A significant date for our family. It was on this day five years ago that we left our homeland and headed north. That we left our families and friends for an unknown future. That we left a ministry we loved to Baylor students to not knowing if, when, or how the Lord would grow His church here with us.
It was hard and lonely. And sometimes it is still hard and lonely. But God is good and He is faithful and He has made this once foreign place home to our family. I don’t know why I am surprised by this- God is always good and faithful, but as a life-long Texan I didn’t ever expect to truly call Oklahoma home.
On Thanksgiving of this year we each wrote down something we are thankful for that we wouldn’t have expected to be thankful for. Like finding the silver lining. A rainbow amidst the storm.
This idea had come to me a couple weeks prior when my good friend who’s son had recently gone through cancer and lost his leg (who I have written about here) told me she could honestly say she was thankful for the cancer! Wow- that can only be said by the sheer grace of God and by seeing His bigger picture even in the suffering.
In no way am I comparing the hardship of a move to cancer, but as I pondered her comment it hit me that I was genuinely thankful God had moved us to Oklahoma. Wow- I had never said that before and never thought I would! That is what I wrote on my Thanksgiving Day paper. Not only that, but my daughter wrote the same thing on her piece.
In thinking through what makes this a blessing, I can name many tangibles including new friends, our neighborhood, schools and the gospel preached by my husband week after week. We had that back home though… plus our families, lifelong friends, an already established church and everything else familiar. So the change in my thinking about the move was really a deep-seated change in ME.
A change sweeping down the plains of my heart that can only be attributed to the Spirit at work!
He took all that I knew and liked and challenged me to see outside of myself. He took what was comfortable and made me uncomfortable, to stretch and grow me. He took my pride and all the ways I could falsely find my identity and is chiseling away at it. Day after day drawing me to Himself.
He uses situations and suffering, big and small, to accomplish His work in each of us. To cause us to see our sin and our need. To give us eyes to see Him.
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