Today, I’m joining in a Wildflowers from Winter bloghop, the brainchild of my writer friend, Katie Ganshert. Her blog link is here: http://katieganshert.com/blog/. Katie’s debut novel, Wildflowers from Winter, illustrates how the toughest winters in our lives can produce the most beautiful wildflowers. I just won Katie’s book and have already read about 1/4th of it! Here’s a photo (sorry, Katie, I covered your first name, I was too excited!).
Today, we’re all sharing about a winter time in our lives, when everything looked bleak, and then God brought some wildflowers from it. Even when we least expected it.
I wanted to talk about a time in our family’s life when we had to obey God, even when the stakes were high.
We’d been happily settled near my husband’s family in beautiful upstate New York for six years. I’d given birth to two of my babies there. Our kiddos were growing up just down the road from their grandparents and great-grandparents. But something wasn’t quite right.
My husband was depressed. His job wasn’t the right fit. But we couldn’t figure out why. He worked with strong Christians, he had a great boss, he excelled at his work. So what was the problem?
For at least two years, I’d been taking my husband’s depression to the Lord (The Power of a Praying Wife, by Stormie O’Martian, helped me know how to pray for my husband). Finally, God threw open a door. Wide open! He made it clear this was the right job for my hubby.
Only problem was, it was eleven hours away, in Virginia.
Have you ever felt torn in two? I did. Even though we both knew my hubby would be perfect for this job, it would mean leaving family and friends behind. I know some people probably thought we were crazy for even considering it.
However, we’d been praying the prayer of Jabez (don’t pray this unless you’re serious!), and we knew this was God’s way of increasing our “territory” for the Lord.
So, for months, I grieved. I grieved the family cookouts we would miss. I grieved my children’s height marks on the doorframe in our house. I grieved my close friendships–friends who had prayed me through difficult times. I grieved the distance that would come between us and my mother and father-in-law, who were truly like my second set of parents.
Nevertheless, we obeyed and moved. I didn’t even pray for new friends, because I didn’t care. This move was for my husband. I dealt with the fallout for my kids–the late-night bawling for their “Me-ma.” I dealt with my own fallout–I had to give my dog away because he had no room to run. I was in a suburb, where neighbors see your every move and the stars are blurred by city lights.
But the strangest thing started happening. God began pouring out His blessings. He had seen our obedience.
We were invited to an awesome church, where our kids started making wonderful friends.
I found a mom’s Bible study, and started making friends of my own.
My husband loved his job–and yes, he made friends, too!
And we even had nice neighbors! They treat our kids like their own grandchildren.
And now, six years later, God wants us to obey again.
We’re packing up to move right now.
We’re leaving our church family–the body of believers who has always been there for us.
We’re all saying goodbye to some of our closest friends.
Our kids have to leave a great Christian school and a wonderful homeschool co-op, both of which have helped them mature so much.
But guess what? When God shows us what to do, we’d rather obey than sit around, wondering what could have been. We know He will provide. This takes faith, because my hubby doesn’t even have a job locked in yet.
People might think we’re crazy.
But we know that, like the song says, “Obedience is the very best way to show that you believe.”
Our kids have watched us put God first, no matter how outrageous that might be. And, we just know that on the other side of this move (closer to my parents this time), there will be a whole FIELD of wildflowers from winter!
****Thanks for doing this bloghop, Katie! Do share–has God ever asked you to obey when it seemed too much to bear? Has he ever brought good from a bad situation in your life?****