“Above All, Trust in the Slow Work of God”

We entered the year with questions and God was swift to answer—with no after no after no. i wanted some good things–maybe to move closer to family or farther and do mission work, or see bryan in full-time ministry, or maybe for me to be a stay at home mom. God said no to those good things though, because his plan is better and he can see the grand scope of things while i have such a narrow view. and i can trust his plan is better and that his plan is because he loves me, because the bible tells me so, even though my heart doesn’t believe it a lot of the time. 

When the year began, before moving forward, bryan talked with close friends and spiritual leaders. the conversations made me really mad—they weren’t what I wanted to hear. There was no stamp of approval; our friends and leaders were in consensus, separately drawn, spirit-led, I believe, that we’re to stay, at least a while longer.

then what I least expected came about—taking a step back from ministry. Until December, we led a small group at our house once a week, I worked nursery, bryan played in band, was an elder, counted tithe, wrote the church newsletter, gave the communion message once every month or two, and..well, i could go on. what weren’t we doing? it was part of what was making our schedule hard—but we thought ministry is always good, so this is necessary–then elders were asked to give an additional ten hours a week of their time, and bryan couldn’t do it. 
He won’t be getting ordained in the spring; even though he came to the decision along with our pastor, i know he’s disappointed because when he came home to tell me this, he had that certain pause he has before he plunges into bad news. i cried–i still feel heartbroken about it. they had agreed that instead of continuing with the ministry he’s been doing as an elder, right now he needs to focus on his ministry to me and the girls
part of me feels like a huge failure. Wasn’t I a seminary wife for three years? I should be able to do without his help enough to give up those extra ten hours. I can’t though. At least not right now—maybe one day I can be like those church ladies I so admire, hauling five kids to church with a smile on their face with their husband at the church early and staying late. God has got whole lot of work to do on me before I’m there. 

last night zu was hungry and waiting in her high chair for me to fix dinner. bryan was at work, june was on my hip. she was getting a bit impatient and started saying “mommy i want Something! mommy i want Something! mommy i want SOMETHING!”

i think that is maybe how i sound to God. good thing he loves me infinitely much better than i even love my little ones. 

I pray that God shows me sweetness in staying, even when our schedule is tough and not what i thought was best; that God shows me, one day, how this was first-best for us, not a making-do, transitional, hold-over time waiting for the best; that God gives me patience with my babies and my husband, even when I’m tired and especially when I’m hungry; that God calms my crazy, bent and blind heart, and works in me, slowly.

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