It would be euphemistic for me to say that the past 10 days have been the most difficult days of my life. Last night was the first night I slept through the night for nearly three weeks, but I don't feel so very rested.
It would be inappropriate for me to go in to detail here and quite frankly sound like a whole lot of finger pointing, something that Thad and I believe only increases misery and does nothing to ease it. But I have learned some invaluable lessons over the past week and a half that are worth, even if only for myself, writing down.
1. Prayer does not mean getting what you want. There's that awful tendency of Christians to overuse that "ask and ye shall receive" verse, and I think that even those of us who would say that's dangerous can sometimes live our lives as though we believe that praying over something means getting exactly what we want out of it. Our prayers asking for a future in which family and business were separated (Thad having been an employee at the family company) were answered--just not in the form we expected. The form being that Thad is currently dropping his 15th resume off today in the search for a job and us finding ourselves 4 months pregnant and unable to pay rent. Not exactly what we hoped for, but this being an answer to our prayers is undeniable.
2. People will always disappoint; and that's okay. I fondly remember one of the best pastors in the universe, Pastor Jensen in Long Island, telling me a story once about a person in his congregation saying to him, "Pastor I know you will never let me down." And he was quick to tell her that of course he will, at one point, let her down--he is a human being, he is flawed, he will err. The worst thing we can do is put pressure on anyone in our lives to never let us down, because not only is that an inhuman expectation, moving past the disappointment will be that much harder. I've told so many people in my life this story, maybe as a motivator to forgive someone, or to never put too much faith in me. It is time for me to practice what I've preached.
3. Not only will my dad always go to bat for me, he will go to bat for Thad, too. Thad and I have had our eyes opened to so many things in such a short amount of time, but I think the coolest (and newest) for Thad is having a father figure be 100% in his corner. And I mean...don't be jealous, but we're not just talking any father, we're talking about James White here. Kind of a big deal.
4. What God has joined together, let no man separate. Well, duh, you're probably thinking, that's like....in the Bible. But the "let no man separate" covers so many things we never forsaw--"no man" can reference family members, or even ourselves. While we believe that our marriage has only gotten sweeter and sweeter day by day, and is better now than a year ago, it has been all the sweeter to lean on each other for support during this time. We are truly learning the meaning of "leaving and cleaving" and for all the difficulty it brings, it has only just brought us that much closer together. One of the greatest joys I have ever had is fighting for my husband and I wouldn't trade one single tear back for an easier road.
5. What does 'giving it to God' mean?. Oh how many times have we all heard "just give it to the Lord!" but how freaking much harder is that to actually do?? We are learning that "giving it to God" is not something that is one and done; its something you must do--intentionally do--every day. The anger and hurt that I manage to give to the Lord today will require the same effort to be given up tomorrow. I know that I cannot continue to feel the stress and sadness or the creeping bitterness because I am not the only one that will feel it---so will our little one. And I simply cannot do that to my poor baby that I love more than life.
6. My husband is my hero. I can't say that's something I just realized recently, but it sure has been cemented. I dare anyone to watch him right now and call him anything but. The level-headedness, the clarity of thought and action, the motivation, the unwavering, the good mood he manages to stay in, his constantly being in prayer, the support he manages to give me, his good sense of humor, and his relentlessness in his job search are all so admirable. While I seem to have lost my appetite, his has quadrupled. He is a man on fire to get us back on our feet.
7. Just because it feels like the end of the world, doesn't mean that it is. I told Thad at the outset of this thing, "We are going to have bad days where we feel like it won't get better but just remember that it will get better. The Lord provides." Well as it turns out, I'm the one most in need of that advice, but the truth is that we are both at peace. Strange, strange peace. We 100% believe that once we pull through this thing that we will be happier, healthier, more in love, and in an even better place than before and we pull for that every day because we really, truly believe that not a minute of our lives has been left up to fate, or left up to us, but has been ordained by God.
Of course we appreciate any and all prayers. We have benefitted beyond words from the smothering of love from my parents and our fellow church members, and remain looking forward to many years of service with them.