Life is rough! And when its not rough, its hard, discouraging, scary, and overwhelming. But it's also amazingly beautiful, fulfilling and quite a wonderful journey to walk. My family has been through a lot in the past year and a half. My husband graduated with a masters degree in August only to find out it would be over 6 months before he got his first paycheck (hello....my million jobs pay nothing....he's the breadwinner here, how are we going to live). My amazing church lost its building in December (Why God, I know you sent us here). My mom had a heart attack in June with a 1% survival rate (I am not ready to loose my momma). Needless to say we have been feeling overwhelmed, overcome with burdens and beat down. In our weakest moments, I admit, I felt angry, angry at God. I couldn't understand how we could devote our lives to Him and all this be happening. I couldn't understand why so many others seem to have everything handed to them and do nothing for God. However, I have come to learn that I don't need to understand, really all I need to do is TRUST. That's the kicker. Do I really believe what Jeremiah 29:11 says "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."
In all of this, we never felt alone. My God, the good good father He is, has been holding our hand through it all. He has never left our side. Even in our darkest moments when all I could do was cry out to Him with no words, I felt Him. While, I may never fully understand all that has happened or why He has chosen our family to bare these burdens, I accept them and I will praise Him through it all. I can say this because I fully believe Jeremiah 29:11. I believe that God created me to love me and to use me to bring others closer to Him. I KNOW that through it all, we will be okay.
Here's where it gets good....the rest of the story. Dallas finally began to be paid. Is it enough, not quite yet but God has taken care of our every need. He is helping us dig out of our financial hole from Grad School and six months of very little income. He is providing new clients for Dallas to counsel. People that need help. Lives turned around because God is using my husband in a mighty way for His glory through his job. He has given the dance studio its largest enrollment to date. More lives to be touched for Him. Does our church have a building? Actually yes, through God's working over the past several years at the Dance Studio, we were able to save enough to rent our own space. Now we are able to give back to The Refuge and allow them to meet there absolutely free while they rebuild the ministry. They have been able to start a new children/teen ministry on Wednesday nights called "The Link" that is bringing lots and lots of students. They have seen new people come to the church. It's their prayer that God will use them in whatever way He sees fit. Hopefully one day, they will be able to be in their own building but for now, God is allowing them to do mighty things for Him, where they are. Now for my momma. I was pretty certain I was gonna loose her on June 2nd. Really certain actually. You see, she died 5 times (at least...could have been more), had a heart attack, had 7 strokes and a stent put in. Not one of her best days. But God, in His amazing grace and beauty, decided that He wasn't finished with my momma yet. He allowed her to improve, have bad days, more near death experiences and finally get to go home and be with her family that loves her more than she will ever know. He used her life to minister to so many people and show them a modern day miracle. You see, miracles happen every day in our lives, we have just become so blind to them....often it takes something big to smack us in the head and make us realize, our God is working!
This road we have walked has not been easy and quite frankly, I don't expect it to ever become easy. But it is good and a beautiful mess. I have learned to lean on my Heavenly Father and trust Him in ways that I never thought I could. I learned that through God, anything is possible and that my problems are small fries compared to the greatness of His ability. I learned to live life to the fullest and not take for granted those I love. I learned that my life matters and that I was created to serve a mighty mighty God. Finally, I have learned that it's in those valleys that God makes us stronger and He chisels away the old me and helps me to become the person He wants me to be. So for those of you who feel overwhelmed, beat down and destroyed...this too shall pass. YOU WILL BE AN OVERCOMER and will be a much better version of yourself on the other side. Romans 8:37 says "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us."