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Sunday, February 7, 2010

.Starting to Connect Some Dots.


It is taking me much longer to share our story than I anticipated it would. Part of the reason is because we are still so caught up inside of the story. Every time I sit down and reflect on the past chapters of our life I am overcome and overwhelmed with the intricate way God has weaved the details together. I am also ashamed for the many times that I did not notice or perceive it to be that way. I want this chapter to be different. This chapter that I am living right now is so exciting and scary, but I want to truly see God in the details, for He is right here in the middle weaving and weaving the tapestry of our life. It has been painful and uncomfortable, but stepping back and looking inside it is breath- takingly beautiful. I am so humbled that He has chosen Jim and I for this journey. We are so undeserving.

I know that I have gathered new readers since even the last installment of our faith story, and I do not want to leave you behind. God is urging me to write this for a reason. For my own good specifically, but I also strongly desire for other women to connect with our story - to see, maybe for the first time God weaving her own story. I am not a public speaker. I am not good with the spoken word. My tongue gets twisted and tied. My thoughts a jumble. Yes, if asked, I would stand up and give this testimony of God's goodness; how could I not? But this here, my written words from my heart, is my true platform. This is where God has gifted me, and is where I would much rather share. My prayer is that through these posts about our story, your heart would be touched, pricked, and you would see the God of all creation in a light that maybe you have never seen Him before. To God be the glory; great things He has done! To catch up on our story click on the following links:

Once Upon a Time
Our Total Money Makeover
I Don't Know How the Story Ends
At This Point in Time
Letting it All Hang Out
Our Faith Story:Part Six
God Alone
Bitter Sweet
One Month Under Our Belts

I felt as if I had been sucker-punched when Jim walked into my classroom, where I taught second graders, that day and told me that he had been laid-off. I was furious. I felt betrayed by the people Jim worked for, and I felt betrayed by God. I also became introspective, and began to wonder if it had not been God's plan for us to move back near our family homes and pursue the ministry of camp, but if it had been my plan - my manipulating Jim to get us where I wanted to be. If I was being completely honest with myself, which I seldom was back then, it wasn't really camp ministry I desired - rather it was a desire to be close to my family and camp ministry was merely the vehicle to get us where I wanted us. After all I had been the one to put the bird in Jim's ear about pursuing an internship at the camp in the first place. We were visiting my parents one weekend, and the desire was as strong as it ever was to move back. My head starting thinking and my tongue started manipulating.

Jim don't you want to get out of this dead-end job that you're in and start ministry? After all that is what you went to Bible college for. I wonder if camp has already chosen their next intern. You have always loved camp. I bet that would be a perfect fit. Why don't you call and see if you can get an interview?

Jim called that day and got the position very soon after. We prayed about it a bit, but looking back it was truly less of God's leading and more of mine. I am not saying God was not in control - He was, and this was part of His intended story for us. It's a fine line, and it is hard to explain accurately.

I had never really been very independent. I moved just three hours away to college, and I enjoyed that. But I always really liked being at home with my family. That has not changed today. I would still rather be at home with my family than be any place else in the world, and while that is not always a bad thing God has had to gently stretch me in this area. Now I am getting ahead of myself, though.

I remember that day so well. Jim closed the door to my classroom and held me while I sobbed. I liked to be in control. I had felt safe knowing that Jim would still have his job at the running store until it was time for us to move. All of my plans had been so perfectly laid out. This was not in my plans. I had expected Jim would stay at the running store until the day we moved. I remember moping around for a few days. I watched Jim search out the job listings in the paper. I was miserable. Who would hire Jim for a few short months?

In a matter of days God stepped into the equation and provided in such a way that I am still in awe when I think back. I cannot remember the details. I need to go back to my journal entries from that time and look it up, but the details are not pertinent to the story. Somehow Jim found out about a local publishing company that was looking to hire a person to beef up their website design. Remember how my husband had begun learning a bit about that at his running job?

God was weaving.

Jim was immediately hired, and his boss knew it would be temporary - that was all he wanted and needed! I believe Jim was hired under the impression that he knew a lot about web design and Photoshop. {grin} Fortunately my husband is a very quick learner, especially when it comes to things of this nature. He was also still very friendly with the man back at the running center who had been teaching him little things about web design. With that man's gracious help in answering any of Jim's questions and Jim's quick wit, he went from knowing very little about web-design to being able to completely build a website mostly from scratch. He also got very articulate with Photoshop.

Jim so enjoyed those few months of that job. In ways he had been beaten down at his other job, he was lifted up here. God was so gracious during this time. I even believe Jim brought home a bigger paycheck from this job! Oh how God was reaching out and loving us in ways I barely noticed until now. Jim was able to completely makeover the publishing company's website, and he learned how to do some graphic designing of some of their paper advertisements as well. He loved the creativity of the job and excelled at it.

I continued teaching and we started packing up our little apartment, anticipating the next phase of our life. Jim continued to preach at the little home church. They begged us to stay on and for Jim to become their pastor. It wasn't time yet, though. We were not ready. We still had so very much to learn.

At the end of May, with no permanent housing, we moved all of our possessions and settled into life at camp, living in a tiny cabin. We really had no idea what to expect. We were scared and excited, in very much the same place I find myself today. But God was at work....




Jim's very first big assignment at camp was to design and print a brochure advertising the summer weeks ahead.

Would you know anything about that?
The camp director asked Jim. We'd like to save a little money this year and try to design the brochure in-house. I wasn't sure if this was something you would be able to do or not.

Oh. So this was part of the reason God allowed Jim to lose his job.

We were starting to connect some dots.


Jenna said...

I realize that things never were the same after all of that and we were very sick and upset about it. There were a lot of things behind the scenes there that continued to push us out. It was hard to be there and even harder to continue to be discouraged time after time as we tried to get out. I really was devastated and missed your close friendship, for whatever it's worth now.

Heather said...

That is so cool how God was working things out! Thanks for sharing- I can't wait to read more. :)

Melissa said...

I can't wait to read more about God's awesomeness in your life!

Shannon K. said...

Thank you for this. I always find it inspiring to see how others perceive God to be working behind the scenes. It helps me on my own inept journey of faith.

Kimberly said...

Your story is a beautiful and heartfelt one. Thank you for sharing all of this. Reading your story is inspirational andour faith is a huge lesson for me. I can't wait to keep reading and see what God is weaving!

M J said...

Just looking over some of your old posts and saw that your little one had to do patching therapy. Mine did, too! She actually learned to love it, because she got to play video games. :)

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