Have you ever noticed how change sneaks up on you? It can be good or bad but sometimes it just hits you out of the blue how much something or someone has changed. Today was that day for me. In our marriage I have always had the "live out loud" faith. Few people meet me and don't know where I stand in the world. My husband however has a very quiet faith. Even with his wife! I have had to pry thoughts and feelings about faith out of him often. In the past few years though he has really changed. About 7 years ago we left our nice comfortable church and started out on a search. We weren't sure where to we just knew we weren't in the right place anymore. New churches, new friends, homeschooling conferences and events have all challenged and changed us for the better. Especially in the past two years or so I've noticed my quiet man opening up and sometimes saying things that stop me dead in my tracks. For the good! He has often come home in the past year or so from work telling me people have come up to him out of the blue and asked him if he's a Christian. When he says yes they make comments like, "I can tell by the way you treat people." or "I knew it. You're different from the other guys." Pretty amazing huh! Reminds me of a quote (can't remember who it's by) "Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary use words."
So what does this have to do with today?? Well, over here it seems one thing after another is breaking and needing to be fixed. Both of our cars are really acting up and we really don't have the money to fix them over and over or to buy a new one. One car acting up is not so bad but I was starting to have visions of one of us calling the other to come pick them up because the car died and then the other not being able to because the other car won't go either!! It's really been stressing me out! I also have been feeling a lot of pressure when it comes to the right choices for our schooling and even parenting. Trying to remember to trust the way WE are being led even if it's different than everyone else has been a real struggle for me lately. Adding to that, as we all know, rising gas and food prices along with growing kids eating more and involved in more things... it just seems like lately we are sinking. Normally this does not phase me. I use to be very, "God is in control and we will all be good. I don't know how, but I know we will." But lately I've been very anxious and panicked over it. So today when we had just fixed our old car and it was running well and then it suddenly started hissing and sputtering I felt like I was about to lose it. Our normal school day was completely thrown off by Daddy being home and family projects that needed to be done. THEN I go to get on the computer to email "my group" online that has the best ladies in the world to pray and support you and my computer wouldn't turn on! Well, it would turn on and then just turn itself off! It was the straw that broke the camel's back. I just lost it. Paul could see it written all over my face that I had just been pushed too far. Then, he did something he had never in our almost 18 years of marriage ever done. He grabbed me in his arms and held me and started to pray. I was shocked. He hates praying aloud besides a simple prayer with the kids at night. He will sometimes pray with me if I ask but he has never just done that on his own. Then in his prayer he asked for peace for me and to calm my fears. He also acknowledge the fact we are being attacked here on a spiritual front. I was blown away! I couldn't believe that was my husband! And suddenly it was so clear. Satan does not care when you are sitting on the sidelines doing nothing! In fact he's quite happy to leave you alone. But, when you are shining a light in this dark world he starts noticing and acting. This is a GOOD thing... in a weird way!
Our family has had the opportunity lately to minister to others in very quiet ways. We are not flying to Africa to be missionaries but we are consciously trying to love God and love others. We are trying to offer ears to listen and arms to comfort. We are trying to speak words that will build up and edify. We are trying to be an example of love. The Lord has brought people to us who need comforted or encouraged and has somehow led us often to say just the thing that person needed to hear. One time this happened I didn't even understand why a Scripture verse even applied to that moment! I shared it anyway and was later told there was nothing better that could have been said at that moment! It was pretty cool! We are far FAR FAR from perfect. In fact we bickered in front of our children often the last two days in the midst of the stress. Not my best wife moments for sure. But, after all of that my husband blessed me in a way I never would have imagined. He helped me to see clearly the good changes that have happened to him and to us as a couple over the past few years. He took my hand and walked me back to our Savior and he opened his heart to me in a new way.
Change. Learning to embrace these new phases in our life as our children grow. Trusting when it seems there is no way to "fix" things. Remembering to follow the path He has led US to even if we are alone. Remembering that while circumstances and people change He never does. All of these things drawing us closer as a family and shaping the man I love to grow in faith and leadership is a change I feel blessed to watch and be part of.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5 & 6