Thursday, December 20, 2012

Blessed, Bewildered, Brokenhearted

Have you ever been so blown away by something God has done, so in awe at the way He has worked in your life, but also really, really hurt by it at the same time? I don't mean hurt as in, "God's out to vindictively cause me pain," but more of a, "God has moved in my life, but the results have caused life to hurt a little more than it did before" kind of way.

Well, I am completely living that emotional oxymoron right now in regards our upcoming move. If you read part one and two of the story behind why we are moving to Colorado, then you know that God answered a lot of specific prayers for us. I am stunned by how God has worked out detail after detail. Details that were completely out of our control and that we prayed about, and for some reason, God chose to answer in unbelievably precise ways. 

For example, we found out in October that there would be a possible opening in Colorado Springs for Devin's job transfer. But the timing was such that he might have to start the job before Thanksgiving and not be able to come back for the twins and I until after Christmas. Obviously, this would have been really difficult - I'd be caring for the twins on my own while trying to pack up our apartment by myself, plus having to spend Christmas away from my husband. Really not what we wanted. But the alternative - Devin not getting this transfer and hoping another job would open up again in a few months - was bad too because we were entering into a month-by-month lease in our apartment and it was really, really expensive. 

So we prayed about it. We prayed that Devin would get the job, but that somehow God would work it out that he didn't have to start until after Christmas (even though the start date for the job posting said November 25th). And oh yeah God, one more little thing - that we won't have to pay more that one month's rent on our exorbitant month-by-month agreement. 

Friends, that is exactly what happened. 

Devin found out on November 27th that he got the position at FedEx in Colorado Spring and that he didn't have to start until January 8th (giving us a perfect window to move right when our first month-by-month lease was up). It was a huge deal to us and I just felt so overwhelmed that God worked out these details. 

But at the same time, the move is real now. We have a date that we are leaving and the reality of it makes me so sad. Someone asked me the other day how I was doing and my answer was, "I've got good moments and bad days." I get these swells of excitement about this new chapter in our lives but it's the kind of excitement that comes when anticipating a fun vacation. Then I remember that it isn't a vacation. This is long-term, possibly forever. And even in light of the great things we will have in Colorado, it hurts to think of leaving my amazing group of girl friends and our incredible families. 

And to be honest, there are many days that I have not handled this change well. Fighting against bitter, negative thoughts is a daily struggle for me. I'm grateful and grumbling at the same time - which as you might imagine is very counter-productive. I don't want to leave, but I know God has shown us we are to go. I'm like the Israelites in the desert - complaining about the manna that God has provided because it's not exactly what I wanted. But God has provided and I have to reminded myself of this even though the results are painful.

Good thing is that one of the ways I deal with stress, anger, and upsetting emotions is to busy myself with a task and I've got plenty of tasks to occupy me as we try to pack up our apartment while still enjoying Christmastime activities with our friends and families. Many a box has been packed while I was sifting though my emotions. So while our apartment is a disaster, there are boxes everywhere, our schedule is jam-packed, and my emotions are topsy-turvy - amidst all this - I remind myself that God is in control. He has provided and He is in control.

My sister-in-law has a quote in her house that I've really loved during this season: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to passits about learning how to dance in the rain."

I'm not quite dancing yet, but I am learning to take His hand and let Him lead. Lead on Lord and please forgive me for my grumbling heart. You have provided and for that I am so grateful. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Deadline: Project 101 in 1001

Welcome December 5th, 2012. You came so much faster than I anticipated when writing out my Project 101 in 1001 goals. Well, that's not exactly true. You arrived just as you always should have - with the normal passing of time. I just did not expect life to throw so much at me during the 1001 days of the project. Things like, a surprise pregnancy with twins, quitting my job to stay home with the twins, and planning a move to another state. You know, little things such as these that slightly hindered my ability to complete all 101 goals in the alloted 1001 days. 

But that is life. I completed 59 of my 101 goals and while that would be a failing grade in school (which makes my summa cum laude self shutter), I do not look at the non-completion of the project as a failure. I made the goals to help give my life some direction and the direction life took on its own did not line up with many of the goals. And that's okay.

Though I failed to complete the project, I look back on the past 1001 days with triumph and a feeling of achievement. Here are some things that were not on my list that I feel were great successes:

  1. I have two beautiful, happy, and energetic sons that bring a smile to my face every day. 
  2. I have a wonderful marriage to a hard-working man who love me well and appreciates me deeply.
  3. I have a that job I love, and while it is exhausting, I get paid in hugs and smiles and adoring looks from the most precious little guys in the world and that makes all the diapers and laundry and tears and weariness and frustration completely worth the work. Motherhood: The hardest job you'll ever love.
  4. God has given Devin and I amazing comfort and direction as we embark on this new adventure of moving to Colorado (more on that soon - some really awesome stuff to share).
  5. Through all of this, I have learned to trust God so much deeper.
When I compare the list above with the list from Project 101 in 1001, I can't help but feel that, while fun, so many of the goals I gave myself were trivial in comparison to the tasks life handed me. There are still goals from the project that I would like to eventually complete, but I have learned through all of this that while "man plans his course, the Lord directs his steps," (Proverbs 16:9).  

As I move forward with life - planning, but eagerly watching for God's direction - I have been focusing on this passage: "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ." (Phil 1:27). That is a goal worth pursuing wouldn't you agree?

Here's to the "Whatever Happens" of this crazy, unpredictable life...