Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Laughing after the storms...part one

Married at the age of 18...I didn't have a clue what life was about. Fresh out of high school married to my knight with shiny tools a builder during a time when the building industry takes a nose dive. Hard times....you have no idea! Hopes and dreams of what I thought life would be like...gone. We all dream of that perfect wedding and white picket fence. But are we really prepared for life...good and bad? Do we really know where to find shelter during the storms of life?

Three months after our wedding we were expecting our first child. Our 1 year anniversary we were buying our first home. And few months later hard times hit. Houses sitting...no ones buying! A lot to take when your just 20 years old.  In the midst of  trying to hang on to all that we had... our faith is what was keeping us strong. God is good ...even in the worst of times! Even when things got worse...and they did...we never went hungry(maybe didn't have what we wanted...but we ate)..and we never went without shelter. You can let hard times make you strong or you can let it get the best of you ! It's your choice!

After our first son was born things continued to nose dive...and 19 months after Justin was born we were blessed with his little brother. During this time we had our house on the market...just 1 year after we had moved in. It was either sell or lose it. My husband left the building industry to work for SBA(Small Business Administration). Flying to Maine before our baby was born to help with disaster assistance. After months of being gone,Justin and I flew to Maine(with my doctors approval) to visit my husband. Well guess who decides he wants to be a Yankee? Yes..A few days before I was to fly home...3 weeks early...little man decides it's his time to join our family vacation. While away our house did sell. My sister...who flew up to help me..and I ...flew home less than a week after our baby arrived. I came home to a sold house and having to pack up our home. No time to recoup! Was there a time when I questioned if God was real? You bet I did! At times even doubting if He really understood how much I could take. A month later My husband returns home and we leave our home to live with my in laws. I must say moving into someone else's home is a very humbling experience. However...I think I had the best in-laws that ever was! They had raised 9 children on their own...during times of hardship also. They were our shelter during this storm in our lives. If anyone understood...they did!

As we adjusted to this way of living....praying things would get better...My husband took another job with SBA. This time it was in California.  A few months after we moved in with my in-laws... were are off on another adventure trekking across the US in nothing other that our only vehicle...A pickup truck. Sounds like a song to me! Seriously...I can laugh now! It wasn't as glamorous as it sounds. Traveling with two kids under the age of two in a pick up truck ....trekking across the US. We arrived in California a week later to a nice hotel where we settled in for the next 6 months. Hey... they even cooked our breakfast every morning!

While there God once again chose to bless us with our 3rd child. Talking about adding to an already stressful time...OK God this really isn't all that funny.  We have two kids already...the youngest is just 5 months old and the oldest just turned two. God I can't do this! But I did and He helped me along the way. Teaching me that as long as I keep my eyes on Him...I will and can do this...along with a peace that passes ALL understanding. Once again I had a perfect pregnancy..all the while in a foreign land. Yes... California was very foreign to this Georgia girl. If it weren't for Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or Calvary Chapel West Covina ...I might have walked back home. Although we missed family and friends...this 6 month "tour of duty" allowed us to be a family and trust God with what ever He was trying to do in our lives. After the aftershock we experienced one morning..I was ready to leave! I can handle tornado weather and really bad Georgia storms. Earthquakes just don't thrill me! The end of this job couldn't have come soon enough!

We returned...yes driving that pickup...6 months later. This time 2 kids and 6 months pregnant...I really can't believe I lived to tell about this! Back to our in-laws...back to looking for work! July 4th we welcomed our little girl and boy did she ever light up our lives! And continues to do so even today! My husband did find work...Pouring concrete walls. He said it was the hardest job he's ever done! Watching him come home exhausted was heart breaking. But it was work and where God had us until something better came along.

Part two coming up...check back...it only gets better!

Sometimes we find ourselves in the midst of the storms of this life. Wondering if God really does exist...does He even care? I say Yes! He loves you and is right there in the midst of the storm with you. If you allow Him to guide you through that storm...you will come out a stronger person! Maybe your storm is a lot different from mine. We all have them during the different seasons of our lives. Hang on for the ride! One day you too will look back and be able to laugh and say "Wow...God really did carry me".

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