Monday, December 29, 2008

Hope of Tomorrow

I'm writing this more as an encouragement to myself than anything else. Tomorrow is Greg's big day. He's going to board a plane for a year-long adventure serving God in South Africa. My emotions are making me a bit crazy right now, but I'm fighting to tell myself the things I know to be truth.

In the last week or so, God has begun to show me a little more about the concept of "Hope." Mark Batterson called it "the belief that tomorrow will be better than today." There are literally hundreds of places in scripture where hope is discussed and I have started slowly to look through them. In Job 13:15, he says, "though he slay me, yet I will hope in him." Unfortunately (well... ultimately it's fortunate, but sucks now...) hope in this situation is referred to from the depths of despair. Hope is the one thing to hold onto when everything else seems to fall away.

Tonight I have hope. I know God is leading us. I know He is working for the good of those who love him. I know He is before all things. I know in Him all things hold together. I know that Greg is a Godly, obedient, servant-hearted man. I know that he loves me. I know that I love him. Tomorrow may be a new, challenging step, but I believe tomorrow will be better than today. And so tonight, I have hope.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

God's Promises

For the past few months I've been doing the Beth Moore study "Believing God." (I know, it's only supposed to take weeks, but I'm A.D.D. with Bible study and have to constantly rotate what I'm studying so it's taken me longer.) This week we're talking about "Believing I can do all things through Christ" and today she emphasized the promises God gave to Joseph. Many of the promises were fulfilled in his lifetime, but others, like the deliverance of the Israelites into the promised land, were not fulfilled until hundreds of years after his death.

Many times I want to put timelines on God's blessings, and if I don't feel like I see results, I stop believing God will come through. Joseph is an example of a man who believed God's promises without extra stipulations.

I think God is trying to draw my attention to something because of a conversation I had a few days ago. Donna Brooks has been mentoring me, and Monday she asked me a pointed question about Greg leaving. "What promises have God reviled to you through scripture about this?"

In preparing for Greg to leave, I believe God has given me two promises to hold onto:

"He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together."


"We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him; who have been called according to his purposes."
Romans 8:28

I have already begun a constant inner dialogue of these promises.

When my sister-in-the-family, Leah, got married last January, she and her husband wrote their own vows. One thing Brad said stuck with me, "Every minute waiting for you has been worth it, all 15 million of them!"

I probably don't have the exact wording, but the idea is there. They got to see God fulfill promises that they had each believed long before. And though the waiting was almost unbearable sometimes, in the end it was worth it!

I have to believe God has something great for Greg and I. He is walking before us and will hold us together... even a continent apart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So, being that this week was Thanksgiving, I've done some thinking about families. I went with Greg to Roanoke for Thanksgiving. On Thursday we ate at his stepmom's sister's house with all of his step-aunts, step-uncles, step-cousins and step-grandmother. I felt a bit like I was playing the Six-Degrees of Kevin Bacon game because to one of the kids there I was his aunt's-second-husband's-son's-girlfriend... a very close relationship.

But honestly, it never really felt weird. They were very welcoming and friendly. After the initial introductions, no one cared how I got there or how distantly I was associated, I was part of the family.

This is also my first Thanksgiving or Christmas away from my immediate family. I've struggled for the last few years about how much holidays are changing because I love tradtion. Growing up there was a system of who we visited at each holiday and what we ate and what we did; it was rhythmic and comfortable. But things have gotten harder in the last few years and many of these traditions have fallen away. All the cousins graduated from college, Nate got married, we all moved to different cities... etc. Am I losing my family?

No, I'm not. I realized the other day that my family is not my family because they know what we're supposed to eat at Thanksgiving, they're my family because they love me. If we go on that same definition, I have a wonderful family here in Virginia Beach too. I have 3 great roommates and a whole group of friends who love me. It may be a bit quirky of a family - but it's still a family.

It's a reminder to me about the importance of community; many people don't have families or groups of great friends to turn to. That teaches me two things:

1. I can never take my family (biologically or otherwise) for granted
2. I need to be constantly welcoming others into this crazy quirky family; it may very well be life changing.

So hug your friends and quirky family... and HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING!!