I’m curious. What comes to mind when you reflect on the faithfulness of God?
At the start of each new year, I pray and ask God for a word and a verse for the upcoming year. The word God gave me for 2019 was faithfulness. I sensed, however, it wasn’t about OUR faithfulness. God impressed upon me that He was going to show us HIS faithfulness this year. Can you imagine my response when I got that word? “Oh my gosh, God is going to show us His faithfulness. This is going to be amazing. I wonder what He has planned?” Can’t you see it? After a few tough years of transitions and a big move to the mainland, I was ecstatic. We had taken so many steps of faith to press into the plans we believed God had for us. We entered 2019 with a sense of expectancy.
Honestly, I have to laugh when I think about it. I expected a remarkable year filled with God lavishing His love upon us with dreams being fulfilled, our lives being rebuilt, our careers being rebuilt, and us reaping the hard work of the previous three years. Isn’t THAT what faithfulness looks like? Nothing could have been farther from the truth. 2019 has been a walk through the most barren wilderness. My hopes and dreams for a doctorate were crushed when Argosy closed its doors. I gave up my beautiful home in Colorado to move to Florida, which we truly believe is God’s will, only to spend months in a home that is demo-ed and awaiting renovation because that dream home in Colorado won’t sell. Liquid finances are depleted and next steps unclear. It has been a brutal year.
Was it all a mistake? Did I get that “faithfulness” word wrong for 2019? Did we get many things wrong? I don’t think so. When the dust settles from the last of our five moves in three years, things will undoubtedly become clearer. God may reveal mistakes that we have made or ways in which we have made things harder than they had to be. As I write, however, I am inclined to believe that God led us into this wilderness for our final stage of this long journey because it was what we needed. Vince and I believe that God is preparing us for a greater work than we can imagine. We needed, perhaps still need, some refining to make us ready. As you can see, faithfulness has not looked as I had thought or hoped. Has that ever happened to you?
As I was reflecting on God’s word for 2019, God opened my eyes to some of the ways He has shown His faithfulness to us. We have a roof over our heads, food to eat, cars to drive, health and wellness, medical insurance, our bills are paid, and we have ENOUGH. We don’t have the extra like we have had so much of in the past. But, we have enough. Vince’s mother has been a huge help in this time. In addition, God has provided financial manna in the wilderness in a variety of ways. God has given us a church home and amazing friends who are already like family to us. The connections we have made are priceless.
Step by step, pieces are coming together, but not quickly. This week, I accepted a therapist position with Southwest Florida Christian Counseling and I am super excited. There, I will be able to focus on helping women, which is my passion and why I went back to school in the first place. I will soon start talking with the local churches about speaking opportunities with their women’s ministries and Vince has already given a Tackle Box talk to the men at our church. God is at work and is showing Himself faithful, just as He said He would. We simply need eyes to see what He is doing because it looks so different than we expected.
Today, as I was praying about the past year and His word for 2019, God gave me the word Praise for 2020 and impressed upon me that I must begin now. I need to stop grumbling and complaining about how difficult things are and praise Him for His goodness and faithfulness each and every day. Honestly, I am a great whiner…… it’s my specialty. I’m going to have to work at this praise thing. But, He is so very good and He is worthy of praise. He deserves praise when we walk in abundance or when we struggle through each day. He is faithful in good times and in the hard times. I have truly been reminded that God’s faithfulness is not based on circumstances, but on WHO He is. He is good, and kind, and powerful, is very near, and He is my Daddy who adores me. He adores us. He is worthy of praise.
Perhaps you are a whiner like me and sometimes have to be reminded that God’s faithfulness is not based on your expectations. If so, maybe you would like to join me in writing one praise, something you are thankful for, each day on Facebook until Christmas. Maybe we can focus on God’s goodness together as we prepare for Jesus’ birthday, regardless of life’s circumstances. Have a wonderful day and may God bless you mightily.