Thursday, September 8, 2011

What ifs

In about 1 week Brandon and I will be on a plane headed to Hawaii.....

Sounds fancy smancy, huh? Well, we've got a lot of history with Hawaii. My family and I lived there for about 4 years when I was younger, during that time we became actively involved in an awesome church their on the island called Word of Life Christian Center. After my parents made the decision to move us back to Texas, we ended up here in San Antonio, where I met Brandon. When Brandon and I got engaged, we decided to spend the same amount on a smaller wedding in Hawaii with close family and friends, rather than a large one here.

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While we there, we were given an opportunity to come work with the church my family had been involved with years before.

7 months into our marriage and me 4 months pregnant with Asher, we moved all of our belongings across an ocean. Away from our family and friends. It was hard. Yes it was "paradise" but I was pregnant, and did I mention ultra emotional? I'm very close to my family and it was heart breaking to me to think my first baby wouldn't grow up around my sisters and family.

We lived in a condo on the 18th floor, with no ac and open windows, so all of our stuff was constantly getting blown off shelves. We slept on a blow up mattress for the first month. Our neighbors above us were rather "loud" if you know what I mean. I won't elaborate. There was no Taco Cabana's or Chikfilas. The grocery store didn't have my favorite peanut butter, we had to take our laundry to a laundry mat

.....Big major issues here ya'll....You name it, I complained about it.

We've learned a lot about perspective over the years since then.The amazing oppurtunity that it truly was never stood a chance against my crummy perspective.

4 months after we made the huge move, we made the equally huge move back to Texas. Just in time for Asher to be born here.

That decision was one of those that we've often thought "what if" about.

What if we had stayed, even just a year or two, or three....what could we have learned from this amazing church?

What if we had stayed, where would our ministry be?

What if we had stayed,  could I have an amazing tan and become a pro surfer?

Obviously we know God works all things together for our good. But I can't help but still wonder, what if.

Brandon and I have gone through some incredibly hard times over the years. Particularly about 3 years ago. We got ourselves into some very tough situations by trying to live and make a life we wanted and thought we needed. We landed in one of the most challenging and trying times of our life.


But, we learned so much from it. I leaned in to God like I never had before, and he showed me some things. He kept bringing me back to the story in the Bible where the israelites wondered through the dessert for 40 years, on a journey that should have taken 11 DAYS.  

11 Days, yall.... but it took 40 years

Wow.

They'd circle a mountain. Complain the whole way, question God, thinking they knew better.

.....Back around the mountain they went.

See, I know God gives us all oppurtunities and open doors. He sets things up for us---for our good. His perfect plan. There's just one thing that often messes it all up.

Us.

Our selfish needs. Our selfish views. We think we know better. We let our emotions make our decisions for us.

We get so caught up in the mediocrities of our present circumstances. Wind blowing through our house...messing things up. This can't be the right way, it's not easy. God wants things easy on us, right?

Nope. He does have a good and perfect plan for us, but that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. In fact its in the hard times, the difficult ones, that He's really watching.

Watching for how we will react. What we will decide. What our character will say about it. Will we tough it out, staying rooted and grounded in Him. Trusting Him? Or will we complain the whole way through like the isrealites did and then have to go back around the mountain.

I praise God for his mercy and grace. I think back on our life and I am truly blown away by his love. His enduring, never failing love that sustained us.

The beautful thing is that that same grace that held us up when the journey took longer than it needed to is the same grace that gives us more oppurtunities and open doors. More favor and blessing. Because He truly does want the best for us.

I used to keep the "what if's" to myself. The story of our long journey. I didn't want people to know. But keeping them to myself, denies everything we learned through them. And I never want to do that.

In fact I cant deny them. They've defined who I am today. I may only be 28 years old, but I often think that mentally I'm much older. And I only say that because of what I've faced, not just what I have faced but how I faced them and what I learned from them.

Thats what God is looking for- how are you going to face the journey and what will you learn?  

I never want to stop learning.

