This last year and a half, this is what life has felt like. What we thought would be a fun little trip out to sea turned quickly into a nightmare. This does not mean that we were not supposed to buy our house or renovate it as we have, because we both feel that was the right decision. Of course "right" does not equal "easy", which I had not necessarily known before now.
I've just finished reading through Job, and a lot of the conversation is about how Job's "fall" is due to some hidden sin. And, no, Job was not without sin, but he always did his very best to follow God, and up to this point God had accepted him. And God still accepted him ("Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" he asks his wife), although it didn't look like it. And this year, it has not seemed like God was on our side. It has not always seemed that He was sending help. It did not always seem that He cared. It was not always clear whether or not we would survive it, that he would sustain us. And this is all because of how things looked. They were not easy. They were not fun, not even close to it. And I had always thought that if we were in God's will, that things would just come together. Very often that is what it looks like, but many times it just isn't so.
I have a good friend who is getting married very soon. To many people at the wedding, it may seem like everything has always been sunny and easy for them, and they may be jealous or feel badly about their own situation because of it. They would be wrong. She has waited for him for years, only to come together and then be apart for another year. It was a hard, hard year. It did not always seem like God was doing anything; it did not often feel like He cared; it did not seem like He knew how hard this was for her. But the whole time He was working, working, working. And they are to be married in just a few months. And to be around her right now is to be swept up in a happy heart.
I have to believe that God was working, working, working this last year and a half. In us and through us and around us. And it isn't over yet, because the house isn't finished yet. We'll be downstairs for awhile while the upstairs is getting finished. But we've rounded the curve.
We'll begin moving in this next week. And we have happy, happy hearts.
(The picture above is a print we got for Elias' new room. It's a bit morbid, I know. But that's us. The kid never had a chance.)