Unshakable Faith in the Most Shaking Circumstances

We moved to Michigan for my husband’s job toward the end of last summer. It was a decision we had been wrestling with prior to making the move – at first I had told him NO WAY to moving north and west. But, as we prayed, God began to change my heart. I saw verses about God leading us to where He wants us and directing the steps of the godly (as I have mentioned before). Eventually we agreed to move, and everything “fell into place” – which I attribute to God working in our lives! Our house sold, we found a home here, the boys loved their school, etc. Part of why I felt like it may be a good fit for us was that my husband’s job was near MSU, which offered a doctoral program in marketing. It had been a dream of mine to obtain my PhD, but I wasn’t sure how realistic that goal really was…

I came home and cried. What I assumed would be a happy day in getting accepted turned into an extremely rough day. In fact, I cried until I gave myself a migraine and had to go to bed. My sweet husband said he would support me any way he could. He’ll help find childcare (as that’s my biggest fear), and he’ll love me no matter what I choose. (Have I mentioned lately how great the man I married is?!?!)

I called my Mom to ask her opinion. She said it was a big commitment, but we were here! She said maybe it was time to ask for a fleece. “A WHAT!?!” I asked, “Mom, it’s 80 degrees here today, why on earth do I need a fleece?” thinking she meant a sweatshirt. She replied “A fleece, a sign, like Gideon when he asked for the wool fleece to be wet when the ground was dry and then the fleece to be dry when the ground was wet.” I recognized the story (found in Judges 6:37-40), but I hadn’t heard the expression to ask for a fleece rather than a sign. Later, I called my sister to ask her opinion, thinking she would tell me I was crazy for even thinking of taking on this task when my kids were in their formative years. She said that maybe asking to do just the one class online would be my fleece. What?!?! I felt like that was what I should do. I spoke to other friends who encouraged me to go for it but to also recognize that time with the kids was important. I asked our babysitter about how her PhD program was going (a totally different program but still at the same school) and if she had any words of wisdom.

I’ve been wrestling with the decision (even crying in the shower!) and praying and asking for a definitive answer on the right thing to do. I just keep coming back to God allowing doors to open. I had a phone call with another professor in charge of this program, who said I only had to pay for and pass the second of the two classes instead of taking both. But, I had to attend another course (simply sit in on it) to prepare me for the second. I was expecting to take the first class and not the second (with the first one being online). Now I had two in-person classes and no childcare. So, while financially it looked better, I felt all the more devastated. But I asked if I could attend a closed section, which meets two evenings a week. They agreed, noting I’d have to pull in a chair from another room. I’ll be apart from my family two nights a week for the next six weeks and then two days a week at the end of the summer (pray that I can figure out a good solution for my kiddos!). But, I’ll be learning valuable concepts that will help me in the program.

I read the end of the Moses Bible study and reflected on God’s goodness and had a new peace about the decision to go for it, despite the time commitment. The author of the study noted “the beauty of God’s love is as impressive as the splendor of His glory.” She notes later “God alone is the source of every blessing!” and “God defends, safeguards and blesses His people.” God safeguards us. He doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He fights for us and defends us. We can trust His protection and love. In reflecting on the life and death of Moses, she noted that he demonstrated “unshakable faith in the most shaking circumstances.” That’s exactly what I need! I underlined: “God is the one who gave Moses his intellectual ability and ordained the circumstances in his life.” Wow! Was that something to chew on… perhaps this is another one of those moments where God has brought us here for such a time as this. He ordains our circumstances and gives us our capabilities. If we keep our focus on God and reflect Him to others, He will continue to guide our steps and keep us from drowning in sorrow or poor decisions.

Today I signed the acceptance letter, and I start my first class next week. I will do my best and allow God to take care of the rest. He has never failed and won’t start now! I trust Him for my future and the future of my family, especially these sweet kiddos He has entrusted to us.

Will you join me in praying for the details? I mean, if you’ve read this far, what’s a minute more in prayer? 😉

Father God, we thank You for all You have done on our behalf. Thank You for revealing to us Your care and Your presence in the details of our lives. We know that timing isn’t by chance and mere coincidences don’t happen over and over again – we see You and recognize Your faithfulness. We praise You for who You are and all You do! Lord, we also thank You for the life of Moses and his faithfulness in recording the journey of the Israelites so that we can know You better and Your heart for Your people. Thank You for the Bible and our easy access to it. God, we ask right now that You would continue to ordain all our circumstances and days. We pray that You would allow us to continue to focus on You, even as life gets busier. May we continue to be a reflection of Your goodness and mercy to those around us. I specifically and humbly pray for our boys – Joshua, Caleb and Ryan – please provide the best option for care for them and open wide doors and close others tightly. If this is not Your will, please clearly make us all see that. But, if You are opening doors, help us boldly walk through, trusting You to provide all we need. I pray for those who read this post, that they would be encouraged about how much You care about the details of our lives. We love and honor You! In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: