You have no idea how much it means to me.
You in your own cycle of “Why?” I don’t have very many answers for you, unfortunately. I do know that more than likely, you may not get all the answers you are searching for. I am really sorry. However, I can trust that God has already seen what you are walking through, and He will be there for you. I don’t say that to make whatever you are going through seem simple and that you just need to trust God more and be happier more. Because some of us are going through some very hard ish. Yes, ish is a word...better than the word I really want to use. Ha!
But I do ask that you take comfort in the God who sees it all and knows it all and is able to protect you from things that you are not able to see. Because you cannot possibly see everything. You are not God. You don’t have to understand why He is allowing what is happening to happen. I certainly do not understand and believe me, I have had plenty of prayers and conversations with Him about this.
In a few years, you may understand why He said no, and that He will take care of you.
Praying for you,