Friday, March 6

God's path to righteousness

I mentioned to you in my last blog post that I was planning to reveal what I have learned thus far on my path to righteousness. This began last Summer, or probably way before that, but I didn't notice a change occurring until then. I guess I will start from there.

I guess this all came to a head during the Winter of 2008. I'm not sure whether it was January or February, but none-the-less it was Winter. I remember feeling like I was in a rut. A huge rut. Scott had been working at the same job for years, I was homeschooling the kids, I was burnt out from volunteering too much at church, and other organizations that I felt obligated to help with, and my house always seemed to be a mess. I was yelling at the kids, the kids were yelling at me, and Scott was yelling at everyone. We were miserable souls. I remember thinking on this cold and bleak afternoon, that nothing would ever change. We would remain this way forever. I remember calling up to God for help, but not even certain that He was listening. Life was the pits.

Spring forward into May 2008. Skaterboy was graduating 8th grade soon, and feeling obligated to have a celebration for him, because all his friends were celebrating, soon became a reality. I invited mostly friends and family to this event, not even considering adding the local homeschool group to attend. Before I knew it, I was hosting our local homeschool 8th grade graduation in our backyard. How this happened is beyond reason. All of a sudden I was ordering tasseled key chains with '07 printed on them, and printing out personalized diplomas for a number of families that wanted to attend. Little did I know that it was in God's plan for that party to take place at our home that sunny May afternoon.

One of the families who wanted to come to the graduation, I had never met before. They were newer to our community, and had a boy about Skaterboy's age who would be graduating 8th grade. When they got here, it was only the son and mom who came. They said that their daughter had been in the hospital for quite some time, and just so happened to be able to come home the day before the party, so the father was home with her. The mom had thought about not even coming to the party, but wanted to do it for her son.

Them being at the party at that time had no significance to me. I was happy they were here, and everyone seemed to have a great time. After the party, everyone left, and life went on as usual.

Little did I know that this family would become so near and dear to our hearts in the coming months. Soon after the party we began looking for a different church. The size of our church had grown considerably, and there were some problems that we began to see, that we just didn't feel comfortable with. We started trying different churches in town. Scott was not into this. He felt comfortable at our old church, and didn't feel a need to change. I was adamant that we must find a different church. After being disappointed with some of the local churches we visited, I digressed that we would never find a church family that we could feel a part of. I remember on one particular Sunday, after visiting a church we chose to check off our list, sat down at the computer and googled "churches in ..........., IL." Well there were a number of churches listed, some we had already tried, and very few websites. So I chose the first one with a website. I clicked on it, and up popped a photo of a nice church, the hours, and the pastor's name, etc... As I skimmed through the information, I recognized the pastor's last name being the same as the lady and son who attended our homeschool graduation a few weeks back. Under the pastor's name it said "family blog" , so of course I had to find out if it was them. Sure enough, it was them. I noticed on their family blog that the wife had written a book that was downloadable from their website. Of course I had to read that too. It took 12 hours to read, but I read it, on-line, without printing it out. It was very good. This confirmed my decision that this church must be next on our list.

So the following Sunday, we attended church there. It had a small congregation, just what we were looking for, and more teenagers, than I could have ever hoped for. There were potlucks scheduled, and a camping trip at a nearby campground. It seemed like we had found our family church, and everything finally felt like things were going right for once. I started reading Edith Schaeffer's book The Hidden Art of Homemaking,

I had purchased it on ebay some time before, and it inspired me to basically clean up my act, and my house. Things were good.

Fast forward to late October 2008. Things were still going good, and our lady's group at church decided to start a new bible study by Beth Moore called Breaking Free.

Little did I know the impact that this bible study would have on my life. This was also in God's plan, but I didn't know it yet. As I daily went through this bible study course, I began to learn many things about my life, and how my sins, generation sins, and other people's sins, have effected my life. The best part was that at the end of this bible study I could be free. Free from the bondage that had kept me prisoner for years. It was true freedom I felt, and nothing could disrupt that, or so I thought. I felt closer to God than I had felt in a very long time, and I was actually enjoying my bible reading every day, and planned to continue my reading as time went by.

Well, as most people know, Satan hates when we are no longer in bondage, and he whammed us harder than we had ever been hit before. I am talking smacked, pummeled, beat-up, spit us out, and continued to do it over and over again. I thought that it would never end. But we remained steadfast. Shaky, but steadfast.

