Today we start a project that has been on our family’s heart for years, and has sat idle since 2010.
In the early 2000’s we were a young family struggling for financial stability, and were disappointed by the amount of student loan debt we had amassed from pursuing different educational goals, which really didn’t return much on our investment. If I were to recommend anything to a student entering college back then, it would be to avoid debt at all costs. Although it is a sound idea to be a good steward with everything God has blessed us with, I think we also shouldn’t be driven exclusively by fear (Isaiah 41:10). That’s why if I fast forward to the blessed life we enjoy today, I would offer different advice to my younger self. Yes, examine the potential reward of your investments (whether in education, business opportunities, or relationships), but never underestimate the ability of God to make something good out of your current circumstances (Romans 8:28). I think what I was missing back then was true faith. Faith, which isn’t a result of how many times you’ve been beaten up in life, but really is a result of seeing God erase those disappointments and show you his long range perspective on things.
I’ve often heard people quote different statistics on how few worries really come to pass, which is a little reassuring, but it also teaches us to avoid confronting our fears, and sometimes numbs us from seeing God’s hand in our lives. If I’ve learned anything from our limited struggles, it is the second you view your fears head on is the instant you realize God can see you through them. Fear has its roots in failure, loss, and uncertainty, but that’s because we look at potential failure or loss as our final destination. We know God doesn’t want us to fear our circumstances (2 Timothy 1:7), we are victorious (Romans 8:37), and he will restore our losses (Joel 2:25). If we know that God has great things in store for us, and failure is not our final destination, then fear loses its strength and magnitude. When we suffered a miscarriage in 2010, loss consumed our family’s attention. When we returned to the same hospital, to deliver our baby girl in 2012, fear set in again. Thank God that wasn’t our final destination though. God delivered our baby girl to us healthy, and has continued to restore our loss from 2010 in ways we couldn’t have imagined at the time. If I could convey anything to my kids about fear it would be to push off the fear of things outside of your control, while remembering who is in control.
As we embark on this journey together, it is our hope that sharing families’ stories will strengthen us as the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). We know some moments in life are far from perfect, and God doesn’t want us to struggle alone through those circumstances. The miraculous part is he can take those circumstances and make something good come out of them (Ephesians 3:20). Weathered Storms is about gathering new perspectives on life, and learning we are not alone. It is our hope and prayer that you will gain strength seeing how God has worked in the midst of other families’ lives. It is our joy to hear how God has worked in your life as well. Expect more in 2016…