"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,
whenever you face trials of many kinds,
because you know that the testing
of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that
you may be mature and complete,
not lacking anything."
Regardless of the change, it was, and is, my reaction that truly determines the outcome of the change. With each of these different changes God placed before me during the first six months of 2013, there is always a common thread ~ prayer. Prayer, to the One, who already knew what was coming and can see beyond anything I might even dream.
So who am I to second guess Him? Although I should, I did, and do. Some changes I embrace because they are ones I've dreamed of and God opened the door to make them become realities. To write a book about Heidi's kidnapping in order to help other brothers and sisters grieving required a lot of prayer, work, time, and more prayer...yet on April 3, 2013 when hope released on a day once filled with despair...thankfulness for the change illuminated the day. A change of heart, circumstance, and outlook. Amen.
Learning to live without both of Ed's parents, a change that requires more attention on days like Mother's and Father's day. Summer is here and to think of the first July 23rd without a birthday party for and with his mom...change. Instead of mourning her loss that day, I think we will celebrate. Celebrate the mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, sister, aunt, and woman of God she was. Celebrating life, not grieving it. Each holiday reminds me of her emphasis on family and togetherness, and her not there to keep us in line. lol
A change of position and location through work. Not one I planned yet one I look forward to with excitement and joy. Initially, shock overcame me as I asked, "Why?" After wasting time on the question I couldn't answer, I decided to welcome a new "family" to become a part of in the upcoming school year. The best part, I get to work with a friend. A couple years ago I worked with a dear friend and we had so much fun and teased each other daily because we knew each other since childhood, so to work together was pure pleasure. I anticipate the same fun and memory making this year. This new school year has renewed an energy to teach similar to that of my first years and rekindled friendships, multiple blessings continue to bring tears of joy and thankfulness to my eyes.
Our pastor and his family announce exciting things happening in their lives. This requires them to move hours away to pastor a new church. YIKES! We lost more than a pastor and his family, we said good-bye to friends. My family and church have a choice, sit around mourning the loss or getting on our knees and praying for the pastor and family God already has planned for our church. Friends are not determined by miles or the church you worship at, it's a heart, time, dedication, and choice issue. We choose to keep our friends...until we meet again. Six months after having our pastor transfer North, a new pastor and his family have moved in and made Oswego County their home. In addition to a Godly family to shepherd and lead us, the pastor's wife is a friend, one I never thought would live up the road from me. I knew her as writer and crafter first, who happened to be married to a pastor, now she is my pastor's wife. I love to see how God works.
More change...illness. Without sharing too much on the blog, just know some of those the closest to me have struggled with illness this year. I pray for complete healing for my family and friends. Most continue to fight against sickness, disease, and loss while others took their last breath to join Jesus in eternity. Change...unplanned, unexpected, and often stressful. In my own strength I can't do this but in God's strength, I know I can. I might not know what to pray, but the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf. One family member's health is improving after a long couple years of testing and struggles, God provided the doctor who would figure it out and lead her to a healthier her. Our loved one still has a journey before her yet things are moving forward, we're very thankful for the doctors working together and putting the patient's health first, not the "I figured it out". We continue to pray for complete healing, strength, and freedom from pain for our loved ones.
This past weekend I enjoyed an Aaron Shust concert with my friend Holly and other sista's-in-Christ. It was an amazing concert. I'll close with his song, when you don't know what to ask or pray of God in times of change, ask HIM for the words to speak. He is faithful, loves you, and only has plans to prosper you.
God encouraged ME through my own blog today. I had forgotten all about this blog and can hear the loss and hurt in my writing. To read it a little over six months later and to share with you of how God worked through each of these situations in ways I could only pray, and some, not even imagine. Wow!
It gives me encouragement today for something weighing on our family and my heart now...God knows what it is and I pray, He answers in a mighty way. I know we can't do this on our own, only in His provision will we be able to meet our current needs. To This blog reminded me...God is always right there and sees the big picture. Thank goodness.