Monday, September 20, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: God's Perfect Plan

My story for Memorial Box Monday is really one of looking back and seeing the aha moments. Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity has a link on Mondays where people connect and share stories showing God's love and faithfulness in their lives. Remembering strengthens our faith and inspires others. Join us at MBM, to read or share your own stories.

Four years ago my husband Joel felt God's urging to look for another church to serve. Reluctantly, he put his name in with our synod and waited. He received an inquiry, and interviewed at a large church an hour from here, where he was offered the position of Senior Pastor. His salary would increase quite a bit, although that was never an important issue for us. (We had taken calls that gave us less money in the past because we felt called to the congregation.) He did accept this call, and we prepared to sell our home and move.
I have shared before how we bought a house over in the other town where the church was located but due to a hidden chemical smell I was never able to live in it for more than one month. This present house had an offer that fell through so we were able to move back to a "safe" home for me. Unfortunately Joel had to commute the 104 miles daily for 3 years, or stay overnight there sleeping in the church office. It was a very stressful situation due to my poor health, and we spent much time in prayer never understanding why we were in this situation. Did we misread God's call? Did he really want us to be apart so much of the time? So many times God provided money for us to make the two house payments, etc. until the other house sold 15 months later. Still, we wondered if we had made a costly mistake.....until....recently when things came together.

You see, Joel is on disability due to also being diagnosed with Lyme Disease and co-infections. Around 14 months ago he took 3 months off to concentrating on improving his health and then planned to go back to work, once again commuting. His health did not improve and our doctor told him he was not healthy enough to work. He eventually resigned his call and 3 months later at the exact time the doctor said he could go back to working 15-20 hrs a interim position came up ONLY 9 miles from where we live! They already knew Joel, and were very happy about having him fill in for their pastor who had just left. So, Joel's disability covers 70% of his salary, and the part time call covers the rest of what he was making as Senior Pastor. He has been there now for 10 months and it is going well. Praise God and His perfect timing!

Now, here is the aha moment ~ IF he had stayed at our other congregation and not taken the new call, our salary would have been considerably less and we would not have been able to cover medical costs, etc. and stay in our home. The call as Senior Pastor was a big increase in his salary....and God KNEW we would need that to stay afloat with Lyme treatment medical costs that are mostly NOT covered by insurance.

Isn't God awesome? I am going to put a picture of the congregation where Joel was called in my memorial box, to remind us of how when we are confused or questioning what God has allowed into our lives, we are able to hang on to the fact that God knows the future for all of us, and we can TRUST God will work all things out for good for those who love Him!


MTJ said...

Hi Renee,

I enjoyed how God made provisions for you and Joel. Often we don't see the full purpose of God's unfolding plan in our lives, but God does know what He's doing. It may lead to times when we ask God, "Did I miss Your guidance?" But God is faithful and He reassures our concerns.

Blessings and peace.


Anonymous said...

Such an amazing story of God's love. Thank you Renee for sharing this story.

Renee said...

You are so right....God does know what He is doing...we can trust Him.

Renee said...

You are so welcome, Mildred....

Cindy Adkins said...

Hi Renee,
Oh this is an amazing story of provision...thank you so much for it!! I've got to read it to my husband!

Renee said...

Hi Cindy....Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for your comment!