Lately Justin and I have been crazy busy, and today is the first day I have come out of the work haze and realized what day it is today – the month of May is almost gone. And as is often the case on days like today, in the aftermath of busy seasons, that I have a choice. Do I sit down and let despair in another month of under-employment* wash over me, or do I trust the One who holds my days in His hands and let hope rise? The name of my blog is “Let Hope Rise” because it is a choice I have made to do that – to let the hope that is in me rise to the surface, above all of the doubts and fears that vie for my attention. To believe and stand on the truth of Scripture, even while our circumstances loudly cry out falsehoods.
*I say under-employment because although Justin and I neither one have fulltime jobs, we are both continuing to freelance and work part-time at several places at once. So although we are seeking a fulltime ministry position for Justin, we are both working and we feel grateful the Lord has provided for our family in the meantime through these freelance positions.
I know many of you walk this road with us and pray for us. I hesitate sometimes to bring up where we are, because I know you are all praying and I really do want to be a joy to be around, not a drag. But I would appreciate your prayers. About two months ago I began to feel sick several times a day, each time for a couple of hours. I thought it would pass or was a virus so I waited about 6 weeks before I sought a doctor’s care. We initially thought my gallbladder was failing, but the tests have been inconclusive. I continue to feel sick for a couple of hours each day despite diet and lifestyle changes. My doctor has encouraged me to go to a specialist, but truthfully, I think this is stress-related. I have spent so much money already on this, with no answers, so I am choosing to not pursue any more tests until our employment situation resolves itself. If I am still sick after our stress has somewhat abated, I will seek care (at that point we will likely have insurance). But it is my guess that when our stress recedes, so will this sickness.
In the meantime, I looked online today and our insurance from the church is showing cancelled – a week earlier than expected. Not a big deal – it would have happened in a week anyway. But it is an occasion when fear can take root if I let it.
I’ve said this before, but right now, all my eggs are in one basket. I am waiting on the Lord. And I don’t really know what the future holds. We believe it will look like a fulltime position for my husband at a church that loves the Lord and loves people. I believe that there is a church and a staff maybe even looking over his resume today where he will connect and grow with the church as he follows the call the Lord has laid on His life. I believe we as a family will connect to that church where lives are changed and families are healed. I pray that maybe we will see our children come to faith at that church. I have big dreams and I believe that the Lord can fulfill all of those dreams and more. And not only are our dreams for the future in that basket, but our financial goals and aspirations are there. Once fulltime employment is achieved, if God allows, we can begin the adoption process. With His direction, we will continue on the road we have been on since our engagement to get our financial house in order. And recently, my physical needs have been thrown into that basket as well (they were always there – we rely on the Lord for every breath – but it is easier to realize that dependence when something is wrong). I feel weak and sick and I am trusting the Lord to heal and provide medical care if/when I need it.
Here’s the key point to this blog. What is that basket? If all my eggs are in that basket – it is pretty important to know what that basket is and if it is reliable. We as people can put our hopes in positions or things so easily. But there is no hope in things that are seen. My hope is in the unseen. Not in a position. Not even in a church. My hope is not in a job. Not in benefits. Not in a paycheck. Not in health or doctors or surgeries. The basket, my hope, is in the Lord. He will provide for me. He is the Provider (Jehovah-Jireh), the Healer (Jehovah-Rophe), He fights for me (Jehovah-Nissi), because of His Son, I am holy (Jehovah-M’Kaddesh), He is my peace (Jehovah-Shalom), He is Almighty (El-Shaddai), He leads us as a Shepherd (Jehovah-Rohi), He is ever-present and near to me (Jehovah-Shammah), He is most high (El-Elyon).
That’s a pretty impressive basket. I am so thankful for that basket – and thankful that all of my hope is in Him.
So today, as I fight off the feelings of fear and nausea and doubt, I ask again for prayer from those of you who have been so faithful for months to pray for us. And I choose to fill my mind with the names and attributes of our King and I force my human controlling nature to rest in the arms of the One who sustains us.
And I let hope rise.