Ever felt like life was suffocating you?
I have always loved Jeremiah 29:11 (“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.”) but I’m not going to lie. Recently, I wasn’t feeling it.
A few months ago major changes were made in my husband’s place of employment. While the company was a perfect fit for our family for many years (job success, wonderful hours, great insurance, etc), newly implemented changes had a major financial impact on our family and, for me, it translated like this: B-U-R-D-E-N.
One of my favorite titles has always been “Mrs. Charlie Nesdahl.” I cannot say enough wonderful things about the man I married. Even when people around him at work were acting visibly upset, he remained calm and looked for the positive. Even when tears would fall down my face, he would wipe them away and assure me that God’s plan for us meant we would be okay. And, even when all the factors outside of his control went against him, he kept moving forward in confidence. I love my man!
We both felt very certain that God was calling us to a new situation, but this meant going outside our comfort zone. I’m not a fan of change and while my husband rolls well with the punches he has never worked elsewhere since college graduation. It was scary and I felt suffocated.
As my husband looked for work that he truly felt God calling him to, I supported him and asked God for my own patience. Admittedly, that isn’t always my forte.
A few months went by and one afternoon I found myself on my hands and knees just spilling my heart out to God. Lord, you say that you have plans to prosper us and give us hope but right now I don’t see it. I trust your Word to be true, but please show me something, anything, so that I can see a light at the end of this tunnel.
Have you ever been there?
The thing about God is that He is awesome and in His time He reveals how there is hope and a future in the midst of our broken situations. It doesn’t always come with sunshine and roses, but His answer does show how He protected us and how he blessed us in the midst of our trial.
Just this last week my husband started a new job. (As I type this, I’m grinning from ear to ear). It is one that he is proud of and looks forward to going to each day. His boss is a Christian and through valued conversation they are building their faith lives and the business. From the home front, I simply love seeing him smile again and the passion in his voice…not to mention that he looks pretty dapper in a suit and tie. :)
However, this perfect new fit, this answer, has stretched us. To make all the pieces fall together, he will get another part time job a few hours a week and I have committed to new writing goals. God’s will has challenged us to “add” in ways that we would not have asked for so that we can fully abide in Him like we have asked for. It looks different than we anticipated and yet it is so much more fulfilling.
And, God blessed us in the midst of our struggles as well. Romans 5:3-5a reads, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment.” I can now see this to be true. As we endured the situation, our character was developed. My husband and I communicated even more about what we valued and what we dreamed of. We took a look at our finances to trim the unnecessary fat and still give in ways that glorified Him. We completely laid our lives before Him…and we experienced the always present hope of our loving God who never leaves us nor forsakes us. As individuals our faith lives grew and as a couple we blossomed as a stronger, unified front.
Life is not easy for even the most faithful of people. It presents twists and turns that throw us for a loop. The question is: will we trust as we transition through the valleys? God wants to hear from your broken heart. He wants you to communicate with Him. ALWAYS. And, as you do, He will wrap you in His love and help you to put one foot in front of the next until you can one day look back and see how He was working out all the unique details of your life to give you hope, a future, and a story to help you glorify the Kingdom.
Remember this even in the toughest of times: His Word is true. No situation you face hasn’t been filtered though His hand. And, you are always fully loved.
PS- Charlie, I’m uber proud of you!