Lord, Be....because I cannot

So many reasons today to get bogged down by my weakness, my inability, my inadequacy. I am about 2 1/2 weeks from my due date so my physical being is weary, worn out, feeling a great deal of fatigue. My mind is racing with all there is to do, not just for the baby, but for Ryan. Mid February, and he hasn't had a bite yet. Many, many applications and contacts and no sign of progress yet on the job front. End of March is approaching quickly it seems, which leaves us to wonder what is next for him? My heart aches for answers to the hurts and frustrations I still wrestle with daily. It comes in waves. Just when I seem to be at the point of no return, I can reach for my Father in heaven and cry out to Him, "I cannot take another moment of this Lord! Help me!" Somehow, He does it. Just for me. There are a million other things going on today that probably are of greater concern than what I am enduring, and yet, He cares for me and He loves me so deeply. The day to day, moment to moment struggle really sucks. There's no other way to describe it. The uncertainty of this life is certain--that seems to be a contradictory statement but it is true. We can count on life to be uncertain most of the time because we don't have any guarantees. I read in my devotional today about the Israelites struggles and God calling Gideon to deliver them. He felt so weak, so unable, so inadequate because of his circumstances. He told God, "How? Why? I cannot do this!" And yet, God did it and used Gideon and that small army to do just what He said He'd do. He saved them. All they had to do, all Gideon had to do was choose to believe it and do what God called him to do. I need vision right now. Not the kind of vision we think of in terms of our physical ability to see, but for my heart to comprehend. I know there is a battle going on in my mind, my heart, and my physical struggles only add to that when Satan thinks he's found a way to poke and jab at me, get the best of me. Even in my weakness, my struggle to find vision today God brought this familiar hymn to my mind.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

The words of this hymn, sum up where my vision needs to be. I need to embrace His presence, it is my light. He is my shield for battle, my shelter, my power. No matter what Lord, be my vision. The end of my devotional was a reminder of where my focus needs to be: "fixed eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen" 2 Corinthians 4:18. God sees us for who we truly are. I may see myself as weak, fatigued and weary but He sees me as a woman of great worth, pontential and purpose. God asked Gideon, "Am I not sending you?" I believe He is asking me that today. I know He has a purpose and a plan for me and Ryan, and I know He has our best in mind. Only good things can come when God is at work.
I really cannot believe how long it has been since my last post. It is something I kept meaning to do, then the holidays arrived, I got so busy with all we had going on that it just didn't happen. So, here we are. What's the latest? Where to begin.
First, I am expecting sweet baby #4, Chloe Grace, March 5 so about 3 1/2 weeks to go. Whew. And I mean that literally. I am so done with being pregnant and very happy to shout from the mountain top that this is the last time I am doing this. My body cannot take it again. I hit age 39 in January so I believe my body has really been telling me just how old it is getting during the course of this pregnancy. I love my babies, and all in all I have had fairly good experiences but it is time to put a bow on this portion of my life and say done. That said, I have taken more moments this time around to truly appreciate that this is it. I am more thankful today for the gift of life than I was when I was pregnant with my first child. I think it has gotten better each time just the marvel of it, the amazing way that God creates life and to experience it growing inside of me. We are so excited, so blessed, so thankful for the chance to be parents again. 2 girls and 2 boys rounds it out for us.

Second, we are experiencing a rather unexpected turn of events in our lives right now. Early January Ryan was asked to resign his position at our church as worship arts pastor. Needless to say, we were shocked, not expecting something like this to occur at this moment in time. It has been an experience I would not want anyone to have to go through because it has been so devastating, so frustrating, and all in all such a helpless feeling especially for Ryan. After we recovered from the initial shock, we found ourselves walking through a grief experience one day at a time. It is a loss, there's no other way to describe it. We thought, we'd hoped this would be our home for a very long time, a place for our children to grow up. The hardest part of all of this is that we cannot fully understand nor will there ever be a reason for this that makes it okay. Then we have to answer the hard questions for our children, because this is hardest of all for them to understand that we may be moving, we may be starting all over again. Ryan and I have been through moves in ministry being pastor's kids ourselves, so we know how hard this will be for them. It doesn't make it any easier to explain it to them. So we do the best we can, talk through it, share our fears and worries, cry out to God and ask Him to comfort us when we have no words, and just love each other through this. Somehow, God is providing for us. He knows what we need, and although we'd love to have all the answers right now He knows what is best. There comes a point in the struggle when we find we have to let it go so that we aren't consumed by anger and bitterness. We have to let God wash us with the peace that only He can give, and the reassurance that He's got it all taken care of, to trust Him. As I am writing this there are still a lot of unknowns but Ryan is busy contacting everyone he knows and sending out his resume to any ministry openings he knows about through word of mouth, online listings, the help and support of our sweet friends in ministry. There is nothing that can compare to the love, support, and encouragement of our family and friends. We could not put one foot in front of the other without the constant prayer support, phone calls, emails, cards, time spent with each and every person who has become a part of our family. Thank you just doesn't seem adequate. In my prayer time everyday I take time to ask God to abundantly bless those who have cared for us so deeply through this and so many other struggles we have experienced in this life.
It has to be said and can be found in the Scripture that God doesn't promise that we will have an easy life. He does promise to be with us, to carry us and provide for us even when we cannot go on any further. I know that the best is yet to come. I know that the greatest reason of all for this to happen right now, is because God knows exactly what we are made for, and He is simply preparing us and telling us to expect great things to come. It is all for our benefit so that we can be better servants, better for His work because there is still so much to do for His kingdom. So, like the song says...."I will praise You in this storm."

my Ebenezer...

“…Thus far the Lord has helped us.”-1 Samuel 7:12 There are moments in my life when I look back and can see how God in His perfect yet my...