he Journey Between continues:
I thought I would add a note as a source of encouragment and update. This is a copy of an email I send out a few weeks ago. People continue to ask how things are going.
Be encouraged and blest. ;0)
Hello: Family, friends, sojourners one and all.
I have been struggling with whether to share with you since before Christmas. The burden in my heart has been constant, yet what could I share? What can I say? Not much has changed in our lives, yet everything has. A few people have suggested I write a book about our journey.
So… I have begun journaling. A few ideas like Tales from the Street, A few titles for a book have popped up in my head. Hey, You’re Fired! The joys of being fired, The desert is a place to grow, The land of the Unknown, Destination Uncertainty. Just to name a few. ;0)
Seriously, the reason for my writing is to update you all on the journey. To share not only some of the struggles, but the successes we have had too! So here goes…
Last fall I was having lunch with a friend here in Vernon. He has stood with us through the darkness and watched us come back into the light. He asked me a very important question that really made me stop and think. He asked me if knowing what I now know, everything we have gone through. Would I have still come to Vernon for my job at the Mission? Knowing the stresses, struggles and pain? Losing the job and all that has come with it? It took me about 30 seconds to say “YES” I would not trade a single moment of the pain, the uncertainty, sleeplessness. Going from my plan for my death then to now looking at today as a gift and moving forward each day with a renewed hope and vigor. I can honestly say now that it was one of the best things that every happened to me.
But the middle of the story is so very important to share very briefly with you. As many of you know I have been very passionate about the people I have been called to serve for many years. This Holy Discontent is what keeps me going and serving. I believe I am more passionate and have a deeper insight because of the journey. In her book (a gift from a friend,) A sword shall pierce your soul, by Caroline Julihn, this book helped me identify my pain and gave me hope for the future. Then another book by Jeff Manion called The Land Between. Another gift and life saver. Together Cindy and I went through this book and learned so much about the journey we are on. Even though we still believe the job loss was not of the Lord. We also know that God is using it to test us and grow us. We know that not only were others responsible, I too take responsibility for my part as well.
We know that in this world we live in stuff happens, that we don’t plan for care for or want. A few weeks ago I was lying on an emergency room bed. Wires and machines hooked up to my body. I was getting checked for a heart attack. I had spent the previous four days wondering whether I should go to the hospital or just tough it out. “Dr. Google” could not confirm whether or not my chest pains were a heart attack or just heart burn. ;0) So, after two nights of falling asleep and wondering if I was going to wake up in the morning. Even after making promises to God of a changed life, it still took me four days to finally go and get checked out. As I was lying there with Cindy looking at me. My thoughts turned to so many people we know. Our friends Henry and Anne, Cornel and Linda, our niece and her husband. All people who were facing death and life changing circumstances. I thought a lot about the pain and hurt that I see so much more now. The guys and gals I work with, all broken people, all having things going on in their lives that wear them down. Our lives could have been so vastly different that night. Instead of leaving the hospital with a warning about not over exercising. (I had strained a chest muscle.) We could have been there facing operations or even more serious consequences.
Which brings me to the main point and conclusion of my letter.
As broken people, because we all have stuff going on in our lives, or we know somebody who is. I think especially of some of my YFC friends who have lost loved ones recently. People are hurting and some feel hopeless. I recently was asked to perform a memorial service for one of our guys who had passed away. The staff and folks who knew this man, were hurting and in a state of shock. It is an unfortunate part of working with the disenfrachised population. But also a real part of our daily lives. Our brokenness comes from a job loss, for others it is the loss of one loved. For you it can be something as simple as a rebellious child, or a slump in the economy.
Each one of us needs hope and a touch from the Masters hand. Each one of needs to know we are not alone. I have no idea what the Lord has in store for Cindy and I as we continue to journey in the land between. We still do not have full time employment, yet I am still working full time hours. I could lose my hours tomorrow. We still are in a place of uncertainty with our house. Yet we know that we are here in Vernon for a purpose. We know that He has us here for a season and a time. We have Cindy’s dad living with us right now. We know we are to keep on trusting and He will show us the way. Just like Peter stepping out on the sea. Our focus is to keep trusting Him and keeping our eyes staying on Jesus.
Whatever your journey. Whatever your pain and hopelessness. Know the God of love has not abandoned us. In our journey He has shown us that we have a choice in all things. In our time of transition, we chose to be transformed, we chose to trust and we have chosen to be thankful. Our prayer for you my family and friends that no matter what life brings your way, no matter where you are in your journey, you are not alone and he has a plan.
I am reminded of something God showed me the other day as I was praying. I looked at the green grass on the side of the highway. God was walking along and spotted a blade of grass. One single blade of grass, He spotted it and knelt down to touch it and said I placed you there. He has never said oops I missed that one. Or I never seen that. Whatever your place in life you are far more important than that blade of grass. You are not alone and He has a plan.
Cindy and I continue to pray that we will be the miracle in someone else’s life. We look forward to what lies ahead today and tomorrow. For some of you we have been on this journey together for many years. I personally am very thankful for your faithfulness to me and us. The older and wiser I get the more I realize how patient many of you have been with me. God has a hold of me and has not let go. I in return am grabbing hold of Him and enjoying the ride.
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