Friday, May 20, 2011
I mentioned last week that I was happy about something life-altering happening that very week. Friday, to be exact. Although it didn't really FEEL like anything had happened until.....today.
We are starting out on a very new path; one built upon faith and persevered with prayer.
While happy (ecstatic, thrilled, joyful!) is at the height of my emotions right now I am also a wee bit nervous, worried, and a tad bit terrified. It seems a dichotomy. But isn't a life drawn closer to God one to rejoice over? And isn't stepping out in blind faith almost always terribly hard to do?
Faith is easy when it is lived out day to day, in the comfortable silence of contentment. It is easy to be faithful when that faithfulness adds nothing to your life but joy and happiness. Yet faith is more potent, holds more power, in those moments where your soul is most vulnerable.
We never truly have control of our lives. We, rightly, plan our childrens' weddings and stock our retirement funds, we have children assuming we will be the ones to raise them and yet at a moment they can be taken away from us or us from them. But we still act as if we control tomorrow and trust that all will go relatively smoothly and according to plan. But what if faith requires of you to not be able to see into the future at all, to step out in blind obedience? What if it requires you to live a life that is utterly outrageous to the world? Homeschooling? Bearing CHILDREN? Celebrating a monogomous marriage of 60 years?!?
What about considering the state of your family and your duties under God of more importance than anything, including a paycheck?
What if God takes you to a place where your faith adds hardship, not ease, to your life? What if, living in faith, means giving up some comfort, some peace, some stability for a while but promises you JOY in their stead?
These are the questions we have been seriously wrestling with for over a year now. We are used to living a life separate. We chose an entirely foreign setup for education. The only time we give a thought to pregnancy is when SURPRISE, we ARE! (we aren't.) We are the black sheep of the Reformed churches, welcoming our children to partake of the Lords supper. We travel over an hour to church on Sundays. We don't have cable or any channels at all, actually.
MADNESS, every bit of it.
But all of these things have been relatively simple choices to make and to live with because we know exactly where those choices will lead us.
When Matt took this job, he took a drastic pay cut but did so happily in order to be with our family more, live nearer to our parents, and worship in a church that we felt was most God-honoring. But time went on and work would take him away from home more and more until he was hardly home at all. In March, after being away from home 5 out of 6 consecutive weeks and being scheduled to go away again just one week later, it was blatantly clear that something had to change.
How could he do the most IMPORTANT thing in life, the thing he is most CALLED to do, without being here to do it? How can he lead a family who he doesn't see?
In our minds, in our hearts, in our LIVES....something had to change.
Matt has been wanting to work for himself for quite a while and began thinking very seriously about it for over a year now, with me always encouraging him to make the leap. He is so intelligent and respected, such a hard worker and so incredibly skilled. I knew back then (and know now) that anything he sets his mind to will be a success. But it always came back to fear.
Maybe it wasn't a fabulous paycheck, but it is a regular one.
The economy is in the pot and jobs are already scarce...we ought to be thankful for a job, not thinking of quitting one.
There are plenty of mouths to feed and hollow legs sitting around the table three times a day and all are dependent upon him.
And the most poisonous of all: what if I FAIL?
So month after month we counted joy in all things, even while being apart and we prayed.
Meanwhile, I worked tirelessly at home to free us completely from debt and clear as many potential burdens as possible- paying in cash for Judah's birth, paying off our car, and setting aside money enough to live on for a while and to start a business whenever Matt was ready to make the plunge. Not to mention feeding, butchering and filling three freezers with livestock to eat in the lean times, whenever they might come.
And here they are!
Friday was his LAST day of working for someone else.
Not many people think we are making a wise move~ quitting a reliable, stable job to embark on a journey into the unknown. We are doing so, however, because we want to give God glory through our family, that we might fulfill the most important calling we have: to live our lives for Christ and to lead our family in His ways.
Let me be clear~I am not suggesting that all people who are employed are somehow not bringing glory to God or that we are somehow more holy than 9 to 5ers~just that living our lives and raising our children for God's glory hasn't been easy for us these last few years and we want to change that. A business of his own, Lord willing, is a great way to do just that.
Starting a new business and embarking on your own is a difficult decision to make, let alone in a time where our nation is fumbling around for a foothold in so many different areas.
We would covet any prayers you would be willing to offer up on our behalf: specifically, that the Lord bless and strengthen our family during this transitional time, drawing us closer to Him, that He provides for our needs and grants us wisdom and perseverance, that He bless Matt for his efforts for our family (and for Him) and that we endure the inevitable hardships and pitfalls with grace.
Today was the first day of the rest of our lives...