In lieu of the many adjectives it would take to appropriately describe this week I’ll just call it “interesting”…because “interesting” is flexible and can mean almost anything.
Dad is in Illinois this week for a training conference in radio communications. He left by shuttle Sunday morning. The other passengers looked slightly surprised to see all the kids trailing Dad down the front walkway.
Monday was emotional crisis day. About half of us cried about something or other and the few people who didn’t have a crisis of their own had to deal with the rest of us! Becca said that she was trying to “spread sweetness and light” and gave out many hugs. 🙂 The list of what went wrong would be boring and take more than the typical 800-word blog post limit so you’ll have to do without all the details on smashed fingers and hurt feelings to lost computer files (including awesome pictures) and public accusations about irresponsibility. It was truly a Jonah day. By that evening though, we laughed about it while privately thanking God it was over.
We’ve been moving and settling into our new house. This move has been a mixture of fun and frustration. It’s a huge blessing to move into a space that is new and bigger and have shorter travel times. There have also been things that have gone wrong in areas that have required many phone calls and lots of coordination to get fixed. It’s also irritating to peace of mind to not have places yet for things to go, etc. This is just something that takes time to sort out and get organized.
A bright spot is that I found something special that I thought had been lost forever.
My financial aid packet arrived from TMC yesterday and I discovered that God has provided for me to attend TMC in Fall “09.This is a tremendous answer to prayer.
What’s kept me going this week is reading the book of James. I’ve been reading James everyday this month and it’s been a big help to have the passages become more and more familiar and come to mind during the day. I always thought that hard things in life only counted as a biblical “trial” if you were being persecuted for Jesus’ sake. But a note in my John MacArthur student study bible says that the Greek word translated as “trial” refers to anything that disrupts the pattern of peace, comfort, and joy in life. It was a relief to learn that. I know that as Christians we’re supposed to count it all joy, but I figured it was ridiculous for me to consider my relatively little hard things as legitimate trials. Trying to rejoice through hard things yet thinking that they weren’t even reaching the magnitude of what can be considered a real trial was pretty discouraging.
It’s been great to realize that my “hard stuff” really does count as the trials that James wrote about. I’ve been living off chapter one- praying for wisdom, counting it all joy, know that the testing of your faith in God produces patience, and much more. Also, a healthy dose of perspective. Among other stuff, when I lost a ton of computer data and pictures this week, it was crushing. Then when I was crying (fussing?) and praying about it, I remembered that through whatever glitches that had caused this to happen, it was God who had allowed it, so it was okay. I also figured that I’d better learn to rely on grace to have joy through little stupid stuff like this. There will most likely be much worse things to face later- the deaths of family, friends, children, the loss of jobs, children’s disabilities, persecution of the Church, etc. This isn’t meant as a worry about the future, but simply to say that my little stuff is real, but not as bad as I act like it is.
Rejoicing in all trials doesn’t erase natural human emotions, but I think that through God’s grace He transforms us so that our “natural” emotions are replaced with the emotions that we’re supposed to have. Because it takes a completely different perspective to rejoice that way. This is more what I look like: “Aw! Bummer! *complain, fuss, murmur, whine* Oh! Wait! I’m supposed to be rejoicing. How am I supposed to rejoice about this?! Sorry, God. This is wrong. Help me rejoice because I really don’t see how to do it right in the thick of this trial.” Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but the book of James makes it sound like our very first reaction should be to start rejoicing and thank God for the opportunity to have our faith strengthened and trust Him.
So that was this week. That’s how I failed and maybe learned a little bit, too.