Saturday, April 10, 2010

Standstills, Stress, and Shingles

Howdy. Jessica here. I feel like I've been a somewhat silent bystander in all this, so I figured I'd share some of my thoughts.

Last fall, when Michael asked me what I thought about him going back to seminary, it really never surprised me. I married him, knowing that he had a desire to enter ministry, and in the past months, I could see him heading in that direction once again. To me, that was just a part of who he was. I also knew that I needed to support him completely, because I knew that this would be a hard task to undertake if he felt I was pulling him in the other direction.

We hummed and hawed about this decision for a while, but kept feeling like the pull was getting stronger and stronger. This is not an easy call to respond to. First of all, sometimes it's hard to discern the voice of God, "God, is this really what you're asking me to do?" Moreover, making a move like this, in essence beginning from "scratch," taking your family across the country, and living a lifestyle that has no guaranteed regular income sounds like a crazy notion. It would have been much easier to stay put. But, when it comes down to it, that's exactly why we left. We were comfortable, in a groove, coasting along. It was time to take a leap of faith, rely ultimately on God, and strengthen our relationship.

At first, things moved quickly. Right after announcing our decision, we traveled to MI and things fell nicely into place. But since that early February trip, it feels like we've been at a standstill. Yes, we've put our house of the market, but after some initial activity, we have not shown the house in 3 1/2 weeks. I have spent hours upon hours job searching online with nothing but dead ends. Leadership roles that we've had here have not found replacements.

About a month ago, I came down with a case of the shingles. Although shingles is the result of the dormant chicken pox vaccine, it's main trigger is stress. I realized that our situation is starting to take it's toll. Initially with this decision I thought I would easily be able to roll with the punches, square up my shoulders, and plow straight ahead, knowing this would be a temporary journey. But when I got the shingles, I realized that this was going to be a harder process than I thought.

So I've done what I can to prepare. I've hit the sales racks, getting my family's wardrobes stocked for the next few seasons. I've scoured my entire house, emptying it of all the "stuff" I do not want to move, I've made preparations for a major rummage sale. I have given myself to the idea that while I can do what I am able, I am trusting God to accomplish the rest. I know that when you least expect it is when you see how God has planned all the pieces to fall in place. For my "doing" mentality, having to wait is hard. But usually by waiting we see that what God had already predetermined was better than what we can even imagine.

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