May 24, 2013

Anniversaries of Sorts

Three years ago this week, my precious husband graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary. Words fail to express how proud I am for how hard he worked on his Master of Divinity and what his graduation meant to me.

His graduation marked the end of a really special time in our lives, and it ushered in the hardest times of our married life. Words fail to express the discouragement we felt at two years of fruitless job searching. My Lindon is awesome and tremendously gifted in ministry, but despite his diligence and qualifications, no church would hire him. We knew in our heads that God cared about our family, but in our hearts we sometimes felt abandoned.

One year ago this weekend Lindon received a phone call from a friend who offered Lindon a job. There were some major drawbacks to the job - like 3 months of traveling 4 days a week and a pretty long commute once the traveling was over - but the job seemed like something Lindon could do well and enjoy doing. Turns out, Lindon does enjoy it and is good at it. In fact, after 7 months he got promoted.

Is this the job I envisioned Lindon having? No way.

Is this what I had hoped for my family? Not a bit.

But the fact that my life looks dramatically different than how I had hoped it would look does not change the fact that I am thankful for THIS life - for Lindon enjoying his job and for what his future holds. I am thankful for feeling settled and moving forward instead of feeling stuck in a holding pattern waiting to hear back from another church.

And I am thankful that the anniversary of Lindon graduating came and went without us pausing to mourn another year of discouragement and desolation. God did not answer our prayers how I had hoped, but He has still shown me and my family great kindness.

To those who walked with us in our discouragement and to those who God used to provide a way out, I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

At his graduation Lindon and his classmates processed to the same song as my wedding processional, "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty." The middle verses of that song get at some of what I am feeling now, grateful that God has been our merciful Defender and Sustainer, even when life has felt trying.

Praise to the Lord,
Who over all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings,
Yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen
How all your longings have been
Granted in what He ordaineth?

 Praise to the Lord,
Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness
And mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew
What the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.