Clinging to the Unnecessary, Part II

 

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” Mark 1:17

Jesus directed Simon and Andrew to drop those nets, drop their lives as they knew them that very moment, drop everything, and follow Him.  When have you been called to leave a comfortable situation and follow the Lord into the ‘Great Unknown?’

Back in 2001, my husband felt a calling to return to school. Ironically, we already each held a college degree and had started our family with one daughter present in our lives.  We had been praying for a second child for several months.

I had many reservations about this calling, and felt certain we misunderstood.  We would need to go into debt for school, we were already parents and had begun investigating adoption, we would need to move away from friends and a wonderful church family, and I was not thrilled with the lifestyle options offered by attaining an MBA.  I envisioned an absent husband, not at all what I had signed up for when I said, “I do,” thank you very much!

But I agreed to pray about it.  We couldn’t even talk about it, but we each prayed about it for forty days.

In the end, he was accepted into two top ten programs, one even offering a small scholarship.

That was God’s answer.

Even when I had the answer, I was not thrilled. But, I was determined to be positive and be as supportive as possible.

Three weeks later we learned our second daughter was on her way!

God had heard the cries of my heart.  I would not question the timing, and while we were making the best choices we could, we knew we needed to rely on God’s provision for the next two years.

It’s been ten years since my husband graduated with his MBA. In that decade we have been relocated three times to unknown cities.  We have lived without him during the week while he traveled for work, added a third daughter to the mix, and celebrated as we repaid each student loan. We fought my cancer and each have drawn closer to Jesus.

In some areas my fears were justified. Yet, God has redeemed every sacrifice, every hardship, working out everything in our favor, just as He promises in Romans 8:28.

During the times of loneliness, I drew closer to God, eventually realizing I really was not home alone with young children.  And when I was clueless, He would somehow provide a key.

The one blessing of my husband’s work I constantly denied desiring or needing, proved necessary six years ago.  His income and his job’s health benefits sustained our family as I journeyed through cancer.

I did not think we needed the corporate life. But God realized that by utilizing John’s talents and gifts, He could then free up my time to raise our children and allow me time to study Him and His word.  It also has given me time to pursue my passion of writing.

I shudder to think, what if, what if I had disobeyed God’s calling on our lives?  The road has not been easy, but He was there each step of the journey.

Reflections:

Monday: When have you been called to leave a comfortable situation and follow God into the ‘Great Unknown?’

Tuesday: What fears did you have, and later realized, 1) they were justifiable, and 2) God dealt with those fears.

Wednesday: Are you currently facing a crossroads where the logical answer just doesn’t seem to be His chosen path? Read Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

 

Thursday: Think about what you hope your future contains.  Have you turned that picture over to God?  Are you willing to let Him make adjustments?

Friday: Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you for sustaining me.  That you for leading me.  Thank you, that in your holiness, you truly have the very best for me, and your wisdom and guidance will lead me down the path you chose for me.  Thank you, that I can trust you, knowing you love me more than I can imagine. Amen.

Thank you for reading!  Please return next Monday, April 14, for the next post.

4 thoughts on “Clinging to the Unnecessary, Part II”

  1. Absolutely “Spot On” Sis! I am going to re-read this one and let it sink deep into those hurting areas. As we have lived these past 7 years with Rick’s employment situation, it has been a true test of WHO do we depend on. He was let go from his permanent position in June 2008 and he has not been offered a position since that time. So he has been consulting for these past several years. I have been on edge for most of that time not knowing if this is our last week for his various assignments. He takes 1 day at a time so patiently and fully trusts our God without question. Needless to say, it has been a journey that has us looking UP as a family. I am ashamed to admit it but it has caused me much doubt, anger, fear, and questioning as to why so many around us prosper while others wonder where their next meal is coming from or can we pay those medical bills? I don’t ever remember a time when the struggle of coveting others or doubting God’s plan, has been so crystal clear as this time in my life. So I confess to Him, ask for forgiveness, wisdom, etc……but the challenge is to let go completely (surrender comes to mind) and TRUST! I believe that has been His #1 lesson for me personally during this time of transition. I know this is very personal, so thank you for listening, leading, and your faithful prayers. Good to know you are on the other side of doubt and onto the blessings He had in mind for your family all along. Hind sight has allowed you to share this message as a blessing this week. Amen!

    1. Dear Dawn, Thank you for being you! You are so thoughtful, so insightful into yourself. It is something most of us hardly ever possess! First, please know I have been praying for your family for several years. Also, I am so sorry this is still a constant challenge in your life. We had two very lean years at graduate school, and I thank God we have not yet revisited that era of financial insecurity.
      As I read your comment about your struggle when you see others prosper, I thought of two things. First, I know you well enough that you would never mean anything maliciously. Second, that thought reminded me of something Lysa TerKeurst wrote in “Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl,” we are not equipped to handle all the good and the bad that others experience in their lives. Lysa gave the illustration of always desiring to possess dancer legs. Then one of the women she most admired in that regard came down with cancer. She wrote the question, (This is not a quote here,) Am I ready to accept her blessings and her challenges? I write that only to emphasize that often we only see the blessings in others lives, and not normally all their challenges too. I think most of us are pretty good at maintaining a pretty picture- maybe because that is how we want our reality to be. But we often do not share life’s challenges with everyone. So, it is easy to have everything looking rosy from the outside.
      I am truly sorry that you are hurting so deeply. I will continue to pray for you, and even more specifically now. You are dearly loved! You are such a blessing to your family, your church, and to me. Thank you for being so honest. Very few of us could share the truth of our own lives. Blessing to you today, Love, Stefanie

      1. TY Sis! Sweet words of encouragement. Yes I enjoy Lysa’s Crave devotion book. Just read a very similar story last week on that same topic. Our lives, our path, our race is no one elses. We are to stay in our own lane and not wish to run another’s race as that would be doubting God’s perfect plan for us. Contentment in our own lane! “Run Our Own Race” was a message from another gifted speaker last week. So powerful. God speaks through many of His children to us on the same topics. So awesome when He speaks from so many sources all saying the same thing. You know that is the Holy Spirit! It has been a true testimony to say our God is good and He is our Full provision. Not man, not employment or unemployment, not anything of this world………………….only Him! Have a blessed week. Also, thinking of your G’ma and G’pa as they continue with their health concerns. May they find strength in the love given by those caring for them at this time. This may be the G’mother you referred to with your Poems from a few posts back? Keep us posted on their prayer needs too please. Love Ya! Me :o)

  2. Christians are not taught this very necessary step to spiritual maturity. In the early Church it was called detachment. I grew up with the nearly meaningless concept of getting rid of our “idols.” What this step or stage really means is that we begin to get rid of everything that is in the way of a love relationship with Jesus. Things, people, situations that are not necessarily sinful but we cling to them and put them before God in our lives. You have learned the wonderful truth that the more we remove, the closer we get to Jesus, and the more we see God pouring out His love and grace on us. We see God pouring out blessings and grace in people in our lives. The rising tide raises all boats. We are so afraid of crucifying self. But this is what it means, bringing the kingdom of God into our lives and all those we love.

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