In November alone, our washer broke, our dryer died, our van broke down, our microwave died,
our computer had to be taken in a number of times, as did Matt's laptop. We were running on empty. It was downright ridiculous all the things that were breaking down, but I remained steadfast. Shaky, but steadfast. Then WHAM....the biggest one hit!!! Scott called one cold and snowing morning in mid December, and said that the company he had worked for for 10 years was closing down in 3 weeks. Okay... I have to admit that I panicked. I got off the phone and just cried. I felt defeated. I was angry. Why had God allowed Satan to do this to us, after I had worked so hard to be faithful to him. Then immediately I felt ashamed and completely unworthy of any grace that He gave me, because I was so undeserving. I was completely numb. Then God himself gave me a peace that I cannot comprehend, that this was all in His plan, and things would be alright. I did some figuring on paper, and felt secure that things would be alright. Surely Scott would find a job soon, and we could live on unemployment for at least 6 months, and our tax return, if we needed to.

It was great having him home at Christmas. The kids enjoyed every bit of it, as did I. It was a wonderful Christmas, although we were more careful than most years not to over do it. Little did I know that this would probably one of the few Christmases for years, that he would have off work to be with us.

The day after Christmas, I started to feel sick. My stomach hurt unbearably. I could hardly eat anything. I was miserable. I remembered that I was supposed to have an upper endoscopy back in July, but dismissed the appointment, because of other things that came up, and I felt well. So Scott ended up taking me into the ER. Long story short, I was very worried that I had esophageal cancer. Don't ask me why, because you know the answer. I got on the web, and did some symptom searching, and found some blogs. Oh, you don't want to know the rest. All I can say is, bad idea. So I was so worked up, when they scheduled the endoscopy, sure that my life was entirely over, and even to the point of wondering where my kids would go, it was bad... real bad.

Anyway, I had my endoscopy in late January, and everything turned out fine. Better than fine. The Barret's esophagus that I had had for 7 years prior, was gone, completely gone. Praise God!!!
Being that it was January, and January is the most depressing month of the year, I began to despair about Scott's job. He had been applying at places, but no one was hiring. I was starting to worry a lot, and stress a lot about the situation. I was trying not to, for Scott's sake, but unfortunately that was easier said than done. It seemed hopeless, and the future seemed pretty bleak. Luckily, our bills were still getting paid on-time, because we had gotten our tax return back, and Scott was getting unemployment. This made things easier to digest, but an uncertain future feels..... well, unsettling.

Then, about a month ago, a man from our "tiny" church asked Scott if he was interested in security work. Scott told him that he had worked security for many years, but it didn't pay well. The man asked what companies Scott had worked security for, and Scott told him. The man told him that his company bought out the last firm that Scott had worked for. He then asked how much Scott needed to make. Scott told him, and the guy started laughing, saying that since 911 they were paying security officers much higher, little did we know how much higher. The man told Scott if he was interested that he should go into his office the next day, and fill out an application. When Scott got there the next day, he was all ready for him with a few client interviews. One was at a low income apartment complex in a larger city near here, that seemed kind of unsafe to me, and the other was at the hospital. He interviewed for both, and praise God, he got the job at the hospital. The Lt. at the hospital that hired him, was very impressed with Scott's record, and background, and best of all, Scott loves his job. He loves it!
He will have to work many weekends and holidays, but I'm okay with that. He is much happier than I have ever seen him in quite a few years.

For Valentine's Day (our wedding anniversary) we watched Fireproof at our church with a group of other couples. What a wonderful movie. It has totally inspired me to give our marriage more attention than I have been giving it. It's so hard sometimes when you have kids; because you sometimes forget that you have another life with another person. At least I had forgotten.
So, now I am working on that, and other things too.

In closing, I want to ask you a question. Do you see a profound path here, in the story I have just told you above? I do. I see a clear path, a road in which God is leading me and my family on. I don't know where this path will go, but I do know that it's headed for an eternal place where we can finally find peace and happiness once and for all. It's the only place that we can see God, and know what righteousness really means.


LynnSC said...

I found your blog through Beth Moore's blog. I want to let you know that I am so glad that you shared your story!

God's plan doesn't always resemble the plan that we have for our lives... but His is so much better. My family has been on such a journey for the last couple years. He has been faithful to us... He has given me a deeper desire to have HIM above anything else. Things are no where close to be where I had hoped to be... but I am in such a wonderful place with the Lord... that the other really doesn't matter anymore.

Thanks so much for sharing this!

amada said...

Hey, this post was encouraging! I came from the AO list hoping to see your kids' dry brush stuff and got to read this post as a bonus! I'm so excited for you as you follow our great God! Life is always exciting... :) The missionaries' wives that I work with are studying the same Beth Moore study and I'm learning some really neat stuff.
Anyway, just wanted to say hello and thank you for your post. :)
Trujillo, Peru