Sometimes God allows me to walk through fire and although I know that my situation will bring glory to God in the end it has become a huge lesson in endurance. Things have been so difficult lately that there have been days that I have just called out to God asking for him to return. It has become aware to me that this should be my heart always, not just in struggles. Even on the very best day here I should still recognize that heaven will be better. I should never lose sight of that, never get caught up in this life without constant hope for Christ's return.
As I walk through this season of tears and struggle I am clinging deeply to my Father and the joy I have in Christ. Otherwise, I would suggest someone have me committed. ;)
Thanks to Michigan and it's lack of sun I have developed a vitamin D deficiency making me exhausted all day and also giving me the "winter blues." I'm depressed and that's really hard for me to admit because I have been there before 5 years ago and I really was hoping not to be back again. The good news is that I've begun a vitamin regiment that will hopefully correct this VERY soon. The better news is that no matter what situation I'm in God is sovereign.
I have also been suffering at the hand of the terrible Michigan economy. I have applied to well over a dozen places from Rite Aid, Kmart, Family Video, Dollar General, secretary positions at various medical clinics, teaching positions at every elementary school within 50 miles & the one daycare in the area. I am technically employed by the substitute agency, but I have not received one call or job offer. My loans are officially in full repayment so as each month passes our savings is drained more and more and now we are in a state of urgency. I know God has a plan and he promises to provide for our needs. I'm deeply looking forward to witnessing the miracle he pulls to get us out of this. (I've recently contacted my loan companies and I've been able to significantly reduce my monthly payments. Praise Jesus! However, the gas and electric companies really don't care that I'm unemployed.)
The third situation going on that makes me cry a lot would be all this trouble trying to conceive (TTC). If you're one who doesn't want to hear about conception and ovulation just skip this paragraph and know it's not a fun pool to swim in. So you'd think after 16 months of trying without success I'd be used to disappointment right? Well you're wrong. On December 12 I began my first round with the fertility drug Clomid and I was CONVINCED it was going to work. I had eagerly calculated every possible due date and was preparing my body for pregnancy with prenatal vitamins (I've actually been on these since the beginning of TTC), folic acid, baby aspirin (I take this because of a blood disorder to encourage my body not to clot a baby), plenty of water and sleep, no alcohol or caffeine, etc. I had decided how I was going to announce my pregnancy to everyone from my husband to my mom & sis to facebook. I used a home ovulation prediction kit (OPK) and tested every day to see when my body was ovulating. I finally got a positive on Jan. 1 and was so excited as we had thought there was a chance that my body wasn't ovulating at all. But here I am not pregnant. (Some of you more experienced gals will probably say it's too early to tell, but...) I do not feel pregnant at all. I've already had a few negative tests and I have no symptoms of early pregnancy. In fact I have a few symptoms of normal PMS. (Like being emotional, but I told you I'm depressed so it's hard to know what's related and what isn't.) And the strongest reason I'm convinced I'm not pregnant is a gut feeling or "mother's intuition." This disappointment is so much greater than I expected. My first reaction was, "I want to stop trying." I never wanted to feel this way again. (Again, the depression isn't helping me sort through any of this...) I even told Crockett I was so discouraged and felt sure that I would never be pregnant. I told him we should stop trying because it's never going to happen and it's just going to break my heart each cycle when I'm not. (I've been a REAL joy to live with these past few weeks. Can you tell?) I had given up. But then there are days when I'm hopeful that it will happen one day and that God is just watching out for me. I've heard his constant reassurance in my quiet time and in Bible study, church, and Sunday school. Over and over the message has been this: God is sovereign and he knows what he's doing. I know nothing about my life and what's best for it. God knows what's coming and he prepares me for it the best way possible. I need to trust in his timing and be at peace with his plan.
While this is something I know in my heart, it hasn't been easy putting it to application every day. I've had to constantly drown myself in worship and the word to feel relief from my sadness. I am so incredibly thankful that I have this joy and hope. If I didn't have the Lord through this I seriously don't know how I'd be sane. How do people who don't trust God with their future deal with this? Where is their comfort? I cannot fathom it.
