Our wonderful friend Kira asked us to write a post about how we are handling life now that Jeremy isn’t working full-time. Here we go!
So, to understand the ups and downs of our life right now, you should have some background on what life has been like since Jeremy and I met. Since meeting Jeremy, we have moved 6 times, had five babies (in less than 3 years), given away 2 cars, done a missions school, and started a business – just to name a few. Jeremy has said “it has been like drinking from a fire hose”. So true! Mixed in with all of those changes, Jeremy has been laid off 3 times. This last job loss didn’t come as a huge shock for me. We were called to full-time missions in Africa a few years ago. We were taking the time while he was working as an engineer to pay off all our debt and save money to launch overseas. It seemed to make sense. After working for a year with his company, we came close to paying all of our debt and we are so grateful that God gave us this wonderful opportunity this last year.
I have been trying to walk through this life-change while relying on Christ through it. I have known for years that Jeremy would eventually stop engineering and we would need to lean on God’s new plan for provision for our family.
Here is my journal entry just two days before Jeremy was laid off:
“Don’t be a lazy servant – listen to the details from the Master”
Vision of a little african girl in a yellow dress and holding little babies that want to be nursed.
Luke 17:33 “Whoever seeks to save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”
I AM NOT AFRAID
” Wreck us Lord, Do what You need to do. We want You. We want Your Presence. God consumes sacrificial offerings. What do we have to give as an offering? What life are we after?”
The next day Jeremy lead us in prayer as we asked God to take everything He needed to for us to know His heart. A day later… no job. This happened about three years ago too. Prayed one morning and Jeremy came home laid off. God has been pretty clear.
There have been so many questions that have come up for us. The first was, do we still move to Maryland? After praying we knew we were still set to move when our lease is up. Then we had rent due and were still missing pay so naturally we asked if we would need to move out early. Praise the Lord, He brought in that missing pay in time to pay our rent for June! Jeremy has been able to pick up some contracting work here and there which was another answer to prayer. I started a network marketing business in December that we are working hard to grow as well. Now there are a bunch of new questions: Will we be able to pay rent in July or will we be moving to MD early? How do we balance our new schedule? Do we apply for Harvest School of Missions in Mozambique for October? All of these things will be answered in God’s timing. For the most part, I am not freaking out. This isn’t just a coincidence that I am calm or because i am naturally relaxed about this stuff. I wake up every morning and decide to have faith in the Truth. Then, in the afternoon, I decided to have faith again. And then when I go to bed, I put my faith in Him again. It seems like we are hanging off the side of a cliff from the outside but in reality, our Heavenly Daddy has us snuggled in close to Him. There have been a few days over the last few weeks that I haven’t been vigilant about my time with God. I have woken up late or wanted to talk over all of this with Jeremy more than I have wanted to be with the Lord. “It is only natural” as some of us would say. That is so true. It is only natural for me to want to be reassured by my husband, friends, family and church leadership more than be secure in my relationship with my Father. But I don’t want live in the natural, I want to live in the supernatural. I want my flesh to be dead and my soul to be alive up there with Jesus. I am trying not to forget that each moment.
The other side of this is my heart for Africa. Rarely do I pour out my heart for the place I feel called. I guess I am concerned it will make my friends and family here feel unimportant so I don’t talk about it that much. I try my best to stay in the current moment I with folks and appreciate that moment as much as possible. I haven’t told many people about this because I was always afraid I would sound crazy. Now that I am dead to my flesh.. What the heck! When I was little I would lay in bed and talk to God. I was about seven years old or so when I remember having some really intense moments with Him. I have never been someone to get into visions and dreams but, I will tell you that there were two times I have clear memories of visions at that age. One was just after my Pop-Pop died. I was telling God how much I would miss my Pop-Pop and how he would sing to me. No one else was in my room and I saw my Pop-Pop in the heavenlies. It was the first time I ever sobbed without really understanding why. It was like what I saw was so magnificent, all I could do was weep. The other vision I remember from that time was of four little kids with brown faces and huge white smiles. At the time, I was living in a predominantly African-American neighborhood so naturally, I told some people that I was going to have Black kids when I grew up. It was explained to me that white people have white babies. I didn’t care, God showed me who my kids would be, that was all I knew. Years later, when we were learning about the continent of Africa in school, the teacher held up a picture of those same faces I saw in my vision. After learning that most of the white people who went to Africa were missionaries, I told folks that I was going to be a missionary to Africa. There were years that went by that I tried to figure out how I was going to get there. I went to Urbana, a missions conference for college students. I went into the military hoping that might bring me somewhere close to missions. I made huge mistakes in my life that took me so far away from the holy life God desired for me but even there, those faces were in my head and in my heart. I don’t know how to explain it because it is kind of weird even for me. I am just so in love with Jesus and He loves the African people. He put that piece of His heart in mine and I have been carrying it around for almost 30 years.
So now, with no permanent job. No permanent home. We are waiting to hear from the Lord about our next step. We know it will be a step towards Africa but, we don’t know how BIG that step will be. I have to hold on to Jesus, submitted to Him and my husband, carrying Africa in my heart. So, the last few weeks have had some ups and some downs. But really, with my eyes on Christ, they are all just ups.