Posts Tagged ‘Provision’

“In Sickness and In Health”– those are popular words of marriage vows. Every husband and wife expects to have those tested, but as church members call a pastor, those words never come to mind. Yet, for my church, these words I think, have been a part of our covenant life together. I’ve spent most of the fall in ill health, in one form or another: swine flu, bronchitis, mystery illness that’s made me sick to my stomach for over a month… only to name a few. And even when I’m not actively sick, I’m still not well. But between sicknesses I’ve been pushing myself so hard, I just get sick again and again. I’ve wiped out my immune system so I catch any germ that wanders by my face. I’m 28, but the words “I just can’t do what I used to do” ring true for me, and I’ve had to slow down considerably.

Yet, the 95% of people that love me at the church have continued to love on me, even during my sickness. They’ve supported me, and offered help, and advised me to slow down. They’ve checked on me and worried about me and prayed for me, and lowered their expectations considerably so that I might really get well. All that would’ve been amazing, and it would have been above and beyond. But then, Sunday, they surprised us with a Christmas Love Offering– I’m beyond grateful. I’m not gonna lie, we weren’t exactly sure where the money for Christmas presents was going to come from, as I have more doctors bills than anyone ought. (Though, no doubt, it could be infinitely worse. I’m one of the lucky ones with insurance.) But what bowls me over, besides God’s provision that always shows up at such amazing times, in such amazing ways, is that folks could love us this much– especially at a time when I’m doing only the barest of minimums.

For better, and for worse.



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I know, I know…it’s been such a while since I’ve bothered to write, so maybe why start up again? Because I want this for me, because I love to, because one day I’m going to write a book and the more writing I do now, the easier (I think) it will be later.

It’s been a monstrously busy summer. Not, of course, that I would change it, but it is what it is, and it’s at least part of the reason that I haven’t written. I guess the other part is that either nothing has seemed especially worthy of ruminating upon, or that I wouldn’t know if there was something worth ruminating on because I was too busy to do any initial ruminating.

Things at my beloved church in the cornfields are going well. People are excited. They’re daring to do new things. They rally around me when I most need to be rallied around. And they bring me vegetables. I’m enjoying great support from all but a very small (though loud) minority. See earlier post on that one.

While we love living here, and are growing more and more in love with each other, things for DH and I are not going nearly as smoothly as we would have hoped. Just over a year ago, we heard God’s voice telling us to GO! Like Abraham, without knowing much about the land to which we are moving, we went. We were quite certain that God was uprooting us to bring us to the proverbial land of milk and honey– a place that both of us would be blessed beyond belief, and would be able to use our blessings to bless others. We could not have guessed that the time for my husband to be transfered would have taken a year. And if we could have guessed that, we would have told ourselves that it wouldn’t matter, because he could do anything for a short time– just to pay the bills. We could not have forseen the fact that he’s overqualified– for everything. Yeah, that’s flattering…but it does nothing to help out the living situation. Much to our mutual frustration, he’s been without work for 12 out of the last 14 months. We’re both quite certain that God’s hand is in this, but it doesn’t make our discouragement any less visceral. In fact, at least for me, some days that knowledge makes it worse. I’m a preacher. I talk a lot about faith and God’s provision. But the honest truth is that my faith is wearing a little thin.

But the equally honest truth is that God’s provision isn’t running thin. Strange little blessings show up…sometimes so small, that I’m quite certain they are a divine reminder that we’ve not been forgotten about. As if God is saying, “I’ve got it… in fact, I’ve got your whole universe right here.” Today, a muchly needed (and appreciated) small blessing showed up. DH and I were headed off to the trail for a long walk, but decided to stop and get a quick breakfast. We used to go out fairly often, but now it’s a great luxury to us– even something as simple as Chick-fil-a is quite a treat. (Who knew? But then again, I was watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory the other day, and the Buckett family could only afford to buy one chocolate bar a year, and that was at great sacrifice to them. In the grand scheme of things, perhaps life is not as bleak here as I might have supposed!) We knew our morning outing would hurt us a little, but we just wanted to do something nice together. Besides, Chick-fil-a gives an amazing “policeman’s” discount, though they give it for almost any sort of law enforcement person. Today, before DH could even show his badge, the man at the counter said, “Are y’all eating here?” When DH said that we were, the man treated DH like an old aquaintance and said, “In that case, I’m gonna hook you up.” And our meal was completely free. To DH, the man said simply, “You have a blessed day!”

How many times have I heard that? Bajillions. Lots of people of faith say it, especially in the south. But this particular day, those words rang in my ears. With the discount, our meal would have only been a few dollars. Small, comparitively. But huge, on a day when I was starting to wonder if God had forgotten us. God hasn’t.

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