Wednesday, January 01, 2014
For several years now I have asked God's guidance for a verse to adopt as a focus verse for the year. It is always interesting to watch how the verse challenges me throughout the year. For 2012 He gave me Psalm 37:7a as a focus- "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him." As little situations happened thru the year the verse came to mind with the thought "I can trust the LORD no matter what!" It didn't seem huge at the time. I sensed God's direction to stay with the same verse as we progressed into 2013. In time I realized that what was learned in 2012 was the foundation that would carry me through a year filled with stress, changes and transitions.
January 2013 - DH retired from being a pastor and shifted to Interim Pastor Ministries. We were leaving a church in NE where he had been for 23 1/2 years. Three of our 4 children went through HS there. Over those years we had seen and been involved in complete remodeling and addition of a basement to the parsonage. And there were so many close relationships built over that time. Many who were children when we came were now having children of their own. Not easy to say good-bye to all that.
February- DH starts an interim position in IA. Because of my involvement in the music program at a HS in NE we agreed I would stay in NE and finish the school year. This also gave time to finish packing our household. I drove 4 hours one way most weekends to be with DH. Sometimes we would look at potential houses to purchase. We planned to make northwest IA our home base.
March - we struggled with being apart. We called each other and did a lot of texting. A couple of times we thought we had found the house we wanted and then someone else suddenly purchased it.
April- more struggles being apart and trying to find a home of our own. We moved most of what we owned to storage with the plan of being able to move into a house by end of summer. I shifted the few things I needed to the guest area of the parsonage so an interim and his wife could move into the main living area. God was so gracious in allowing this to be a couple we knew - that made it so much easier.
May - I finished the school year and said my final good-bye to NE friends. We moved the remainder of our stuff to the apt. DH was in or added it to storage. I was no longer his weekend "live in" and we were together again. We were frustrated with not finding a house and had a peace to buy a lot in a northwest IA town
June-July - we saw the interim work in the IA church coming to a close. It would be done the middle of August so we prepared for moving again. We also worked on possible plans for building a house. In July I visited my parents in AZ to help them prepare for moving into assisted living.
August- we said good-bye to wonderful friends we were just getting acquainted with. We packed up what we had in the apt. not knowing where we would live until another church was available. My Dad had several mini-strokes and was in the hospital for a couple of weeks, then moved to rehab.
Sept. - we moved most of our remaining belongings into storage and went to stay with our oldest son. We thought in a couple of weeks another church would be ready for us. However, they changed their minds and we didn't know how long before another church was available. It was the hardest month for us - not having jobs nor a place of our own. We were very thankful for our son opening his home and did various things to help him. It was also a great time to get closer to one of our granddaughter's. But the uncertainty of the future made things really hard! Also during this month my Mom broke her hip, had partial hip replacement and then was moved to the same rehab my Dad was in.
Oct. - we were able to visit friends in NE and IA. By the end of the month we were looking to interim at a church in Illinois.
Nov. - we finalized the IL church. Before moving there we both went to AZ to help my parents for a week after they both came out of rehab. We came back, made final preps to move to IL and said good-bye to son and granddaughter. The church arranged for an apt. for us and we moved what we needed out of storage. It was good for DH to have work again and to have a place of our own.
Dec. - a hard time of adjustment, not knowing many people, small stores in a small town, home most of the time with little to do. Christmas week by Dad was hospitalized with pneumonia. Now he is doing much better and is enjoying a visit from my youngest sister's family. I am getting acquainted with more people, working to establish some routines, and have volunteered to help in the HS music dept.
Indeed a year full of stress, changes and transitions. I was not able to stay with the healthy eating habits I had learned, WO's were very sporadic, and many times I had no motivation to do anything. My relationship with God and trust in Him was the one thing that helped me survive.
We still don't have a permanent place of our own, nor do we know when or how that maybe possible. However, I'm ready to move into the new year and see what God has in store for us. The verse God has given me for 2014 is Philippians 3:10a "I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection." The word for the year: ALIVE. More on that in the next blog with targets for the new year!
Ever pressing onward!