Famous last words….words to remember and learn from….
Normal is boring.
Thats what Steph and I said after what we thought would be then end of a whirlwind couple of months. After all, my last update here was December 19,2009. Thats just about when the excitement started and what an end to what could be called the best and worst year of our lives.
After the 19th, Christmas seemed to just absolutely fly by. New Years came and went just as fast. Out with the old year in with the new. Last year at this time, Steph had a job but knew the end was in site. This year, she had no job still and seemingly no prospects.
Last year at this time I was learning about our the departure of our close friend and youth minister Matt Brewer leaving and no idea what I wanted to do or what was in store for me. I finally gave in to God and aswered the call to be in youth ministry praying and hoping that I finally had the answer to God’s plan for my life. This really went in to high gear around the time of Freeze Out at LMBC. The leadership had voted to make me intern youth minister. A non paid staff position but still a youth leadership position that would help me out in my future plans for youth ministry. My day job and future with my current employer became shaky because of the economy but I held on hoping the answer would come.
The end of 2009 and beginning of 2010 changed all of that for Steph and I.
It started out as expected. Steph and I continued to work with the youth in their production of Damascus Road, (which Steph wrote and I am incredibly proud of her) working toward the presentation date of Jan. 29. With Steph out of work she had plenty of time to work on it.
We got a letter that stated her unemployment was going into its final stage of benefits. Our help that God had provided for a year, was about to come to an end. We held strong knowing God would provide as He did all year. Whenever we had a need, He provided.
“Stand by we are clear for LAUNCH!”
All through 2009, I was hoping that God would show me where He wanted me to be. I had looked at several websites almost daily looking for youth minister positions all over the southeast. I applied at many and never heard from just about all of them….except one. Right after the first of the year, a church in TN, responded and asked me for more information. I quickly replied and a few days later, I had a rather lengthy phone call from their pastor asking me even MORE questions. 2 days later, we had another even more lengthy phone call and set up a time for a video conference with their search committee. The ball was rolling and I could see God all in this. The video conference was set up for the following Wednesday night.
Around this same time, Steph got the first interview that she had been given, in over a year. The very first one. God not only gave her the interview, but the position as well. She went straight out of the interview to her desk and went to work the very same day. She was back in the law field as a legal assistant / paralegal for a great Christian attorney in Douglasville.
Enter confusion…..Ok God, what are You doing here? You give me what appears to be a great youth pastor position in a rural church in TN and exactly what I have asked for in my prayers, but now You also answer Steph’s prayer? Boy God, when you say ask and you shall receive, You really mean that.
A lot of prayer went up those few days. What do you want us to do? Steph had a spark in her eye that I had not seen for a long time. Someone other than me, other than her family, valued her. She had a great job. Finally after a lot of prayer, we bowed out of the TN position praying that we made the right choice that God wanted us to make. God is not the God of confusion and he would not answer prayer in a confusion manner.
So Steph was back and work. I was getting more and more opportunities to teach and work with the youth. Damascus Road practice was in full swing and we knew that we had made the right choice.
Around the last week in January, Damascus Road was presented and it was absolutely amazing. The kids raise over $1600 for their summer mission trips. They put a lot of work into it but also had a lot of fun. We got to really grow closer to some of the kids and got to know a couple that we had not known at all. It was a huge success in every aspect possible.
So with Steph back at work, Damascus Road behind us, we thought life would return to some normalcy. Steph had even made the comment Normal is boring when I said well things will go back to normal now.
Boy were we ever wrong!
The day after Damascus Road was over, I get a call that no husband ever wants to get. “I’ve been in an accident.” No “I’m fine” or “its just a little fender bender” but “I’ve been in an accident.” Steph and another car had crossed paths at a bad intersection near our home. I found out where she was and my Ford got me there as fast as humanly possible even though it seemed like forever.
Once I was there, Steph was no where to be found. “Where’s my wife?” I yelled several times only to find out she was still in our Ridgeline. She was so sore from the impact she couldnt move. A wonderful nurse had asked her to stay in the vehicle until I arrived. She was concious and uncut. Airbags were everywhere and everything in the truck except Steph was scattered. The truck did not appear to be that bad but the other car was crushed. He had struck her on the right front corner in a car much bigger than our Honda. God definately had His angels around her that night because it could have been much worse than a few hours in an emergency room. She was sore and bruised. She could barely walk and had a brace on her wrist but I took her home that night.
Following 2 days of being really sore, she was back at work. She moved slow for a few days but she is a trooper and loved her new job. Our Honda was gone. Insurance said it was too expensive to repair due to airbag deployment. The truck we loved for four years and our first major purchase together, was gone. We now had the task of finding a new car that we could afford and that was safe.
The prayers went up for Steph and she got better every day. Last night, another prayer was answered. Not only did God provide us with a truck, (sorry Steph, I know, its a JEEP) but He gave us a car we could pay for without having a car payment.
What seemed like an incredible year gone bad, turned out to be all a part of God’s plan. We had asked for help for a year with our finances. Not only did God answer them in His time in His way, but greater than we expected. Steph has a great job. I still have my job. Now we have a car with just a few more miles than our Honda, but we don’t have a huge debt and a huge car payment looming over us.
God is still in the business of answering prayers. Prayers are not answered in our time or in our way, but in God’s timing and in God’s way. I told this to mom one time and she likes to remind me of it a lot.
I really can’t wait to see what He is going to do in 2010!
Dear God, thank You for answered prayers. We prayed for a year for Your help and You provided. I prayed on the way to the accident for 10 minutes, that seemed like an eternity, for Steph to be ok and You took care of her. We both prayed that You would show us the car You would provide and You did. Your faithfulness is incredible and is exactly as Your Word says.