Thursday, November 6, 2014

What are you waiting for?

When last I wrote we were still in Berlin.  It was with heavy hearts that we returned 'home'.  We wanted to stay and continue the works we are a part of.  We know Berlin is where we are to be.  There is not a doubt!  How it will all work out will be amazing to watch!!  We were blessed beyond measure with the favor we found at every turn there.  So many amazing people that are now forever a part of our lives. 

So much work to be done.

So few labors to harvest the fields.

We had been praying over the summer about setting up a home-base in the US.  Since we sold our NY home May of '13 we felt we needed somewhere to call our own whenever we are in the states.  As strongly as we wanted to stay in Germany this time we felt that we needed to return to set up a home-base and finish raising the support needed.  We looked at many locations and thought through the pros and cons of each area.  Finally we decided on Winston Salem, NC.  It is a great location for many reasons:  Mike's younger sister moved there a few months back.  So it has family.  We needed somewhere in the middle of all our contacts - old, new, and hopefuls - they span from NY to Florida.  This will make travel easier on us.  Plus the taxes are crazy low :)  We wanted to find something we wouldn't have to go in debt for...this is a Biggy for us!!

We arrived in NC not even 2 days after stepping off the plane and began looking at places to live.  Time was of the essence.  We had to first find a house in order to get the boys in school.  We had 2 weeks to pull it all off.  It was not easy - trying to pick the neighborhood, school district, home (with-in our limited budget) and all the other challenges that come with a new area. We didn't know how anything worked within the school system, so different then northern schools!  We found a small townhouse which will work best for when we are in Germany for the long periods of time.  We will not have to worry about maintenance of a large home and lawn.  The townhouse needed a ton of work though and more things we found as we settled into it.

When we went to pick up our belongings at the storage unit we found that they had been invaded by black mold while we were in Germany this summer.  Our clothing and appliances were for the most part in plastic storage bins so they were fine but all our wooden furniture (dressers, kitchen table, couch, book cases, ect) and beds were lost.  To make matters worse we needed to have purchased additional insurance for water damage.  We were not aware of this when we bought the insurance we thought we needed for the unit.  So nothing has been reimbursed. 

I felt like Job. 

Then I began to battle with styes on my eye lids.  Even as I write this I have a large one on my upper right lid that sent me to the eye doctor earlier this week.  I'm on antibiotics and he told me if I had not come in when I did I would have ended up in the hospital from the infection that set in along with the stye.

 There were so many questions raised in our minds as to why we had to fight so many battles from the moment we stepped off the plane (our luggage decided to take almost a week to find us).  I have only mentioned a few of the battles above.   Anybody that knows us can look back over our lives and say we have lived a life that seemed "golden".  Everything we had put our hands to has been successful.  It felt as if the bottom had dropped out and everything we touched was spoiling.  How do you continue to hold fast to the calling deep inside when it feels like things are crumbling down around you?  What does it say about God's will for your life when it looks like nothing is "going right"?  I know growing up the belief was unless things were "roses" then you were out of the will of God for your life...come on you all know what I'm talking about!!!
So getting back to Job...I just couldn't help but feel somewhat like he had.  Of course I was nowhere near his losses.  But at times I did feel like God was stepping back and watching it all unfold instead of stepping in to my rescue.  I felt almost bi-polar.  Moments I would be strong and have a hold of my emotions the next in tears.  How could my Champion abandon me in my time of need?  How could He sit back when I needed Him most?  Was I just wasting my time on a 'pipe dream'?

 I can tell you that only 3 months later (even with the large stye currently on my eye) I write this from a place of peace.  My God has NEVER failed me.  He used these past few months to continue to mold me into His image.  I am stronger for walking through the fire.  I was not burned, He held my hand.  He moved heaven and earth for me.  I am sitting in a beautiful home (still in need of some paint and repairs).  I have all I need.  Great kids.  A loving, faithful husband.  A calling that is so burned into my heart that I have NO doubt that full time missions work in Germany is where we are headed.  The late luggage turned into over $1200 worth of reimbursements from the airliner-the kids school clothing, outfits for Mike and I, new sneakers for all of us and many personal items I would have had to buy out of pocket.  The small ugly townhouse turned into a blessing in the rough.  With our ability to do most of the repairs ourselves and my creative eye it looks amazing and is "money" in the bank.  The schools for the boys have been just what they needed.  The styes in my eyes...well ok I'm still trying to figure out the blessing there...LOL...
Mike has been traveling all over the states and into Canada since our return.  God has been opening some amazing doors we never thought he would walk through.  Just a few weeks ago he sat down with the Swiss Ambassador!   He is going to Germany for a week this month and only had to buy the plane ticket.  He has sat down to lunch with many top leaders of different organizations.  I'm telling you God has some great things 'up His sleeve.’ There are many, many more cool stories I could share.  God opens the doors and we walk through them!!  Is it a wonder that we had such a struggle when we first returned?

I am being very opened and sharing from the heart.  I grew up in a very closed, private family.  I still fight the urge to "keep things behind closed doors".  I want my life to shout out loud that God is faithful.  He has so much more in store for each one of us.  Big things that we could never imagine or even believe.  I wrote this blog wanting to be open and honest with the struggles I have been going through.  I write from a very vulnerable place.  It is hard for me because I am strong! I have always had to be 'the strong one'.  I am telling you now I am weak...always have been!  It is my God, my heavenly Father, that is the strong one in me.  Without Him I am nothing.  Without Him I fall apart.  Without Him I can't survive.  He is my everything. 

I leave you with something I read this morning that grabbed me and propelled me to finally write this blog:

"So I take a new grip with my tired hands and strengthen my weak knees. 
I mark out a straight path for my feet so that those who ARE weak and lame will not fall but become strong."  Hebrew 12:12-13

I want to mark a straight path for others to follow.  I want to strengthen those that are weak and lame.  I want them to know my God.  I want to see them do things they could never do on their own.  To reach new heights.  To stop settling in life.  To stop graveling for small morsels.

I take a new grip.  YES...I'm tired but I can't let those coming behind fall!!!  I need them to see what God can do in and through a weak, frail shell.  I need them to understand that greater is He in me then he that seeks to destroy my life.
Take a new grip today, strengthen those tired knees.  Mark out a path for others to follow.