I’m not always a patient person. People assume that because I have 7 kids, and I homeschool, that I have tons of patience. There are some areas where I have more patience than others, but some things just plain put me over the edge.
Waiting to find out about new jobs and pending moves is one of those things.
We moved to Oregon from Michigan about 5 years ago. It was a 3 year assignment – I always thought that as soon as those three years were up we would be back to the East Coast. It will be 5 years in October. We’re still in Oregon. I would be remiss if I did not add that we have been incredibly blessed with a wonderful community of friends here that we found within a week of our arrival. Our time here has been rich and we have a great community. But the job has been a challenge and all of our family is on the other side of the country. For that, I am eager to go back.
Truth be told: I have been ready to go back since we hit the 3 year mark. Last April, nearly 18 months ago, I was just sure we were going to get moved to the East Coast. I could feel it in my bones. I talked to a realtor. My in-laws looked at at least one house for us. I just knew we were going back.
Only I was wrong.
We’re still here. The job has gotten worse. Do you hear me moaning? Lord, when?!?! Like a child on a long car drive, “Are we there yet?” The last 6 months have been, let’s just say, extra difficult. The hardest 6 months of my husband’s job and the hardest 6 months of our 18 years of marriage. No job change. No indication of when there might be one. “How looooong, O Lord, How looong?” I could start whining like a tired 2 year old. (Some days I do.)
My father in law is in and out of the hospital. He can’t travel very much and we haven’t seen him in nearly 2 years. Now my husband is out of town, too. “How loooong, O Lord, how loooong?”
There is nothing I can do to hasten the job change. There isn’t much my husband can do. Everyone in our house feels the anxiety. One of my daughters asked me this week if her grandfather was going to die. We are so far away. We can only pray. “How long, O Lord, how long?”
In my moaning and agony I pulled out my Bible, looking for the psalm that starts out, “How long, O Lord, how long?” and quickly found it. Psalm 13. I printed it out with the full intention of rewriting it to reflect the reasons for my crying out “how long?” but never got that far.
The last two verses stuck out to me. After starting out moaning, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?,” the psalm ends with these two verses:
But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Ps. 13:5-6)
There is nothing else to say. Yes, I am groaning. Yes, I want to know when (at least I think I do – maybe not if the answer is further away than I want it to be) hubby will get a new job. Yes, I feel helpless, like I have pain in my soul and sorrow in my heart. Yes, it seems like we have been through a lot and suffered and given so much, and to what end? Who cares about his heroic efforts? I could easily sit here and moan, “How looooong, O Lord, how loooong?” – but it would achieve nothing and it would take away from the truth of scripture.
Because even in the agony of my waiting, God has dealt bountifully with me. He has given me friends, a homeschool community, a church family; a faithful husband and 7 amazing children. At the end of the day, focusing on how God has dealt so bountifully with me is what really matters. The kids will be fine, I will be fine, Daddy will be fine, regardless of what happens with the job. There is no need to be anxious or fearful. God has always given me what I needed. Always. Focusing on God’s steadfast love and bountiful provision will see me through these days (and weeks, maybe even months) of unknowing. I could go on moaning, but right now my job is simply to trust Him. He has always provided for me and always been with me. I trust He will be again.
PS – If music speaks to you like it does to me, check out Trust in You. It’s definitely a popular one in our house these days.