Today, I set apart time to read. As a lover of words, there are moments when I realize I have deprived myself of things I love. And that is sitting down to books, old journals, and time with written words besides my normal Bible reading.
It’s good for my heart to look back and remember. Reflection always encourages me as I look ahead to what God is doing.
Today, I read about September 7th, 2019. It was a hard season in which we found ourselves. We had just come home from a week-long stay at the hospital with our youngest. She had swelling on her brain from infection and as you may guess, it was a scary time.
Weeks before our hospital stay were words written crying out to God to provide as we were just five days away from celebrating our 3rd born’s 7th birthday. I had gone around my house selling whatever I could in order to buy her a gift. The next few pages were filled with questions to God. Never questioning His character but why I could not hear. Why my prayers for provision seemed to go into a cloud, far, far away.
And then there were the prayers that I prayed over and over. Prayers for adoption, Christian school, a reliable car, and a renovated home that would reflect not only our personalities but literally what we do for our professions. These prayers always seemed impossible but sometimes believing for the impossible was easier than believing for the everyday. I at least knew that these answers could not come from my own strength.
It had to be God.
2020 has been far from easy. I think we can all agree that this has been one of the oddest years in our lifetime. Our kids will one day read about this season in the history books.
But at the same time, this year has been really good for our family.
I have been reluctant to write about the many blessings that our family has received because of the turmoil that our country has been in. Our neighbors have lost both incomes in one day. People have been sick. Some people have died. People have felt hopeless.
Believe me when I say we have had our share of difficulties, including when all 7 of us came down with COVID. It was scary. But this year has proven that God can answer prayers even through a pandemic. Despite my hesitancy and fears of sounding boastful, I felt that some may need to hear this testimony.
Some people may need some piggyback faith.
For years we have believed God for provision over our family. As our faith got stronger, our pockets got smaller. What I mean is… everything we seemed to believe God for was always challenged in a way that was meant for defeat. You know… things only break when you’re broke.
So what do you do when you pray big prayers but everything seems to go in the opposite direction…
You rely on Piggyback Faith.
Moses was called to free the people of Egypt and bring them to the Promise Land. He was not eloquent in speech but yet was called to speak to the Head Honcho of Egypt. Once again, God was asking Him to do something he felt was completely opposite of what he could do.
But Moses didn’t do it alone. He had a sidekick named Aaron and this friend would be an encourager when weak. A tangible reminder that God was with Moses. Aaron would even hold the arm of Moses as he followed God’s command of holding the staff up in the air in order for God’s people to proclaim victory in the battle. Aaron physically held UP the arm of Moses, the great prophet.
We all need a friend to help hold us during life’s greatest battles. I like to call this Piggyback Faith.
When Wade and I struggled in our marriage, we sought counsel from those that had a Godly marriage. The same went for our finances. We sought counsel from those that were doing well financially and even though nothing seemed to change in our own life, their faith AND wisdom gave us HOPE. Hope can go a long way when you don’t have anything else to lean on. Hope can give you a piggyback ride into the next season if you allow it.
Today, as I re-read old journals I realized that I had an opportunity to offer someone some piggyback faith to help carry you through today.
2020, rang in like usual with the long lists of hopes and dreams. It also came with a broke down car three times in one week and the remnants of a large slab leak flood that had ravaged our home just 3 months prior. We had concrete floors that had us swallowing dust and wet kitchen cabinets that were too expensive to replace. We had one bathroom (for all SIX of us) because the 2nd bath was under construction from the leak and no money from insurance to finish the repairs. Our dryer broke and 2 of our kids were suffering greatly at public school. Every day felt like a hopeless defeat. But it was January and Hope rang in the possibilities of the New Year.
This Hope, propelled us to make some changes and take some risks.
I signed up for Real Estate school and on the last towing experience of our car, we found ourselves at a car dealership. We took the risk and felt peace with moving forward on a lease of a new car. I charged my Real Estate school to a credit card and asked God to support me in a dream that I felt was a long time coming. Two days after driving our leased Mini-van off of the lot, Wade got a raise from work. It was just enough to cover our new car payment and nothing could compare to the peace I had while driving a reliable car down 275. Real Estate School was tough but I made it through and passed my exam just two days before the whole country shut from Covid19. We finished up our fostering classes and then things got quiet.
We found ourselves at home along with the rest of the world and during this time, insurance money came through and we were able to finally start kitchen and bathroom repairs. What felt like an impossible task, finally began to take place and we worked hard for months (still working) to get our house back to working order. Because we did the work ourselves, we were able to do more than expected with the insurance money we received. Our kids were taken out of the public school situation they were in and we began to experience peace once again with homeschooling and being together.
What felt like defeat the year prior was actually a set up to what was to come.
God knew the desires of our heart and although they didn’t come wrapped in a gift box full of ease and comfort, they did come and He used our circumstances to build our faith and our strength. Once again, He used our desires to grow our character so that we could look back and see that all of our answers were found in Him. Nothing could have been predicted or seen by our own eyes and knowledge but rather the only One who has the ability to see the full picture.
Only God could know that one small leak would devastate our whole house and turn it into our desire of renovating the home in which we live. Only God could have used the anger we felt when we watched our car leave once more on a tow truck in order to bless us with a car that we needed. Fear had held us back but God used frustration to free us and He gave us a financial increase just 3 days later. Only God knew that I would pass my real estate exam just one day shy of the whole world shutting down all to have my first sale just a few months later. And only God could re-write our desires of adoption and introduce us to a world of fostering in such a short amount of time. Only God could answer my heart in bringing my babies home to homeschool once more and send them to where I really wanted them to go all along the next year with a scholarship.
God did all of this for one family in a world of a pandemic. He surely still sits on the Throne.
Today, I offer you a piggyback ride of faith by sharing a small piece of the last nine months in hopes that it will encourage you in the next three months ahead. 2020 is not over and God is not done. He has plenty of unforeseen plans for you and all of the chaos, the stress, the anger, and the confusion can be used to fulfill what you cannot see for yourself. I think sometimes it’s nice to know that God doesn’t need YOUR peace in order to fulfill HIS plan. He needs you to take on His peace and sometimes that feels like you can’t hang on for another day. But you choose to allow Him to hang on to you. His peace that surpasses all understanding doesn’t always make sense, feel good nor can it be controlled.