And the most painful thing I've experienced so far during this season of fire... my sister's divorce. How can someone else's divorce have an effect on me you ask? Well, she is my little sister and when she is hurting I either need to fix the problem or comfort her. In this situation I can do neither. And the second part to this pain I feel is outrage which is coming from blatant disregard for God and his commands. The sin that is happening is making me want to pull my hair out! My sister is walking through the most difficult thing she has ever faced and I'm 30 hrs away. The amount of disgusting sin that is playing out during this whole process makes me want to act and I can't, nor would it help. I want to grab these people in my sister's life and shake them until they repent. I want to yell at them with explicit vocabulary until they see the truth. I want to forcefully move them out of the country. I have even dreamed about how much easier it would be if some of them just somehow died. I know!! That's terrible! But now you know the extent of my anger. I'm not just annoyed or bothered, I actually feel murderous. (I have repented of this and am begging the Spirit on a DAILY basis to give me grace to deal with these people. I'm also living in a constant state of reminding myself, "But by grace go I." I did nothing to avoid ending up like these people. The fact that I am saved and see my sin and strive not to live in rebellion has NOTHING to do with me and my awesomness. Every ounce of grace I have I received from Christ. He saved me. He continually reveals my sin. He has forgiven me and He alone gets the glory.)
One more thing that hasn't been fun: a ridiculous sleep pattern. For some reason about a month ago I got into a bad habit/pattern of staying awake till 3-5am and sleeping till 2-4pm. No matter what I did I couldn't break it. I'd set my alarm to wake up early, stay awake all day hoping I'd be tired enough to fall asleep at a decent hour only to be wide awake until 3am. I'd force myself to get in bed at 10pm only to lay there tossing and turning for hours. But I can finally report that (I think) this problem has been solved. I have been praying before bed that God would grant me peaceful sleep, (When I was sleeping it was AWFUL. Waking every few hours and having bad dreams.) and the past week or so has been great. I have been asleep before midnight and awake before noon. :) One of the things helping (besides prayer) is turning our bedroom back into a normal room and not a cave. Ever since we got married Crockett has needed/wanted black-out curtains in our bedroom. Now that the sunlight (what little there is) reaches my room I am waking up!
During the peak of all this yuck in my life, husband was on a 14 day duty stretch which was AWFUL. If they gave out awards to the best military wives can I just tell you how many ways I would NOT get that award? I was beyond frustrated. Not at Crockett, but at the situation which manifested itself in the form of anger and resentment to the Coast Guard. The CG stationed us in stupid Michigan where there is no sun and no jobs. The CG put me 1500 miles away from my family when they need me and I need them. The CG made my husband work 14 days in a row (during ovulation when we're trying to conceive). Never mind that we volunteered for this, they give us excellent benefits, my husband makes twice as much money as he was making at his previous job, and he could be gone for months at a time, not just days. There was absolutely no silver lining during this time. I was determined to blame the CG and could not be reasoned with. I have seen the light and realize it isn't the CG's fault. This is just a season of my life that is difficult, but with every season I will give praise to the God of glory. I will walk with him who loves me through this storm and I know at the end of it I will be closer to my God and know him more intimately which makes all this yuck mercy in disguise.
So I have been jobless, depressed, barren, outraged, and alone. Pray for me would ya?
In the midst of this fire here is the truth that I'm standing on:
-God is good and faithful.
-My husband adores me.
-My sister is SAFE in her Father's hand.
-God will stand up for her when no one else does.
-God's vengeance will be greater than mine. Justice WILL be served.
-Joy and hope are not found on this earth.
-My life and what becomes of it is not about me.
-Having a job and being a mother are not my purposes in life.
-No matter how long Crockett is gone he will come home eventually.
-This too shall pass.
-I'm NOT home yet.
This was a long one; congrats for making it through!