This is my first time to participate in the 31 Days project as inspired by the Nester, and it both terrified and excited me. But this has been on my mind and heart for a while, and I have a promise to keep.
The desert that I’ll be writing about was an-about-three-year period between 2010 and 2013 when I left a job that was killing me one day at a time (not a metaphor); I was unemployed; my husband was unemployed; we teetered on the edge of financial disaster; our marriage took some hits; my understanding of what parenting was chipped away; my idea of who I was and what I was supposed to be doing with my life dissolved like paper under acid. Calling it a rough time would be a dramatic understatement.
But it was also a time of incredible growth, spiritual deepening – awakening even, of my husband and I growing together in our understanding of who we are in this marriage with Christ at the center, and so much more. There is a brief synopsis here that I wrote from an inspiration on a recent Five Minute Friday.
There were so many times I asked God why the desert journey had to take such a long time. If you’ve ever been in the midst of a dark place or a hard time, you know that time takes on a new disposition. It’s longer and feels like it’s never actually passing. By the time it was done, it was just over three years. And I know that it all happened in God’s timing.
More than anything, I understand that the three years was necessary for me to learn the lessons He had, it was necessary for me to have the rest and recovery I required, and it was necessary so that it would be plainly, ridiculously obvious that our success and survival in that time was entirely due to Him and Him alone.
Imagine if I had been out of work for three weeks. I’m not sure anyone would have noticed. If anything, they might have envied me the little break and then not even noticed as I jumped right back into the next thing. Three months? Sure, things would have been tight, but people can get by for a few months, right? Friends and family will pitch in and you find ways to trim the luxuries and make it until things right size themselves.
But what about three years? There’s no easy explaining that away. No “oh, you were just lucky.” Or “well, you just caught some breaks and made your own way.” No. Let me just tell you straight up that there was no luck and very few breaks involved here. Just a lot of grace and miracles from a God whose resources are fathomless and who works in ways both mysterious and blatantly obvious as He chooses. Oftentimes using others to be His hands and feet, sometimes just being a mysterious miracle, but always working, always providing. Through the three years, we kept our house, paid our bills, kept the refrigerator full (enough), kept the car running, had medical care (there will be posts on this, but some of those miracles involved medicine that is necessary for my life and awfully expensive), and so much more. All of this happened so that my story – our story – could become a signpost pointing to God and His glory and show His love for us and allow us to become part of the larger tapestry that is the love story for His people.
So welcome. I hope you’ll come back to hear more. I pray that this series will minister to you and bless you where you are.
Tomorrow: He Is With You
Posts will be listed here on the main page on a daily basis, but will also be available on the new 31 Days tab I've added that will have an introduction to this introduction and the chronology and links to all the posts.