What do you do when life hurts and it's incredibly hard to eat or even get out of bed in the morning? What do you do when you feel like you are all alone and the world around you is just crushing every dream that you ever had? What do you do when even the pastor at your church rejects you because you are going through a hardship?
I know the easy answer seems....give it all to God. He will provide right? He will comfort, guide and make the boo-boo all better right?
It just seems so simple and while my family spent the entire year of 2009 going through financial struggles, I kept trying to rely on my faith and relationship with Jesus to keep me on solid ground. We were one of the many families that have been going through hardships due to the economic recession. When your friends or family are going through it...you pray you help where you can...but when you are the ones going through the hardship it is a totally different story.
When you are going through the hardship, you see a different side of people especially in the Christian church. It was even harder when after we questioned the actions of certain members in our church and were "called" out in a pre-collection message that if you were going through a hardship that you were not tithing or praying enough. Then there was a pastor who was thought to be a friend who rather than gave a hug or said how can I help said "Bear your cross brother!". Then after we objected to something that happened at a children's night along with some other issues, and wanted to take a break, we were called unforgiving.
I have grown up in the "Christian" world all of my life. I was saved at a very young age and really can't even imagine my life without Christ. I know full well that Christians especially pastors are not perfect and make mistakes. I also know that sometimes you have to just walk away and let God lead you to a safer place for your family to fellowship and worship. I've spent so many hours crying and praying and asking God why this? Why our family? I know that God didn't do this to us because of anything that we did or didn't do. What I do know is that God is the method by which we get through hard times. I know that God loves all his children deeply even those that do not even accept him.
My family took a break from attending church for awhile and during that time we evaluated what Christianity and church really is and should be about. I actually had a really deep debate and conversation with several unbelievers to find out why they are so against Christianity and Christians as a whole. One of the biggest misconceptions they had is that the Bible says that Christians are supposed to be perfect. We aren't supposed to lie, cheat, steal or do anything wrong. Those of us who know full well the story of David from the Old Testament know that there really is no such thing as a perfect Christian.
You can live your whole life from birth to death and never break a law or do something that mainstream Christianity considers "sinful" and still will be a sinner. You also can be a sinner all your life, have no interest in God's word or plan and if you accept Jesus before you die and ask for his forgiveness, you will get to sit right by me and my Christian brothers and sisters in heaven. It's such a hard concept for non-believers (and some believers) to grasp.
When you accept Jesus Christ into your life it doesn't mean that you automatically have to be perfect and never do anything wrong. The difference is when you do (and you will screw up) is that you have a GPS (God Positioning System) that will set you back on the right path when you start steering the wrong direction.
My family turned our GPS systems on full speed and we are headed back where God is leading us and can't wait to see what he has for us at the end of our travels this year. God has showed me new ways to help bring in a little more income for our family as well as how to educate and guide our two younger children who we are currently homeschooling. He's also helped me to deal with my teenager who is in public school and how to continue to be the programmer for his GPS system that will hopefully lead him into a life of being a strong Christian example for his peers and a strong husband and father in the future!
Things in 2010 are looking up as God is providing and restoring our finances and little by little. God is healing the hurts that we have been through in 2009 and in our past. He's restoring us in ways that I never even imagined. When I look back through the days when we didn't even know our future and didn't want to get out of bed, I have one very fond memory. My husband and I sat together every day during his furlough and read the Bible, and prayed together. It wasn't always easy to do, because sometimes I was just so down and depressed that I didn't even want to move out of bed let alone have a cup of coffee. Once the caffiene hit my veins and God's word poured into my heart, it made the day much easier to get through. It's a little harder now to have all that free time together now that he's working again, but we still do what we can to keep our marriage strong and healthy. My husband rocks and I'm so glad to be married to someone who is not only strong in the Lord but is my best friend!!
I'm so thankful for my friends and family and even new homeschooling friends that have embraced our family through our hardships. I'm thankful to God who has opened my eyes, my heart and my spirit to his awesome power!! Happy 2010 Friends!! May God Bless all of You!!