Over the course of the next week things took a turn. We managed to find the perfect investment property that we can live in until we leave for Brazil and rent while we are gone. This seemingly huge decision that could have felt like a burden seemed to lift off a lot of stress. We now had a place to be until we leave and a garage to store the things we aren't ready to let go of but can't take with us.
So, what did I learn in that storm? I learned I have a long way to go on this faith journey, and that in the midst of the turmoil if I had kept my eyes focused on what I know to be true instead of my inward worries, doubts and fears I would have avoided a lot of anger, distress and despair.
One of the scriptures that helps me to keep that focus is Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
There is another force at work in this world, and his sole intention is to pull us away from God, he uses our fears, doubts and troubles to try to make us believe that God does not want what's best for us. Often when we step out in faith to follow God we become a target for attack, the dark enemy baits the trap and waits in the shadows to devour us. I took the bait...this time, but next time I hope I will recognize the signs sooner, and not succomb to the temptation to turn inward but instead cling to the promises I know to be true. I am so thankful to have friends around me, who were able to cut the snare, shine a light into the darkness and get me free from the trap.
Recently, I was at a huge worship concert at Darien Lake. It was amazing to see thousands and thousands of people, hands raised and united in their beliefs. One of the performers sang Amazing Grace, a song that always, even when played on the bagpipes, makes me cry (it was played at my mothers funeral). During that song we all held candles that in the wind kept blowing out and friends or strangers would turn and relight your candle each time the fire turned to smoke. It struck me at that moment, that that is what it is like living in a relationship with God, and other believers, each time the wind comes to take that light out there is someone there to help you light it again, it's up to us to receive the gift.
We still have an uncertain future, we still don't have the funds necessary to support the work we will do in Brazil, the difference between now and two weeks ago is that I have hope again and not in the things seen but in the things unseen. If any of you are struggling right now, and life seems dark and without hope, don't stay in the trap, reach out to someone for help, for prayer. You don't need to fight the fight alone.
This is the version of Amazing Grace, sang by Chris Tomlin have a listen: