Wednesday, June 27, 2012

the providence of God

Come and hear, all you who fear God;
let me tell you what He has done for me...
...Praise be to God who has not rejected my prayer
or withheld His love from me!
Psalm 66:16, 20

Each time God amazes me in a way I think it could never get any better.  Then He goes ahead and amazes me even more! Not to say that it's God's purpose to amaze this girl named Michelle, but I'm still amazed none-the-less. He truly is an awesome God worthy of our praise and adoration! 

You see, Pennsylvania was never on my radar of "things I want to accomplish in my life". And then I met Michael, who has a deep burden from God to someday plant a church in the New England area. My first reaction was fear. Then doubt. Some more fear. And the famous questions, "Me? Why?

At that time in my life, my faith was smaller than what it is sitting here today on the other side of the computer screen. But as a result of exercising that "small" faith, I now have more, and by God's grace, even more as they days pass.

God's plan for Michael and I's life has been a wonderful journey I would never have traded for anybody's else life. It has not be a smooth path of decision-making, but it has been God's path.

We moved to PA with anticipation and excitement. I never even fathomed how difficult of a transition this would have been. The homesickness and loniness was more than I could bear {not to mention my husband spent all his days in class or at work which made it so much more difficult}. I would burst into tears at a moment's notice and I wouldn't even know why.  The reality of the transition hit like a tidal wave. I had begged God for relief, knowing He would send it in His time, but desperately wishing it had been there a day sooner. However, in spite of the sadness, I did feel so happy to be here fulfilling God's plan for our lives. I found comfort in knowing we were doing His will.

Just like cough medicine, the initial "taste" can just about kill me, cause me to vomit, or knock me out.  In the same respect, the will of God can seem unbearable. But after the medicine has gone through your system, the releif, the healing, and the sweetness of sound sleep comes. God's will may knock you down after you take that leap of faith, but the results of doing so are worth it

The list of blessings I have compiled overwhelm me. Now I burst into tears because of how great God is! I cry out of thankfulness and humility.

I have had made really good friends here.  A type of friendship I have not experienced in a long time. I know they will continue to grow and flourish into a life-time of support and laughs despite the miles and distances between us.

I have experienced sound and deep Bible-studies.  They have transformed my life and will be a refreshing well from which I can draw from during those darker times of life.

I have been a part of the Seminary Wives Fellowship, where I've met my closest friends. I have received such good council from the lectures. I have had my mentor's praying for me and supporting me through this time and beyond into the coming year. I am so thankful for that.

Mike and I have been a part of Heritage Baptist Church of Clarks Summit, PA. I praise God that we have been members of that church family. What a great church is has been to be a part of! They preach truth, they have an amazing sense of balance, and it is filled with such loving people. 

Mike has done wonderfully while in seminary! I'm so proud of my sweetheart! He has been such a hard worker - trying to support us as well as focus on his studies! He is a good man and he is mine!! I love him and the sacrifices he's making for God and for us.

My two sweet babies were born here. What a blessing to have had them here.  The hospital they were born in was an amazing hospital {they specialize in maternity}.  The OB doctor I had saved my life.  Our pediatrician saved Annaleigh's life.  God knew all this.  Praise Him for that.  Praise Him for my children.

Our relationship as husband and wife has continually gotten stronger since we have been here {ironically we have seen each other less}. A good friend {Chastity} once told me of the "triangle theory" right before Mike and I were married:

as a husband and wife grow closer to God, they grow closer to each other. 

The simple truth of that has been strongly evident since we've been here.  My prayer is that we can continue to grow even closer to our Savior, for His glory.  And I know that this will mean a future filled with growing pains.  

Memories.  Memories.  Memories.  More than I could ever count, keep track of, or remember.  My life has been made full as a result of this place.  It has nestled into my heart and made itself a home for life.  It has become as much a part of me as my own flesh...grafted and healed.

It has been awesome to take the steps of faith God has asked us to take and then to receive such solid confirmation that this is where He wants us. Another dear friend once said to me,
"That's because you and Mike are a team. 
You are meant to be here just as much as he is."

How great is our God! He is worthy to be praised.

And as I look back, I raise my eyes and look forward to another blessed year as we head into our internship in 13 days!  There is a light at the end of this seminary tunnel, and yet, the adventure of our lives has only just begun!!!!  Stick around, will you?  It's going to be wild.  I can promise you that.

{an edited re-post from December 8, 2008}

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Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul. -Unknown