Through the hoops and hurdles of life our character is refined and sharpened. We can use the challenges that come our way to grow and get stronger or fall into a pool of self pity and depression. Josh and I have been walking through a dark forest of despair, each day delivering to us a new mountain to climb. Every morning we walk the journey clinging to the hope that God will deliver us from what lays before us, praying that the uncertainty of the day will not bring anything more to push us down.
With each passing trial we can see God’s love, grace, faithfulness, and provision. God has been our joy, our energy, our strength, and our hope. Even though the world around us seems to be crashing in, God meets us each morning with the promise of His love for us. Each morning we are reassured of His goodness and glorious plan for us - one not to harm or hurt us, but a plan of hope and a future.
I have walked these past two/three weeks with so much joy and happiness that sometimes I forget what is and has been going on. While there have been some tears shed, we remind ourselves who is in control and who can use any and every situation for His grand purpose. We rejoice in our suffering, knowing that it is because Satan sees the work being done and wants to put an end to it.
Our affliction has been in all areas of life -
* in our minds through bad dreams giving us restless sleep
* in our bodies through sickness
* in our work place through conflict and discouragement
* in our finances through extra expenses (car repair, medical testing, both dogs sick)
* in our friendships through conflict (largely based simply in miscommunication)
* in our pets (sickness)
* in our relationship together (the stress of everything ripping apart our harmony)
Praise God that He deems us worthy enough to suffer for Him. Praise God that amist the storm we have been growing stronger. Praise God that we have been able to see His provision in a very real and dramatic way.
This blog is not an appeal for sympathy but to share about the Savior I daily follow and His provision and faithfulness to us during such trying times.
I want to brag a little about my God...
We just recently lost Josh's laptop and believed that we had lost mine as well (Ron was able to fix mine). The day after it happened I received an e-mail from the mom of a girl who is coming here on Monday and she asked me for any prayer requests. I had asked for prayer in health and for extra funding to come in for a new laptop. The next morning Josh and I spent some time in prayer together for everything that has been going on in our lives - including the laptop. Following that time of prayer I went to check my e-mail and saw that the mom had e-mailed me again. She had decided to send us $500 for a new laptop! Praise God!
Another huge blessing in our lives has been our 9 (soon to be 11) summer interns. So much of our ministry here is in short term relationships - every week or two saying good-bye. But we get to invest in, build, and grow in these 11 relationships for 8-10 weeks. Each and everyone of them is so unique, beautiful, and special. We get along with them so well and they're so great. We have already been blessed by them and I know that the remainder of the summer is going to be amazing!
As the past few days have come and gone, it seems that the hardships have been passing along with them. I think we have finally reached the the edge of the dark forest and see the light. I feel stronger, and more in love with God than ever before. Thank you to those of you who have been praying for us recently, we have needed them.
Buenas Tarde - (good afternoon),