I want to take a moment and apologize for taking so long to write to everyone and give an update on our family. First things first, for those who have not received an email or seen an update on our Facebook page, we did NOT receive the rest of the funding we needed to complete the outreach portion of our Family DTS. We had to very quickly make some decisions about where we were going to live and what path we needed to pursue. After prayer and advice from our leadership we decided to head back to the mainland and basically start over. Jeremy and I have had to face the pain of letting go of the dreams we had in Kona for a time and face a re-building time for our family. I had no idea how hard that would be and how heartbroken I would be when we left University of the Nations. I am just going to share about myself personally. What I have been struggling with is basically a crisis of faith. I really thought going into the DTS that I had faith. It wasn’t until “the plan” fell apart that I began to realize the weakness of my own faith. This wasn’t an instant revelation or anything, it has been a gradual dwindling of faith over the last month. I have reviewed in my mind the moment I sold my engagement ring up to the moment we arrived back in Jeremy’s parent’s home. Something I never expected happened: I got angry with God. There was something about giving up everything, time with my family, my precious belongings, and at times the fundamentals of how to raise my children to serve the Lord. I found myself asking why God would have us do this. So we could look like fools to everyone? I just didn’t understand at all. Through this process the Lord has spoken to my heart that He sees the love I have for Him and that He loves my heart for Him. At first, my reaction was something like this: “Yeah, that’s nice Lord, now give my husband a job and give us a home. Give me back everything that I gave up.” Truthfully, I felt like I wanted back what I had lost. Reading this now, I don’t really sound like a Christian at all. I haven’t felt like much of one either. How could I be so discontented? I have had much, and I have had little but I should still be content.
I have been overwhelmed with fears about the future, including fears about having the twins in January. I began searching in God’s Word about contentment which has started my journey back to faith in an amazing God. Hebrews 13: 5-6 says :
“Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said. “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID, WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”
When reading this I realized that it is impossible to be content and at peace when I believe God has left me behind. I began to ask where I fit into His plan. If He hasn’t left me behind then what am I supposed to do now? I mean, is life just this cosmic slot machine? When things line up with the right place, right time, right… whatever then, things will turn out according to “the plan”? As these thoughts came up in my mind I discovered that I have no clue what this thing is called “God’s Plan”. I made a rather pathetic attempt at searching God’s Word for answers and I found one thing for certain: His plan is for the salvation of the world. Acts 2:23 says:
“this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.”
I got to thinking some more and began to picture my life before meeting Jeremy. What if I were still single right now? My heart would still be searching for my match. What if I didn’t have children? Or couldn’t have children? My heart would be so broken. I am grateful that I am in the middle of God’s redemption plan even though I am not quite clear exactly what that plan is for me. My discontentment is a heart condition caused by sin. There was only one thing I could think of that seemed like the opposite of discontentment: JOY. So, how do we have joy when we are just so caught up in the things we have lost, our children hurting, our marriage falling apart, or at the worst, the death of a loved one, particularly the death of one of our children? I once again turned to scripture to find some kind of answer. I already knew that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit but, I was really asking God “How do I pray for joy?” I found what I believe to be an answer in Psalm 51:12:
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
Salvation isn’t the moment I said I believed in Jesus, although that was a beginning step. Salvation is my life given to Him as a sacrifice. What I have been through this past year is NOTHING in comparison to what believers are doing all over the world, and maybe one day I will be mature enough to do even greater things for Him. David wrote this after having Bathsheba’s husband killed and sleeping with her. He wanted his own heart to be right with God and was asking God to return joy to his life over what really mattered: his relationship with the God of all creation. Then David asks to be sustained through this salvation journey with a willing spirit. Since leaving Kona, I have not been super willing to listen to the Lord. My attitude was that God needed to show me some results before I would put myself on the line again. I realize once again, that it starts with my willingness to give my life fully to the Lord.
Am I a fool for leaving everything behind just to be back in my in-laws house? Maybe to some people. Am I a fool for having 5 babies in just under 3 years? Maybe to some people. I have been reminded of a song I sang in a musical review I did many years ago. The song is “What I did for love” from A Chorus Line. This particular number is about what these performers did for the love of theater. We have heard it many times from Hollywood, the actress who worked as a waitress while she tried to make it big etc. Well, the truth is, from having my babies to leaving for a DTS, I did it for love. The love of my life actually! Jesus.
“My Jesus, My love. You showed me first by giving Your life for my measly one, what love is. I am still working on this thing called salvation with hopes for a perfect white robe when I meet you. This last year isn’t much but, I know that you know, it is what I did for love. Grant me a willing spirit, Amen.”
There will be more soon…