Thursday, April 21, 2011

One Glorious End and One Bright Beginning

Psalm 46

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved;
God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved;
He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Come, behold the works of the Lord,
Who has made desolations in the earth.
He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariot in fire.

Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

The last year has been an incredible journey. In the last 13 months, we have:
  • Prepared our house in Little Rock to sell
  • Finished a 6-year ministry with FamilyLife
  • Sold our house
  • Packed all our stuff and put it in storage
  • Drove 10,000 miles through 24 states (I think 24) in 6 weeks
  • Took all our stuff out of storage, said goodbye to our wonderful life in Little Rock, and moved to Orlando
  • Adjusted to a new life in Orlando
  • New school, new church, new friends, new swim team, new everything
As if this wasn't all enough stress, add in that our full-time job has been raising support for our ministry. Both Matt and I have been home all day, every day, doing whatever we can to connect with people and identify the funding we have needed in order to start our new ministry. It would be a fat lie to say this year--particularly the last 8 months--have been easy and fun. Yes, there have been awesome blessings, and we have come to love Orlando. But going through life without any sort of routine, and knowing that there is no specific date when life will return to "normal," is extremely stressful.

There have been some other factors that have raised the stress as well: difficulties with the overpriced rental we live in, the sad death of our car, lingering illness, and wads of red tape from the parent organization we work for. During the last week, I have clung to the words of Psalm 46, because even though all the difficulties I listed aren't squat compared to war, and the mountains falling into the sea, they are still very difficult. The greatest difficulty has been not being able to work at the job we moved to Orlando for. 8 months living here without the job has been HARD.

This too shall pass.
This is only temporary.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I AM GOD.
Sorrow may last for a {long} night, but joy comes in the morning.

And joy does come in the morning. This morning, God allowed Matt to meet with Ellis, the man who is in charge of all support raising for Campus Crusade. Ellis looked at our funding, looked at our budget, pulled out his machete, and chopped right through the wad of red tape. On Tuesday, we get to set up our office! And we get to start working with Discover God 4 Kids! This is the part of the story where I jump up and DO MY HAPPY DANCE ALL OVER THE HOUSE!

There is a "but" in here, though. We still need to raise $300 of new monthly support. It is, however, only because Ellis has our best interests in mind. He believes in us and wants us to succeed, so he has put up a matching gift! For every dollar of new monthly support we receive, Ellis will match it for a year, up to $1500. I can't even begin to express how cool and how generous it is for him to do this for us. It is an amazing shot in the arm, the encouragement we have needed. We are confident that God will flood in the last $300 of monthly support that we need. As soon as that $300 is identified, we can work full-time.

God is faithful. He has been our refuge and our strength though the last, rocky year. He has been ever present. And you know the cool thing? That will never change, even as we move forward.  Today, April 21, 2011, we exalt Him! We will be still and know that He is God. To God be the glory!

1 comment:

Stef said...

GOOSEBUMPS all over the place :)
So happy for you guys!!!

I have a question that might be silly, but its important. Where do we go (online or through snail mail or phone) to set up a monthly contribution?
I know we can give a little right now. We always can give a little as long as God is giving us a little :)
But our prayer is to be debt free by next Spring and then we'd want to give even more. Let me know. You probably already have and I've forgotten (sorry... I'm bad with that) so just remind me :)

Love you!