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Friday, November 20, 2009

What God Has Done

Just over a year ago, my family moved clear across the country to a small town out west, very different from any place I'd ever lived.

Let's just say this Southern girl wasn't exactly thrilled.

The following is an excerpt of a post I wrote on my personal blog not long after that move.

What does God do when your life is going along smoothly, happily, without a real care in the world, (compared to a mother whose child is hungry and she has nothing to feed her or a father who is struck down with cancer and can no longer work?)

What does God do when you think you've been through it all, an ongoing battle with depression, the stuff of life that happens, but what sometimes feels like it happens all at once?

What does God do when your child loves her school, her friends, is doing well academically, and you feel so blessed in the opportunity that (you think) you know is rare?

What does God do when you fall in love with your church, your home, your neighbors and you are so grateful (but never grateful enough,) savoring in the moment in life when everything is going along smoothly, happily, without a real care in the world?

I'll tell you.

God moves you.

He challenges you.

He plucks your family from their cozy nest and plops them in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.

He lets tiny battles of sadness and anxiety rise up in what was once a Cease Fire Agreement.

He leads you to a new school that makes you a little unsure, but thankful nonetheless.

He allows a moving company to make such a mess, such an inept attempt at packing, storing and moving household goods that even the cynical you is still in disbelief.

What does God do?

He knows all, sees all, is in control over all and all the while He never takes His eyes off of you and your little family still shaking off the goose down you left behind in your cozy nest.

Without explanation. Without excuse. But not without purpose.

What do you do?

You wait. You pray. You cry.

You laugh at the absurdity,the disbelief, and the frustrations.

You settle in the new cozy nest that you've found once again called faith.

You lean not unto your own understanding but rely on His Will, His Love, His Sovereignty.

In your own humanness and shortcomings, you try to fluff this faith nest for your little family, nuzzle them and find shelter from the cold.

You give thanks that your living God, the one true God has created this nest called faith.

And you wait to see what He will do next.

Over a year later, what has God done?

I'll tell you.

God has stretched me more than I thought I could ever be stretched. I've been tested in areas of my faith, places I never knew needed testing. (But He did.)

Sometimes I failed those tests, but I've learned to rest in His Grace and Forgiveness and that there are things and Someone greater than myself. His Love and His Son.

My family has grown closer.

Changes and challenges were thrown our way. Because of them, I now home school our daughter. It has been a blessing that I may have never experienced without this move.

What else has God done?

He has watched and listened to my kicking and screaming, put my tears in a bottle and wiped them away.

He understands that I miss my friends and my family, my magnolia trees and fresh peaches. He understands that I long to dip my toes in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

My Savior, who was both man and God, has experienced being torn from His own home and placed in a dry place. I take great comfort in that.

As He understands my pain and sadness, He also has a purpose for me. I accept that (even on mornings when I wish I could still watch the blue herons swoop down over our old pond.)

I do not know what else God will do. I have to take things day by day. I am thankful for new friends I have made and for being reunited with old ones. I am grateful for a new bond I have with my husband and for the daily science and grammar lessons with my daughter.

I'm anxiously waiting (and sometimes still kicking and screaming a little) for what God will do.

I still miss boiled peanuts and sweet tea, but I know His Plan is always greater than my own.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD."For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55: 8-9

Has God moved you to a dry place (literally or figuratively?) What has He done in your life?

Join Melanie at her personal blogspot, "This Ain't New York."

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Blogger I am blessed! said...

My poor husband is the one God moved to a dry, dry spot, with no trees, I might add. He's had a hard time adjusting and it's been 10 years, but this is home. God has given him a church and his heart's desire is to pastor. My family is here and his parents have moved here. This year my husband has had two opportunities to relocate us, and I thought for sure we'd move. We may move and then I'll be in a dry place, but I have my 5 precious children and the Word of God, so I know I'll make it. Or we may stay here as it seems my husband has decided that he just can't leave the little church the Lord has given him to shepherd. It's not glamorous and he doesn't make a lot of money. There's no intercoastal waters here like he had in Florida, or trees like in Indiana, but it's home.

November 20, 2009 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

God bless your dear heart.

November 20, 2009 at 8:29 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

I totally understand that barren place - the place where God seems to be doing everything inside you and to you and yet it still seems so barren. I just finished a bible study called Anonymous by Alicia Britt Chole. It was life-changing. She talks about appreciating those 'winter seasons' or barren places or 'anonymous' places because that is where you are most connected to God - where He has your undivided attention. Jesus' life was 90% anonymous and 10% seen (30 years hidden versus 3 years of ministry).

Hang in there. I'm still experiencing it myself. And there are days I just kick and scream too (like my 3 year old!) but I know in my heart that it's the best place for me to be right now in my life.

Have a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing!

November 20, 2009 at 8:45 AM  
Anonymous Laurel@FromMyHeartToYours said...

Oh Melanie, thank you so much for joining us here and giving me the opportunity to pray for you! You are a precious gem, beyond worth in the eyes of our Lord and His plan for you is mighty! Even when you're kicking and screaming.

I've been there. God moved me to live with my husband's family - a city, career oriented girl, to ranch in Boonsville!!! Dry barely explains this new place...this new place that has now etched it's beauty on my heart and shown me more of God's love than anything else ever has in my life!

Jesus, pour Yourself into Melanie evermore today and wash her tears when she is weary - refill her heart and spirit with your that is beyond our comprehension. Wrap her in your loving tenderness today. Amen

Hugs from Canada.

November 20, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Carpool Queen said...

Good stuff, Melanie.

November 20, 2009 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger sonja said...

I loved your post! Isn't it a comfort that even in a little town in New Mexico...God is alive and well! I think I've been through your little town... whichever one it is, and I think I would feel just like you have. Can't wait to hear what He has ahead for you... it's for sure He has plans for you and your family. Hang in there... the best is yet to come!

November 22, 2009 at 8:31 PM  
Blogger Angie said...

Melanie...I've seen some of that faith testing in my own life this year. Life I've never imagined!

The testimony of your faith and love for HIM through it ALL stands tall and straight before others!

What a great post! Thank you----this builds my own faith for the next hurdle.


November 23, 2009 at 2:19 PM  

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