Sunday, October 05, 2008

A Little Rusty

Two weeks later... I feel compelled to write again. Sorry, y'all. I wonder if any of you even still come by anymore. I keep thinking I'll turn a corner and start blogging often again, but I am wondering if it doesn't have something to do with having a desktop computer. We have been all laptop since we have been displaced, and that has not been something I have easily gotten used to. We actually have a really nice MacBook, but for whatever reason, I just have more patience for being on the computer when it's not in my lap. But, I am guessing you do not need an explanation. Although I know some of you would like an update. So let's see if we can help with that. And please do excuse my atrophied writing skills as you read! 

Well, we're still at George's mom's house in St. Louis. We spent about six weeks in Nashville, and we have been here just over a month, almost five weeks. There are definitely days where my patience wanes thin, days when I wrestle with intense anger, days where I wake up feeling like I want to burst into tears, and days when I don't want to wake up at all. But there are plenty of moments when mercies come, moments of peace, and moments of renewed strength and courage that carry me for days. Do I sound dramatic? Well, I am dramatic, you know. I waffle a lot on the appropriate degree of drama for a situation. Here we are, without a home, without a job, looking forward to a few more bills, and all that we had has run out. On the other hand, this is not anything other people haven't experienced before, we have a loving and giving Church body, and George's family has done whatever they can for us. I have found a freedom in many of our fears being realized. It is very hard to depend on others for everything. It is what I feared. As graduation approached this spring, and we were still without any real probabilities for a call, I remember writing to one of my close friends with these words,"I have a feeling this is going to go very badly, as in 'did you hear what happened to the Edemas?' badly." I imagined a lot of the scenarios we have recently found ourselves in, and I was terrified. But what I have found is that the fear of things is often a lot worse than those things actually happening. Okay, that was not my best writing skills at work there, but you get the idea. While things could definitely be worse, for the most part, the things I was most afraid of have happened, and I am not afraid anymore. And that is a great place to be- fearless on the bottom rung!  

Now, leave it to me to start with the negative. There is a lot of good stuff going on. First of all, there are lots of little conversations going on, so we are not without hope of having some sort of job in the coming weeks. I will say that it has been freakish how many part time jobs that seemed like a sure thing haven't worked out. It is things like that that often remind me of God's perfect plan. Sure, the impossible happening is a sign of his hand in things, but the probable, obvious thing not happening seems to me to be a very clear directive- a closed door, if you will. So far in our family's journey, it seems that the Lord often guides us by closing every door but one. We have found ourselves, many times, taking the only path available to us (often after months of waiting) and receiving abundant confirmation and blessing. It's just that right now, we are still looking for that one open door. I feel the urge to be defensive here, to say that George has applied to over eighty jobs, that he is doing a wonderful job loving his wife and children well during a very trying time, that he is pursuing every job opening he hears about, that he is seeking wise counsel from pastors and elders, and working whatever jobs come his way. But only someone who doesn't know George at all would be tempted to believe otherwise. 

In the meantime, there have been other blessings, both great and small. First of all, George's sister married a really wonderful guy this weekend. We are so excited for both of them as they become a new family. And he will definitely be a blessing in our extended family. We were also blessed to have more of the extended family in town to celebrate the marriage. George's stepmom is a super sweet lady and I had a good time spending an afternoon (and more) with her. His dad paid for us to stay in the hotel with them so that we would have more time all together. We had a nice change of scenery for a few days and enjoyed meals and fellowship with the Michiganders from the Edema side of the family. George's mom was remarkably composed for all of the wedding events. She handled herself very well and looked lovely. I know she had to work hard to keep herself together- it is not every day that your only daughter gets married! There was only minor dysfunction where there could have been major, and for all of that, we are very grateful. 

We have also seen God provide many of our needs in unforeseen ways. We haven't had any money coming in in over four months, and yet we have food to eat, clothes to wear, and the bills are being paid. Each day I have to remind myself to only worry about today, that tomorrow has worries of its own. It is easy to look a week or so ahead and begin to worry, but as each new day arrives, so does each new provision from the Lord. It is not always abundant or exciting if you think in terms of what most of us are used to, but under our current circumstances, daily bread is nothing short of miraculous! 

My friend Jessie wondered out loud with me the other day about the guarantees of a proverb like, "cast your bread upon the water, for you will find it after many days." You know, because neither of us is finding our bread! I had been really wrestling through the idea of knowing that there are many who do so much for the Kingdom and find themselves enduring disproportionate suffering while many who could do much do nothing and find themselves experiencing disproportionate prosperity. The day after Jessie's and my conversation, my friend Ami and I were on our way into the zoo when another mom offered us the rest of the tickets for her zoo membership that expired that day. We were able to take four children to the children's zoo and round trip on the train for free! When I told George about the sweet lady, he said, "that sounds like something you would do." And I told him it's because I did do that when my zoo membership ran out last year. I am not telling y'all to brag about some silly little thing like giving away tickets I can't even use, but to let you know how I was encouraged that day. I had a real concern, something I had been praying about and seeking the Lord over, and he graciously provided a return on something I did months ago. We may not see the return for the things we do for his glory on this side of eternity, but he promises that we will reap a harvest if we do not give up(Galatians 6:9-10). 

While we wait for that harvest, here is something else to encourage you. We sang this hymn in church tonight:

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; each morn anew
I’ll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.


Jessie said...

I am glad for your encouragement! Miss you!

courtney said...

Good to "hear" from you.... I have been meaning to tell you about a conversation I had with Craig Brown about coming out of seminary and how it's much more difficult than he had thought it would be.... I'll e-mail you about it.
Also, I can see, just through your words, how God is growing you. I'll be praying for all of you.


e.c. said...

Wow, Abby...that was so encouraging! With all the economic and financial instability right now, I hear about people committing suicide and this morning heard about a man who shot himself and his whole family b/c he felt like it was the only way out of their financial situation...makes me think that despite a lack of material blessings, y'all are very blessed to be mentally and spiritually in the place that you are...not sure if that makes sense, but I'm excited to see the work God has done in you, and can't wait to see what He has in store for your family.

Thanks for the call over the weekend....I've been really slow to call people back and Bobby's family was in town until Sunday...I'll try to call you today or tomorrow :)

jennifer h said...

Glad to see the update. Glad to hear you are encouraged, too.

Also, you can use a laptop on a table. I do it all the time. ;)

Janet said...

Hey Abby! Welcome back to STL! I thought I saw you and your kiddos in the "upper U" a few weeks ago! :) Come back by and hang out! Talk to you soon!

Anonymous said...

Hey Abby,
Thanks for the update! I was just about to email you, and I decided to check your blog one more time... I am glad that you are hanging in there. I know you have bad days, but it is truly an encouragement to me to hear the ways you are encouraged. Does that make sense? I agree with your thoughts on being in your most dreaded circumstances. It is funny how much time I spend worrying about different worst case scenarios--I miss the abundance of grace and mercy that I know God would have for me in those times. It is freeing to survive what you dread---to not be in that place of fear.
Well, lots of rambling, I know, but I hope the Edema families find many more mercies this fall--afterall, fall is your favorite time of year :) (Right??)


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