When life is just plain hard…

Processing LIFE. That’s something I’ve had little time to do of late. 2015 has been a doozy, and it’s not even August. So, with the realization that things aren’t going to slow down any time soon (read: pending move and baby due in 5 weeks), Matt suggested we create a list of all of our stressors and anxieties, then take the time to pray through them together, casting them on the Lord and off of ourselves.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

For real. So we did that. But I found as soon as we did, new things were added to the page. Now, I realize, the verse says “casting,” as in, and active, current, over and over action. Not a once and then done thing. Duh.

We just moved in June to KY, and man, I now know the meaning of “We’re not in Kansas (read: Ohio) anymore.” I mean, this has been more jolting that moving overseas. Maybe it’s that we’re a family of 4+, not just adventurous 20-somethings. But Kentucky is like a foreign country. All of my expectations have been blasted, beat up, and run over by the onslaught of physical, emotional, and financial assaults we’ve endured since arriving here. Overly dramatic, you say? Well, it’s almost comical…seriously, you can’t make this stuff up:

  • Being downwardly mobile for the sake of the Gospel (Matt preached about some of our decisions and the sacrifices here)
  • Moving into a 2-bdr, not so nice apartment on an expensive short term lease because your first two above list price offers on houses did not win. It’s that competitive.
  • Four days after plating Matt’s new to us car, the runoff creek behind our apartment floods the complex, totaling his car…and costing us a couple thousand extra-unexpected dollars.
  • Finding mold in your bedroom 2 weeks after said flood. Explains toothache that you probably had needlessly filled. And sinus infection. Ensue sleeping on mattress in living room indefinitely.
  • Learning that everything is more expensive in KY…taxes…state, local, property, vehicle (yes, vehicle tax is real here). …insurance…car, homeowners, health, dental. …school…preschool tuition.
  • Within 48 hours of purchasing the post flood new car it starts making noises.

I’ll stop there. It’s been crazy. My spirit has been beat down. But you know what? I’m casting my cares on HIM, because HE cares for me.

Jesus is clear: “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

And then, He’s speaking directly to this almost-35-week-pregnant mama today, using my circumstances, and relating them to HIS sacrifice on my behalf:

20 Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament [at my death], but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. 22 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. 23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. John 16

I can choose joy in the midst of sorrow. Thankfulness in the midst of suffering. Patience in the affliction. Jesus is God’s sacrifice for me. For you. For all the sin and brokenness and hardship in the world. All my money is HIS. My healthy or ill body is HIS. My home, car, possessions, or lack thereof are of HIS doing. So I surrender. And I will choose to ask HIM to intervene, knowing that he hears my prayers. That my joy may be full. Just like my belly.

10981443_10105983524655489_977541321491873811_n