Hope

Many of you know that the financial/job situation at our house has been…not great for the past…long time.  Really, it all started the week, even the day, that Catherine was born, almost three years ago.  While we were at the hospital laboring and then rejoicing over our beautiful new daughter, events were transpiring at our church in Louisville that would eventually lead to our leaving under less than the best of circumstances, no matter what explanation was given publicly to the church.  Since that time, we have never quite found our footing in this crazy game called life.  Clay’s on his third job since leaving that church, and only one of those jobs has been in the ministry, and only one has paid the bills, the ministry job that lasted a whopping six months.  Finishing seminary completely fell off the radar.  Feeling like you’re in a job you love, doing what God has called you to do, like you’re fulfilling your purpose in life–those things must be for other people, not for us.  Our kids think that praying for Daddy to get a new job is just one of those things we always pray, just like we always pray that they would get a new heart, because they have no memory of not praying for that.  We have been praying for God to work in our situation for so long, that for me, at least, it has become just a rote repetition, just words to say in my prayers.  I ask for Clay a new job, I ask that God would provide a better income, a better job.  Just so I’m not misunderstood, God has provided for us.  Our needs, and even a lot of wants, have not got unmet.  He has used so many people, especially our wonderful families, to help us out and support us, including financially, and we are eternally grateful.  We can’t wait to see your reward in Heaven.  May we someday, somehow, be able to be as much of a blessing to you as you’ve been to us.  Still, we pray for a new job.  One that will fulfill us not only financially, but also that Clay would enjoy and feel like he’s living out the call that God has placed on his life.  And back to my point, I’ve prayed for this for so long, that now I just say the words, and if I’m really honest, there are times-days at a time-that I don’t really expect an answer.  I say the words because I feel I must until the need is gone, but my attitude tends to think that things are never going to change, never going to get any better.  We’re always going to wonder each month if a gift will come in the mail to cover our bills, knowing that Terminix sure as heck isn’t going to come through for us.  We dream of what it would be like to have this job possibility or that one, to be back in part-time or full-time ministry, to start seminary again and finish this time.  But that’s all it is.  Dreams, and then we wake up and get back to real life.  Lots of times, I feel no real hope that things will ever really change.

Until recently.  I’m not sure what the catalyst was.   Almost the whole time we’ve been in this desert land called Indiana (our ministry job went bust four months after we moved), we’ve toyed with the idea of finding a way to move back to Kentucky.  But we felt like we’ve turned tail and run too many times before and that God wanted us to stick this one out and figure out what He’s trying to teach us (we were pretty sure patience was on His list).  So Clay took the job with Terminix, and for a month or two, we hoped again.  It didn’t take long to figure out that Terminix may kill bugs, but they are a pest in and of themselves.  So we’ve been putting out feelers here in Lafayette since last July, trying to come up with another job for Clay.  Problem:he has a Bible degree and mainly church work experience.  There are not many jobs around here, or anywhere, that can pay our bills with that kind of resume.  We had two good options, but found out recently that neither one of them are hiring anytime soon, and I think that is what spurred us to look more seriously at going home.  We started to talking to some of you back home and you started putting your heads together to try to figure out how to help us get there, and all the sudden, we were not alone in this anymore.  Yes, you had helped us financially, but now we finally shared with you more specifically what was going on with us, and now you were bearing the burden with us.  I think that alone was the first spark of hope in me, that maybe maybe things really can get better.  To know that there are people who love us so much that they are willing to go out of their way, drastically in a few cases, to help us get back on our feet.  Not that I ever doubted that at all, but to actually seeing it start to play out really hit me.

Then, at the women’s conference last weekend, Priscilla Shirer (I think) challenged us to not give up hope.  She asked if there was something we had prayed for for so long that we didn’t even expect an answer anymore.  I was immediately convicted because that is exactly what was happening with me.  I had to face facts that I was not praying in faith.  I was doubting–not, I don’t think, that God could do anything for us, but more doubting that He would.  So more hope was sparked as I committed to pray in faith from here on out.

Then while all this was fresh on my mind, I finally “heard” the words to a song I’ve been listening to for awhile.  This song beautifully expresses all that’s been going on in my mind over that past couple of weeks.  I share it with you now, just be honest about myself and share my journey with you, but also to maybe encourage someone else who may find themselves in a similar situation, forgetting what hope feels like.  Thank you for your support, help, and continued prayers.  I really think that one day in the not-too-far future, you’ll be reading a celebration blog on here, praising God for the way He’s answered our long-prayed prayers.

It Might be Hope, Sara Groves

You do your work the best that you can, you put one foot in front of the other

Life comes in waves and makes its demands, you hold on as well as you’re able

You’ve been here for a long long time

But hope has a way of turning its face to you just when you least expect it

You walk in a room and look out a window and something there leaves you breathless

You say to yourself, It’s been awhile since I felt this but it feels like it might be hope.

It’s hard to recall what blew out the flame, it’s been dark here since you can remember

You talk it all through to find it a name, as days go on by without number

You’ve been here for a long, long time

But hope has a way of turning its face to you just when you least expect it

You walk in a room and look out a window and something there leaves you breathless

You say to yourself, It’s been awhile since I felt this but it feels like it might be hope.

This entry was posted in Music I'm Listening To, Spiritual Thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Hope

  1. Jackie says:

    I am praying for your family and your husband. I know God will use this experience to prepare you for what He has in store for you. Praise God for what is coming!

  2. silly me says:

    i am so sorry. and glad there is that butterflies in the stomach, catch your breath kind of hope again. i so know. i know. and i wish i could tangibly help. i’m praying for you. our desert just ended in the last 3 months. it’s unreal to think now that such a short time ago we couldn’t feed our children well. be encouraged.

    i feel like i found you for such a time as this. four very small children. much need. a husband that works so hard and feels so disrespected. so much weight on their shoulders. wanting so much. i’m here. email me anytime.

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