Thursday, January 14, 2016

Door vs. Window vs. Hole I Make in the Roof

2015 was tough. I'm pretty sure it's been the toughest year I, alone, and we, as a family, have had since becoming adults. Honestly, I've struggled with writing something for a few months now because there's just too much unhappiness surrounding a lot of our circumstances. It's like in the mix of all of these post ideas I've had and want to write I know I can't proceed until I shake off some of the dirtiness surrounding our 2015.

I feel like a quick recap is the safest, not airing all the dirty laundry, but still getting the point across way to go about it:
1. Michael took a new job last spring.
2. New job involved him commuting for months, basically to the point where we wouldn't see him until Friday.
3. We sold our house in June and moved back to Lawrence - seriously probably the biggest bright side to the year.
4. We quickly realize Michael's new job is seriously no bueno and it is not what he was led to believe it'd be.
5. Weekend after we moved into our new, slightly over budget home, I found out some big, not good money news that shook me to my core. Oh, and it was my birthday weekend. Boo!
6. Michael continues to stay at his job and continues to spiral downwards in stress and depression.
7. Marriage counseling begins for the 2nd time in our marriage and 3rd time since we've been together in our 12 years. This is a good and wonderful thing, but our situation this time is standing out as much more sad and harder to deal with than our other times.
8. At the end of August I lost my job after being there one month shy of four years. This has never happened to me and I continue to struggle with what happened there.
9. Three days after losing my job we lose one of our favorite people to suicide.
10. Michael's exhaustion has him barely functioning and he's not looking for another job due to being so drained. He starts to pick up the pieces towards the end of the year and does look.
11. Michael's health starts to go down the drain and he's in and out of the doctor/hospital for the last few months.
12. It's now January 2016 and I have yet to get an interview. I have a few weeks left of my unemployment. No new job for Michael either. He's had a few interviews, but nothing has happened yet.

I want to be clear about one thing and then I'll expand on that a bit. Our God is a good God no matter what. I've always held onto that firmly. No matter how much pain I'm in I hold firm to Him always.

Here's a quick recap of the positives from 2015:
1. The world tells me I'm perfectly okay/in my right to walk away from my marriage, but in typical me fashion, I'm going to rebel against that and instead work on my marriage and be there for my best friend who's hurting.
2. My parents also moved to Lawrence. So they're here to help and give Sawyer the family life that I saw with my sister and nieces growing up where our lives are very intertwined within each others homes.
3. My work didn't contest unemployment, so we haven't been completely without hope.
4. I was able to take two trips across the country this year, neither for good reasons as they were both for funerals, but I haven't travelled since my honeymoon and my soul was made to travel.
5. I've gotten to spend the last four months at home with my little bestie. I always thought I'd be a full time working mom. There was no room for me not to be anything but that. But my time at home with him has been magical. My son is seriously the coolest kid. I'm now working hard on our budget to see if we can afford for me not to find a full time job. I never thought I'd say this but being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) is wonderful.
6. Michael and I are both working hard to get our mental health back together and our minds focused on God vs. the world.
7. Not working as opened the window for me to spend more time with other mom's from church, including our Mom's in Prayer group, which has been so good for my heart. We're a village and in this together as moms.

I cannot stress how good God is despite, well, life. Michael and I both have let the world creep in a bit too much as of late and God is working to get our hearts right and back to where we seek Him first.

We've all said or heard the cliche of 'When God closes a door, He opens a window.' With the season we're in I've heard it a lot. There is no window so far, and that's okay. Why? Because every tough season brings maturity and growth.

Matthew 7:7-8 (NRSV) says, "Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

Here's some more gritty truth. I haven't been knocking or really even seeking as much as I could/should be, and yet He's still with us fulfilling our needs and getting us through.

Mark 2:1-12 tells the story of Jesus healing and forgiving the paralytic. The friends of this man are so desperate to bring their friend close to Jesus that they removed the roof and dug through it in order to lower their friend down to Jesus. These people were so eager for Christ they straight up tore up the roof of this house!

Jesus is focused on the spiritual side of things. He's after getting people saved and it has nothing to do with this life on earth. There is no guarantee for a hunky-dory life. There is a guarantee for unconditional love and a new body and home in Heaven. Jesus is after our hearts.

So, these tough times that make me stop being as selfish and turn to Him first versus coping on my own are a blessing because they recenter me and get my heart right again. I haven't been seeking as much as I know I should, and yet Jesus is still here making sure we're surviving and our needs are met. All the while he's planting stories of followers being eager for Him in front of me and opening my heart to see His calling to come and seek Him first. He wants our hearts to be eager for Him. He wants us to seek, ask and dig that hole in the roof if we have to, and that window will open, it just may be a skylight instead.