Sometimes Winners DO Quit

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What a journey for our little family!  But there are perks.  Here we are with our feet on magical ground in Disney World (one of our many new neighbors).
I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so long to write a new post, but so many things have happened since the last time I blogged!  Here are the highlights:

  • Terrel was called back into full time ministry…in Florida.
  • We survived the great flood of 2016 in Baton Rouge.
  • We sold our house.
  • We completely relocated
  • We started an entirely new life in a whole new state, next door to Mickey Mouse.

So, quick recap:  New state, new town, new church, new schools, new house, new everything!  For the first time ever, I’m a stay at home mom.  I’m living further away from my family than ever before, and boy do I miss them!  Our old life is gone.  The house that I brought both of my babies home to is gone.  We had to leave the church family that we had grown to love so much.  I remember that nothing made sense.  Leaving everything that we’d carved out for ourselves seemed impossible.  How would we sell our house with all of the major repairs it needed?  How could we leave the church family that had helped our hearts to heal so much?  And my family?  In July my sister miscarried after years of trying to get pregnant.  On top of that, my dad lost his business in the flood.  He and my mom were trying to run a veterinary practice out of their home while they rebuilt my dad’s life work.  How could we leave?  How could it possibly be God’s plan for us to move ten hours away?  It just didn’t make sense.  I prayed, I cried, I argued, I fought, and I threw a massive spiritual temper tantrum!

As I’ve grown as a Christian and studied God’s word, I’ve learned that Jesus himself wrestled with God’s will in the garden of Gethsemane.  His prayer reveals His inner turmoil as he boldly asks if there is some other way to accomplish the redemption of mankind, but in the same breath He prayed, “Not my will, but your will be done.”  For me, acceptance did not come easy, but it did come one night in the car as I was driving freshly bought groceries to my parents’ house because the fridge had stopped working AGAIN.  I was so mad!  Mad at Terrel, mad at life, mad at God, mad at me.  Mad, mad, MAD!  Then, I did the only thing I could do.  I asked God to change my heart.  Right there in my car, crying, still angry, I asked him make me willing to follow His plan rather than my own.  I asked God to give me the strength to release my ideas of what life should be so that I could allow Him to work not just in my life, but in the lives of my husband, my children, and even my parents and my sister.

And He did.  We sold our house, which miraculously survived the flood.  The water came inches from our doorstep, but it didn’t get in.  We waded through the flood waters to evacuate.  As we left our house to an uncertain fate, I said a prayer releasing all of the mounting impossibilities in His hands.  We had no flood insurance.  I was certain we were looking at an enormous financial loss, and we were already in pretty bad financial shape.  The four of us  joined hands and walked with our dog down a deserted four lane road, determined to get to my mom and dad’s house.  That night the waters receded and our house remained dry.  This meant that we were able to sell our house without taking a huge loss.  As hard as it is to realize that the loss felt by those around us meant that the market turned in our favor, the fact is that God’s timing for us was perfect.  We found ourselves suddenly in a good financial position.  All of the pieces of this huge move started to fall into place.  Impossibilities were nothing compared to God’s providence as He reshaped the landscape of our lives.  Still, that doesn’t mean it was easy.  As I drove down the streets of Baton Rouge and considered the belongings of friends, neighbors, and loved ones piled high on either side, I couldn’t help but feel that I was experiencing something similar in my own life.  As we packed our moving truck, I cried thinking that my entire life was piled up on the side of the road just like everyone else’s.  (Of course, my spiritual situation can in no way compare to the devastating loss felt by so many in Louisiana.  I simply mean that I hurt in a similar way.)

It has now been a little over three months since we moved.  And I’ve pushed myself to adjust and settle in.  I’ve already unpacked the boxes.  We even had our family here for Christmas.  I’ve taken on new responsibilities, and decided to try out direct sales while I have the “time to spare.”  It’s time to find new normal, right?  It’s time to dive in and get involved, to start cramming my calendar full of activities.  But, I’m not ready.  As much as I try to convince myself that I can just pick up this new life and move forward without so much as pausing to adjust, that’s just not the case.  God knows it, and He’s been trying to show me.  Over the last few weeks He has allowed me to grow more and more discontented and restless.  It took me a while to get the picture, but yesterday it all clicked.  I woke up feeling extremely anxious.  I knew that the Lord was leading me to a conclusion, and I had a feeling that it had something to do with my decision to start working in direct sales.  Understand, it has nothing to do with direct sales.  This was about me starting to carve out more little idols for myself, just like I’d done with my life in Baton Rouge.  After the painful struggle of releasing all of the things I’d carved out in my home town, you’d think that I wouldn’t be so eager to start carving out new ones here.  I’m not eager at all, but it happened almost without me realizing it.  I turned to the idols I have always worshiped:  money, accomplishment, independence.  Strangely enough is was a Facebook post from a friend that helped me to realize I had pushed away God’s timetable for my own.  I also decided that we needed more money and that it was my job to make it.  As my futile efforts frustrated me, I found myself praying anxious prayers for God to grant me success.  I felt like I was banging my head against a very familiar wall.  Thank goodness for experience!  It didn’t take long for me to realize that I’d fallen back into old habits.  So, I called my sweet sponsor and explained that I needed to take a step back from my new venture.  Does it hurt my pride?  Yes, a little.  However, I feel a huge weight has been lifted.  I know it was the right decision.  I may go back to it later, when I’ve taken the time to adjust properly to our new life.  For now, I’m ready to slow down and listen.  They say that winners never quit, but I don’t think that’s true.  I think that the real winners are the people that know when it’s time to quit.  We keep such a grip on so many things that fail to make us happy, believing that if we just try a little harder we can make it all work.  The truth is that peace and freedom come when we are ready to let go of our human efforts and allow God to work in our lives.  I’m finding this to be truer every day.   I’m ready to rest in God’s provision without feeling the need to add to it with my puny human efforts.  And I’ll be blogging!  *wink, wink* So, stay tuned to see all that God has been showing me and teaching me.

Thanks for reading!

SB

 

3 comments

  1. I’m praying for you as you are still in this transition phase of your life and your ministry. Life is a journey and it is comforting and freeing to know that God is at the wheel (although I try to take the wheel more times than I admit!!). Your blog post was an inspiration to me and I plan on reading again!! Remember you are making friends and family at your new church home, also. Welcome with open arms!!

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  2. Sweet Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing the desires or your heart and your struggle to be in God’s will. I have every confidence that you will adjust to your new life and find meaning and joy in your current circumstances. When I have faced unpleasant situations, I pray for God to either change my circumstances or change my heart. He has always answered my prayer. Please know that we are praying for you and your family.

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