Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jumping In

I think we may look back at January 2008 as being a very emotional month. Leaving our church family has not been easy. In the midst of all of it, it has been so comforting to have the peace of knowing that we’re doing what God wants us to do. You would think that in all of the sadness we would want to stay, but we have no desire to stay because God has taken away that desire. It was hard to do of course, especially since we don’t know for sure which direction we’re going in now, but sometimes God says "Jump!," and we have to trust Him to catch us.

Did your dad ever stand in a swimming pool and ask you to jump to him? Or maybe your husband has done that with your children? It can be a little scary at first to jump, but dad knows what fun is awaiting in the pool, and he has no intention of dropping his children. As children, we can continue to sit on the side and miss out on all the fun, or we can take the plunge and see the joy that awaits!

That’s exactly what God is doing. He’s standing there asking us to jump to Him, and we have a choice. We can stay where we’re at – in the comfort zone - and miss out on an abundance of blessings or we can jump into the unknown and trust God to take us to places we never dreamed we could go.

God has asked us, as a family, to "jump" many times. For example, when our first child was born, we were both working full-time. I had a strong desire to quit work and be a full-time, stay-at-home mom. I think the entire nine months of the pregnancy hardly a day went by that I didn’t pull out a sheet of paper and write and re-write our monthly budget and try to figure out a way that I could stay home. The day before I was to go back to work after maternity leave, we had a visiting minister at our church that Sunday. He was preaching on how he had been pastoring a church but felt God leading him to be an evangelist. Budget wise, he didn’t know how this was going to be possible, but he trusted God to take care of everything, and of course, he had not been let down. I knew this was more than a coincidence that we were hearing that message at that time in our lives. I went into work the next day and turned in my notice (with my husband’s permission of course). I worked a two-week notice, came home full-time with my child, and we never missed a bill. God also blessed us by giving Brad a better job with better pay around this same time.

During our marriage, I can think of at least three large companies that Brad has worked for that business started going downhill after Brad started to work for them – and I promise he had nothing to do with it! (One of these being Delta Airlines. When he went to work there, he was told how Delta had never had a layoff. We all know what has happened since, and he was part of the first one.) God has always taken care of us in the midst of all of this. It was very hard humanly speaking to totally trust in God and the direction He was taking us, but we always saw the answers to our "why" questions sometime afterwards. For instance, Brad soon realized his calling to preach after going to work for Delta. Had he continued to work for that company, it would have been impossible to pastor a church.

After that he went to work for a company in the graphic arts industry (this is the company he went to work for after Madison was born). A few years later, he began to hear the rumors that this company was not doing well and would be closing soon. It was during this time that he contacted a friend of mine who worked for UPS about going to work for them. She was able to help out in that area, and he left this company and went to work for UPS. Talk about a "jump!" He had to start out in a part-time position and had to take a considerable pay cut, but he knew that it would eventually be worth it – plus UPS gives insurance benefits to part-time employees so that sealed the deal. I was a nervous wreck with a lack of faith. To make up the difference, Brad put ads in the local paper and phone book looking for painting and pressure washing jobs. He didn’t get rich doing this, but God always sent the work when it was needed. We never missed a meal or a bill. (By the way, the graphic arts company he had been working for closed about a year later.)

Soon after that we found out we were expecting our third child and a few months later Brad became a cover driver and started working virtually full-time – much quicker than he ever expected to! I can honestly say that we have not had children for this reason, but with each child, God has noticeably blessed us financially.

I could go on and on about ways God has provided ,but I’ll just stop where we’re at right now. God has told us to leave a wonderful congregation and start a new work – a reformation of sorts. We’re excited and admittedly a little nervous at the same time. Once again, we’re jumping into the unknown knowing that God is going to catch us. In fact, He already has. Now, we’re just waiting to see where He takes us. There are other unknowns in our life right now, but I am refusing to worry about those things. God has proved Himself over and over again, and I DO NOT want to be like the children of Israel that Moses had to deal with. God has always taken care of us, and I certainly don’t doubt that He’ll do it again. If you’re reading this right now and you are not trusting God in every area of your life, give it a try. I promises He’ll not let you down! We are living proof!

Proverbs 3:5,6 – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.


Anonymous said...

Obedience, however hard, is always beautiful. Praise God for His tender mercies on us and the grace to do whatever he has called us to. Praying for ya'll--tammyp

Rebecca said...

This was such an encouraging post, especially after a lesson we had at Bible study last night. Good luck on your family's exciting journey (and I hope your house sells quickly!).


Rhonda said...

Thank you Tammy and Becky!

Angie said...

Great post Rhonda! I can totally identify with this. God has blessed us each time that we just "jumped". Take care....