Spiritual Muscles

FullSizeRender

This handsome senior has just been accepted into his first choice for college: BAYLOR! (And yes, it was his very own first choice.)

As fabulous as that is, and as proud as we are, that isn’t the reason for this blog. Two years ago, we were awaiting Baylor’s response to Becky’s  application and I was in knots. We were living in Minnesota, without a job, trying to move out of Minnesota, hoping to move to Dallas and unable to figure out how in the world we would be approved for a mortgage with no job. Our daughter was waiting with anticipation to know whether Baylor had accepted her, and all I could think about was ‘how will we even pay for it? We have no job!!!’

If you’ve chosen to trust God with your life, then at some point that trust will be tested and tried; and 2014 was my test and trial. I remember telling Mike during that time that if I could find a way to get up and walk away from myself and my inner turmoil, I’d certainly be gone. I can only imagine what Jesus’ 40 days in the wilderness must have been like. But when God authors a test, He’s the kind of teacher that designs the test so you can pass it. His tests expose your inner strength and character, but more importantly, they reveal His faithfulness. I’ve found He loves to put us in situations and circumstances that are impossible ~ never to abandon us or tease us, but to render us void of the ability to solve our own problems, because HE wants to show off! Plain and simple. He wants to work in ways that are mightier and more thrilling than we could imagine. And somewhere along the way, at some point in the middle of the wilderness, our trust in Him deepens, like a rarely used muscle – stiff and sore at first use, but bulging with ease soon after.

While we were in that desert period of 2014, Mike tried his best to remind me to focus on how good God has been to us. He tried everything to distract me from despair by reminding me of other times we had faced trials and how He so faithfully brought us through every one. But, admittedly, this was our greatest trial in over 30 years together. And I couldn’t get my eyes off of the fact that we had no job. He recalled a list of blessings far too lengthy to print, he reminded me of miracles we experienced together, and he always said ‘but the biggest blessing we have is this family.’ Sadly, that brought me no comfort; my mind raced with people we knew who had good families AND employment. Why should I have to choose between the two?

The Bible speaks often of 40-day periods representing a time of testing or trial. I had no idea how long we were in the trial of 2014, to me it may as well have been 1000 days. But one day, Mike happened to count how long he had been journaling through it, and we had arrived at the 40-day mark. As if on cue, our circumstances began to change. We were able to find a home in Dallas, we were able to get a miracle mortgage (a literal miracle), we were able to pack up the house and leave Minnesota, and he was hired as a special consultant to the NFL. In that order. Clearly, God was showing off. And my trust in Him, though tenuous at the time, deepened and developed roots. Eventually I was able to look back at that 40-day stretch of wilderness and see the benefit of it. God knew what was coming up ahead for us, and knew that I wasn’t strong enough to endure it. The more time that elapses between 2014 and the present, the more I see how necessary it was.

Today, we are also in an unsettled employment situation. But this time, because of the deep roots of faith and trust that were developed in 2014, I can truly focus on the blessings we do have. And just as Mike tried so desperately to remind me two years ago, our biggest blessing is our family. When John texted me about his acceptance into Baylor, he then group texted his siblings. The outpouring of love and heart-felt congratulations would warm any parent’s heart. Here is just a snippet of the social media posts from his sisters:

FullSizeRender FullSizeRender

I’m actually proud to see my progress in my outlook during difficult days. I’m proud of the growth that was born out of difficulty. Look for your growth! Nobody wants to walk through the hard times. But use them to strengthen and solidify your trust in God so those muscles can fully develop for days of adversity.

Share

Comments

  1. Nina Brooks says:

    This is just awesome! Reading this is inspiring and encouraging. “He may not come when we want him, but he will be there right on time”. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Michael McSellers says:

    Awesome read! ! Thanks for sharing your story!! It’s great to see the faith like our friends the Morris has displayed this year.

Leave a Comment

*