Sunday, December 30, 2012

DANGER THIN ICE! A look back at 2012

As I was sitting this morning reflecting on the past year looking towards the upcoming year I had this image of New Years gone by. Typically I love New Years. Not the celebration but the excitement of a new year. It’s like starting with a clean slate. I am not one to set up resolutions but I do have plans in my mind of things I would like to do, personally, spiritually etc.
I related my New Year’s trek in my mind as a huge outdoor lake in the winter. There have been years that I run without caution, free, onto the lake, not a care in the world. Other times I go skating and twirling with excitement and looking forward to the possibilities of what I can do. A few years I have tiptoed onto the ice unsure of what and if it will hold and not break. This year I am on my belly trying to distribute the weight under what I feel is very thin and unstable ice. I feel as if I am on a rescue mission there are some areas in my life that have broken through the ice and I need to save them.
This year has brought us to our knees in all senses of the word.
If someone told me a few years ago the trials and situations I would be experiencing in 2012 I would never believe them. I am not a betting person, but I would have bet that some of these things would not have happened. NO WAY! But here I am, experiencing them
The most difficult part of my year started at the end 2011, when my husband went on stress leave. I wrote about that in a previous blog. Having him go through burnout has been one of the most challenging situations I have been through in my life. I feel as if I am living with a stranger. This is not the man I have been with since the age of 14.  So I have struggled trying to figure this out.
It has also been a good learning experience as I now can relate to what others go through when they speak of living with someone with depression or even if they are the one struggling with depression, I have a new understanding of it. It is difficult and affects everyone in the family, not just the person experiencing it.
Towards the end of the year God dropped a perfect opportunity into Bill’s lap. He was offered a job with Hope Mission, in a ministry called “horses of HOPE”

 IT is a brand new ministry still in the beginning stages. Basically what it is, is working with children in need, and working with horses. Children who have a difficult time trusting, or loving or feeling safe or just not able to afford the luxury of having a horse,  and giving them a horse to learn those very important traits with.
There are so many other “PLANS” in this ministry but this is the basis of it at this point. According to Bill, only GOD could have designed this job for him.

SOUNDS PERFECT you say! WHATS THE BIG DEAL? You say. Well after 17 years of working in a church that we love, one that was started with just the two of us, he has resigned  with  December 24th as his last service.
If you belong to a church and have worked in ministry you will know that it’s different than a job or a “club”. It's family. You grow so close to those in the congregation. We love them so much. How do you say goodbye to family. How do you leave something you have put 17 years of blood sweat and tears into? A place where you have been with people through the lowest points of their lives, to celebrating those momentous occasions with them it’s not an easy task. Its bitter sweet!
I believe for Bill this new job will be a time for healing. It is something that he needs in order to be restored back to the man he was, or into the man God created him to be, Even better than he was!
I know it’s difficult to for him to say goodbye. This was his baby, something he started from conception and grew, but as with our babies there comes a time to let go and so he is. We believe this is from God and that God has a bigger plan for Harvest church and for US!
For me this brings the unknown. I had a role in the church. Part of who I am the “pastor’s wife”. And though I struggled with that title, I still had that label on me. Now there is no label. I have no role. When a church hires a pastor they also “hire” a spouse. TWO for the price of ONE.  There are expectations etc. placed on the wife. There is a role she must fill etc. Sometimes that’s a good thing other times it is not. I think as the church evolves they try to get out of that role casting, but it still happens.
So now I am without a role! Where do I fit?? What will I do? A million questions. I know my identity is found in Christ ALONE but I still struggle. It feels weird.
We feel God is not moving us at this point and we will remain part of the congregation.  I still have the areas in the church that I am involved in such as prayer coordinator, running ladies bible study etc. But that will change when they hire a new pastor.
We will remain part of the church unless or until it becomes a hindrance to the growth of others and the church and until GOD moves us on.
There is much that has happened that I am not sharing but only suffice as to say we are broken.  So I go into the New Year unsure of where I am stepping. I have faith that the areas in our lives that have been shattered will be restored. God’s word promises that He will restore all that was lost and broken over the year and I trust that.
On top of all the struggles we had with Bills stress leave etc., we also experienced a few other trials. It took us almost a year to sell our other home, so financially we were stressed. We journeyed with my mom as she lost her apartment to a devastating fire, helping her find a new place, having her live with us, moving her, and just recently experiencing health issues. . We also had to say goodbye to two of our girls after having them for 3 years.  
We have also been blessed this year with some wonderful experiences. HAITI for me was life changing. I have to remember that although I am struggling it is nothing in comparison to what people in Haiti experience on a daily basis. It doesn’t make my problems any less, but can often put them into perspective.
I am reminded of how blessed I am with my friends and family. My best friend, Sherry who I have been able to pour my heart out to. Who has been with me through all the tears and brokenness who prayed with me when I didn’t even have the strength to pray. Words cannot express how much I love you and what a God send you were to me and still are.
My kids and grandkids , who keep me going from day to day. They give me a reason to get up each morning.
My brother Ray and sister in law Kim were a life saver when helping move my mom this time around and for that I am so grateful
My other friends and church family, who love me and accept me for who I am. I won’t’ mention names but you know who you are. Those on FB , my exercise buddies, my FASD group you have all blessed me in one way or another over this last year and brought light into my life. And so I thank you!
So going into 2013 I am going in unsure of what it has to offer new job for Bill, new life for me, new children  that will come . I am a little anxious, but I am also glad to get 2012 out of the way I am looking forward to being restored and healed. I am looking forward to experiencing GOD in HIS fullness and FAITHFULNESS.
I am going in with HOPE and TRUST and FAITH. I feel like I am on thin Ice but I know that GOD is on the ice with me. He is laying out with His arms stretched out waiting for me to grab on. Throwing me a rope if I can’t reach. Using a human chain of people he has placed in my path to help me hang on.

 I am reminded of Psalms 121 MTV (my translated version)
I look up to the hills , and wonder where does my help come from?? My help comes from the LORD maker of heaven and earth. He will not let my foot slip. He does not sleep because he is watching over ME. BELIEVE and have FAITH that HE who watches over me does not even close his eyes for a moment. For God is the shade at my right hand, the sun will not harm me by day nor will I be harmed at night. The Lord will keep me from all harm He will watch over my life. He will watch over my coming and going not just TODAY but  FOREVER
Also Psalm 18:2
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

And my favorite verse of all
Jer 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you!



  1. Though life's always changing and shifting, I hope you find solid ground to support you in 2013. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dearest Karen- I immediately had Isaiah 40:31 come to mind!!! Read the entire chapter & drink deeply my friend. Praying for you to be overwhelmed with joy and amazement as He paints your soul with comfort & love with each new step He leads you in. XOXOX from afar but not really in Gods economy!!!