RENEWING GOD’S HOUSE THROUGH LEARNING AND GROWING: JEREMIAH 17: 7-8 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.
Living in a dual professional family is not always easy. There is constantly give and take in the need or dream to be pursued. We have moved multiple times (5 states in 20 years). Moves two and three were especially challenging because we felt painted in a corner as companies divested or downsized – we needed to move to survive. I questioned God’s intent frequently. In order to meet basic requirements of providing for family, I needed to compromise my goals and dreams.
After move two, for approximately three years, I complained and was not generally kind. I joined a women’s group at church and my heart was hard. I could not see or hear the benefit. The pregnancy and birth of my third child changed my perspective. This pregnancy required 6 weeks of hospital bedrest and intense prenatal care. As I sat in the rocker weeks after his birth, a soft whisper came and said, “You are here because I cared for you and your son”. The previous location where we lived did not have the center of excellence for neonatal care. How would we have known? When I returned to work and the daycare went “belly-up”, my employer showed compassion and allowed me to flex to work straight evenings, while we awaited proper care for the children. Driving home from work one night, I heard a whisper “I show love and compassion through others – I will provide”. Who knew I would find a community who had values like ours?
Move three had higher stakes, four school-aged children, no clear location, and no clear job for me. Stress and tension were high. We analyzed – we informed the employer what we wanted and we were given a different location. Then we prayed. We reflected on the good and unplanned gifts of health care, community, professional development that resulted from our last move. When we acknowledged the need to trust God and accept he carries us through, we knew we could land on our feet. It doesn’t always mean easy and in our time. We listened to the whisper. Over the next four years, our family grew to be friends, our children learned to appreciate a diverse community and received an exceptional education, and we all learned self-reliance before we integrated into a community where we knew no one. I landed a leadership experience I would never have landed in the previous community. God gave us growth that we didn’t expect. All we had to do is trust and listen.
Lord, please give me wisdom in hearing your voice and knowing which advice is from the Spirit of God and which is not. Help me to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Salem Lutheran Church affiliated with the E.L.C.A. Salem is a vibrant welcoming Lutheran community that, through the grace of Jesus Christ, is connected within by love and reaching out in hope to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one another, the community and the world.
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