It was January 2011 and I was having a very discouraging day. It was about 2 months into our family’s new reality.
We had hoped we’d be returning to Peru in January.
Back to ministry with the Quechua people.
Back to our friends, team mates, and all that would come in the new year after a time of rest.
Instead God had closed all doors in that direction (for reasons I still don’t totally understand) and allowed some very hard things to happen to us.
Here we were trying to start a business, trying to adjust our thinking in so many ways.
So on this day in January while I was particularly discouraged, I went online looking for some encouragement from some ladies who always seem to have a way of encouraging me.
It’s a great site called…get this, (in)courage.
I had found it a few years before about the time it got started.
I honestly was not expecting to get anything out of it this time.
Who’s going through this kind of turmoil?
And why would they talk about it online in a way that could be encouraging anyway.
I read this post: Come Take the Dare to Live Fully Alive
Go ahead, click over and read it, then you’ll know what I mean.
I actually stopped part way through to read the whole thing out loud so my husband could hear it too.
And then I wondered what this was all about.
Am I just going to find myself mad again? Or trying hard again and failing at this whole giving thanks thing?
Or is this different?
Since it was an online book club starting up and I actually caught the info. BEFORE it started, I hardly had to ask my husband if it was ok to buy the book and read along.
I ordered it and found myself cautiously optimistic.
I started reading and participating in the Bloom book club.
Interacting with others about this subject was so helpful.
One woman in particular really stuck out to me.
Gitzen Girl, who’s blog I had read before because she wrote for (in)courage.
Here was someone else who’s life had taken a difficult turn only, Wow! She couldn’t even leave her bed?
Sarah, like Ann, was telling the hard stuff and digging deeper to see what Truth might be there to see and understand.
If they found real TRUTH and it made enough of a difference that they kept going, could I?
More than finding an answer from someone’s story or someone’s book or blog, I wanted to know and find that God is REAL, that He SEES and CARES about what is going on down here in my life and the lives of others.
I wanted to really KNOW that I could hang on to Him and count on Him more than anything or anyone.
Because frankly, my life was a mess!
I felt like it had been completely ripped open, dissected and discussed, was falling apart and falling away.
I couldn’t tell which end was up.
Whether anyone could be trusted from one moment to the next.
Whether everything and everyone would be taken away from me and the ones I loved the most, or whether it would all settle down.
Total chaos and pain would describe the whole experience.
Even with all that chaos, I found it helpful to read or hear from others who seemed to speak my language.
They asked the hard questions I was asking or wanted to ask. They said what I was thinking.
In wrestling with this whole issue of “bad things” happening and how to be thankful it was a huge relief to know that others had asked the same thing…
”How can I be thankful when ____ is happening?”
And they too had wondered where God was in all of this.
Have you ever wondered if God is REAL, if He Sees you and your circumstances and CARES about you and what you are going through? Have you come across a person whose story asked the hard questions and said what you were thinking?
Leave a comment below with your thoughts. If you blog about it and want to share, leave a link in your comment so we can check it out. Thanks for joining me in this “Give Thanks” series.