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Hello, old friends. I haven’t written in a while because I have been in a very dark place, honestly. I have been so angry. Angrier than I have ever been, I think. And there are only a very few people in my life that I trust with my very raw emotions. So I just kept quiet for a while. I hunkered down. I prayed a lot of very bitter, angry prayers. And I talked to my people who have seen me at my very worst and love me anyway, who just let me throw myself a pity party over #firstworldprobs for a while and who didn’t tell me that God works everything out for good because they know that sometimes, all the time, what we humans see as good isn’t what God sees as good. And though I can’t say I’m not still angry or scared or hurt. I can say that my faith has been made stronger and my hope has been renewed.

The past 3 years have been, well, not easy ones. And the past 5 months have been some of the most trying and I think it’s because it seems we have lost the ground beneath our feet. We’re no longer stable. We still have no direction. We are living in a tiny apartment that we were graciously allowed to rent month-to-month because we, very literally, have no idea where we will be in a month. And that is scary, terrifying actually. When asked if we want to stay in Lafayette, I laugh because while I really do love our life here – the kids’ schools, our church, our friends who are more like family, the food – Lafayette has not been good to us. A big part of me just wishes I could disappear with my little family and just forget these horrible, no good, awful, very bad few years. J said a few weeks ago that he thinks we’re at the place where Abraham is holding the knife above Isaac’s body and God is going to provide a ram at the last minute. And I said that I wish He’d just go ahead and let the knife drop and put us out of our freaking misery. I’m not dramatic at all.

The truth is that God does provide. But sometimes He doesn’t. And that’s the hard part. Wondering if you’re the sometimes. Wondering if your faith will remain if you are the sometimes. Wondering if you are able to distinguish your wants from your needs. Wondering if you can demonstrate God’s goodness despite your #firstworldprobs. The hard part is realizing that you are so self-absorbed that you think you deserve relief from these minor (in the grand scheme of life) inconveniences more than believers who are experiencing actual suffering for the name of Jesus. The hard part is knowing that God will provide what you need but not necessarily what you want. The hard part is realizing what you desperately need God to provide is more faith, more strength, more patience, more Kingdom focus. The hard part is realizing that you decided a long time ago that there are certain things you were willing to give up and these current things were not included. The hard part is realizing that living in a tiny apartment with a creepy maintenance man that insists on being called Captain Tony crosses the line of what you’re willing to sacrifice. The hard part is realizing that your faith, indeed, is very small. And that it is the thing you desperately need. More than a job for your husband and a stable life. More than the ability to go grab a cheeseburger if you want. More than bigger living quarters. More than comfort and ease. What you desperately need is Jesus.

I hear the Savior say,

“Thy strength indeed is small,

Child of weakness, watch and pray,

Find in Me thine all in all.”