It’s happening again. Life has stalled. Doors that I thought were a sure thing are closing–or are being super slow to open–and provision has slowed to a trickle.
Freelancing has always been a feast or famine endeavor. In the six years I’ve been doing it, we’ve had no shortage of opportunities to trust God just to get us through the month. It’s a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, holding tightly to God for dear life way to live.
And I can’t say He’s never let us fall.
A few years ago, our provision was almost completely cut off as every single one of my income streams stopped earning. Only for a couple of months, but that was enough to stir up a lot of stress and anxiety. It also woke us up to spiritual complacency, misplaced hope and areas that needed work.
It started my journey to understanding that I try to do too much on my own, that I can be impatient and controlling, and that I needed to learn to surrender, to wait, to be still and trust.
It’s a lesson I’m still learning.
So here we are as I seem to be getting yet another exercise in trusting that God’s in control. That He has a plan and is at work in my life even when I can’t see it. That it’s not my job to fix everything.
It’s not always easy. I’m not sure it’s ever really easy. Last week it was especially hard. Hormones were bubbling up and bringing emotions to the boiling point, and I wasn’t sleeping well. I was tired in body and soul and as I looked back, trying to see the ways He’s come through and proven His promises, all I could see were the times it seemed like He’d let go and let me fall. The time my business failed and my books stopped selling and we couldn’t buy groceries or make the house payment. The times He allowed my babies to die. All the closed doors, all the apparent NOs in answer to my prayers.
It’s so easy, sometimes, to get blinded by the big disappointments, the big NOs, and miss the small yeses, the little blessings, the quiet moments of grace that get us through those things.
When I looked more closely, I remembered how we had just enough food in the pantry to get us through those lean weeks; how the mortgage company not only didn’t take our house but worked with us to lower our payment; how I experienced His peace like never before in the wake of my miscarriages, and how He’s given me a heart to minister to other women who go through that.
Even now, as business is slow and things look uncertain, He keeps coming through with just what we need at just the right time.
That’s the key: at just the right time.
Today my husband and I are celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary. I didn’t meet Matt until I was 31. Before him I’d never even had a boyfriend. I had given up on the thought of ever finding someone to spend my life with.
But God didn’t.
And although these nine years have been wonderful overall, there were times early on that weren’t so wonderful, when we faced bumps in the road that looked like mountains, and I wasn’t sure we’d make it past them. But we did. God gave us what we needed to traverse those bumps, and when I look back it’s so amazing to see how far we’ve come together, and exciting to think about how far we’ve yet to go.
That’s the God I’m trusting. That’s where I’m putting my hope.
At times like these, when the waiting is so hard and I can’t imagine what God has in store for us, I think about Joseph. I’m sure it wasn’t part of his life plan to get sold into slavery by his brothers, or to get put in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. And as he spent all those years in prison, never losing his faith, trusting all the while that God had a purpose for his life, I’m sure it never even crossed his wildest imaginings that his deliverance would involve him becoming the second most powerful man in all of Egypt.
God might let us fall sometimes, but He won’t let us be hurled headlong. He might appear distant, but He’s there, working all things together for our good. Sometimes to reach His best we have to go through times that seem like the absolute worst.
But His best is coming, and it will arrive at just the right time. Nothing I can do will make it get here any faster. My only job is to wait, and trust. To lean into Him and believe with all my heart that He’s a loving Father who knows how to care for His children.
P.S. – Once again I’m linking up with Holley Gerth. Check out her post for more encouragement and “Coffee for Your Heart.”