[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] T[/dropcap]his post has been trying to make its debut for a few days now. I just haven’t been able to fully process or honestly admit where I’m at, because the past several weeks have been hard. I can’t say I’ve been full of faith or chipper or the greatest person to be around lately. April was a very difficult month for many reasons. And the emotional roller coaster ride that we were on from March and all of Baby’s tests and reports just did not prepare us for what was going to hit in April. Needless to say, the enemy hits hard when you’re already down. And the moral of the story is to stay up! Keep standing regardless of what’s hitting you. But I didn’t see that then; I’m just seeing it now as we’re coming out of all the drama.
Interestingly enough, the thing that really hit me during this trial is how much God has sustained Mark and I and our marriage. If you’ve read this blog for any period of time, you know that we’ve been through a lot in our married life. And we were not a couple who dated for X amount of years before marrying. We didn’t exactly marry with a firm foundation behind us, but we set our foundation on the Rock. And I can see now how much HE has sustained us.
I always joke that Mark speaks another language other than English, because we deal with a lot of cross-cultural miscommunication. Marrying someone of a different culture brings so many differences to the table. And truthfully, I think being married to an American is probably far harder than being married to a Brit. I’m explosive, mouthy, opinionated, always ready for a fight, and have a stubborn streak. He is quietly thoughtful, tries to speak only after he’s sorted through things, rarely ever in attack mode, but probably always in defense mode as he never knows what’s coming. He is never about his “rights”. He has adjusted to so much within the American culture and is able to process it through a Biblical lens. And granted, I’m also a giant ball of hormones right now, which doesn’t help. But my respect, admiration, and appreciation for my husband grows daily. I am learning through watching him, and I will readily admit that I am far more difficult to live with than he is.
And truthfully, it’s very hard for this Christian of 30+ years to admit that she’s still got some areas that need major growth and change. I would like to say that there are areas where I’m firmly solid, but truthfully, I will always need work. And some areas need major renovation. It’s hard to realize that in the face of trials, struggles, and great uncertainty I tend to panic before settling down and looking to Him. I tend to get lost in the emotion of everything. This hit very hard over this past month as we dealt with lots of financial upheaval. I have a terrible fear of debt, and in order to get out of it, I’ve been pushing, pushing, pushing to sell our house and get out of all debt. I want to undo all the financial mistakes that we made when we moved back to the States. My husband wisely realizes that his pregnant wife would not cope with selling a house during her third trimester. He also wisely realizes that deep down I want all of my three babies to be brought home to this house. And in a year from now, we’ll be in a much better place to put the house up for sale. He’s able to think all of that out rationally. I just panic and run (and make more mistakes). Yet I’m also seeing a big change for me is that I am finally learning to step back and trust his wisdom. I’m trying hard to not push for control, but I’m doing my best to I’m step out of the way so that he can lead as he’s supposed to. None of that has been easy though; simply because I can be a perfectionist, a control freak, a lady who thinks she needs to have a say/a voice heard in everything. Yet I don’t. I truly don’t.
I’m also realizing that I also try to have my say in everything when it comes to my walk with the Lord. I have had a very strong sense of hopelessness and heaviness during much of the last few weeks, and it’s because I don’t see any way out of this situation, that situation, and the way things currently are. There are things that I’ve been praying for, believing for, in faith about for several years now, and they have not happened. So I’ve allowed myself to sink into thinking that things will always be like __________. Yet it’s not the truth; these answers to prayer haven’t happened in the way that I thought they would. But it is not hopeless, nor is it over yet. Nor can I afford to sink into hopelessness as it is in no way faith. It doesn’t please God, Who is able to do all things, even those that seem impossible. He delights in our trusting of Him to do the impossible. And I know far better than to allow that kind of discouragement to hit. I know better due to how many times He has done the impossible.
So I’ve slowly allowed Him to peel me off the pavement. Slowly, I’m asking Him to change me. These are the areas where I need much change, and I can’t do it myself. I’m building my faith back up by reminding myself of Who He is and what He has done. And instead of beating myself up (like the good perfectionist has always done), I’m just humbling getting back on the right track. There’s no point in beating myself up more than I’ve already been beat up. There’s no point in punishing myself for falling flat on myself. There’s grace and forgiveness to ask for and to receive. So up and back on track we go.
Lastly, I named this blog “The Beauty of Progress” in order to allow myself to grow and make progress. It’s all about letting God rework me, about allowing Him to take the dust, grime, hard places and change them all into something that glorifies Him. Really it’s about becoming more like Him every day, and it is a step by step progression. One day at a time with one foot in front of the other; yet all the while knowing that He helps us every bit of the way as we yield to His gracious love.
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3 KJV