With the trip coming up, I've been thinking alot about those what-if's. I have to say, I am thankful for every step around that mountain that we took. The journey may have taken much longer than it needed to. The lessons have been tough. But it brought us right where we are today. On the other side. Ready to keep moving forward in whatever God has for us.

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Leslie from Top of the Page asked me to share a story on grace for her "Grace on a Thursday" series.  If you haven't read my "Calling Grace Mine" post, head on over to her blog to read it and tell her hello for me.  She is super sweet. You will love her.
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Happy Thursday My Sweet Friends!

Linking up with Casey for What's on My Heart

15 comments:

  1. it's so great to see god's work in your hearts.
    he is so good!
    y'all have a wonderful trip! xo

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  2. Loove this post, honest and crazy relatable!! Thanks for being transparent and reminding me how toxic complaining can be!!:)

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  3. yep, very relatable. love what you said about the isrealites. i just started a book called "one in a million" by pricilla shirer. its about how despite the fact that 2 million isrealites left Egypt, only 2 of the original group made it into the promised land. its an awesome read so far. pursuing the promised land with ya...

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  4. thanks for being so transparent. this was such an encouragement to read today.

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  5. We bought one-way tickets to Oahu a few years ago after my husband lost his job... a few months later-- getting ready for the move, God shut the doors... 3 years later, God brought us to Arizona. He definitely has a sense of humor and knows what is the best for us, but I, too, often wonder "what if...." Thanks for keeping it real! xo

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  6. it's so easy to ask what if, but i just have to trust that the Lord knows better than me :) thanks for this post. i love reading your blog. so encouraging and so real. xoxo friend!

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  7. Geez! At times what if is my middle name! Our guys are going to have an amazing time. I can't wait to read all about It!

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  8. Just what I needed. :) I am going to have to re-read this one over the next few days to embed it in my mind!

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  9. Wow... you have a lot to ponder over here! God truly is in control. I have some of those "what if" thoughts from time to time too. I am the kind of person who has a hard time "waiting" on God... I like to plow through and DO IT NOW! It's a major hindrance in life, let me tell ya!
    Great post. Have a blast in Hawaii!

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  10. Your posts never cease to amaze me and stir my heart. I feel like I want to say so many things to you along the lines of "Thank You", "that was exactly what I needed to hear", "Are You talking about me? Who told you that?" I'd really love to just give you a hug and sip coffee with you so that you can inspire and challenge me that much more. I am thanking God for the links that led me to click here, and thanking him for the gifts he has given you and the obedience you have in sharing and using them for his glory. You are a shining light here in this big 'ole blogosphere.

    Danielle

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  11. Thank you so much for this encouragement. My husband and I are about to embark on a journey that we did not think for ourselves and, at first, we were heart broken. Now we have chosen to trust the this is God's amazing plan for our lives. This is what He wants for us and He will be the strength that will pull us through. Your words are so inspiring and have brought peace to my heart. Thank you! I hope you and your husband have an amazing trip!

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  12. "The amazing oppurtunity that it truly was never stood a chance against my crummy perspective."
    SO GOOD. i'm telling you every time i read your blog i literally wish you didn't live so far from me because i would really love to know you more in person, i just enjoy your perspective and insight. you can tell you are a woman that hears from God and applies it to your life and how you handle things.
    i've heard about that church and conference. would love to go... have an AMAZING time girl. can't wait to hear about what you get blessed with there.
    have so much love for you. xoxo!

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  13. The Lord is always working through us during those "interruptions" form the plans that we have made. God has something better planned for us, and he is maturing us during those times.

    P.S. We stayed at the Royal Hawaiian for our honeymoon!!!! It's totally gorgeous!!!! :) Have a safe trip!!!

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  14. Love this post! So much of what i needed to hear this morning...thanks!

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  15. I came across you blog some random way yesterday...and am thankful that I did. Funny how God works that way! ;) He knew I needed to read THIS post that I somehow found. I am in the midst of asking "how much longer" myself...thinking that what we've been praying for should have taken place by now but it hasn't. I'll be going and re-reading about the 40 years in the desert. Thank you for writing this post. I just want you to know that God has used you. Keep letting Him!! Take care!!

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