At the end of our rope; by the skin of my teeth; only a breath away…All of these sayings give you the impression it’s not by much that one is holding on. I think of the poster I’ve seen where a kitten is clawing desperately to the end of a rope with this crazed look in her eyes as if to say I hope my little claws will hold me to this rope so I don’t plummet to my death. This is how I have been feeling the last several weeks, this past week in particular. As you know, my husband resigned in November from the church he had been ministering in for almost 3 years. We left behind a lot of grief, hurt, pain and abuse. We knew it was time to go, we knew the Lord had released us, and we knew it was time to go THEN. We were, and still are, confident of all these things. And yet, we’re still here, waiting for a job for my husband. We figured we’d have a good idea where we’d be headed by the time the baby came–end of March. We’re no closer now than we were then. We’ve said “no” to 3 churches, knowing full well it was the right decision. One church we were quite interested in due to the proximity to our families told us no. However, we were OK with that because we needed to tell them no if given the opportunity. And so, here we sit. We figured by the time my maternity leave was up we’d either be moved, or at the very least, in the process of moving to our new home. My maternity leave is done June 16 and we are still nowhere close to knowing what God has for us. And so we wait. The longer we wait the more discouraged we become. We try to put up a good front to people, to our families, to each other, but the truth is we’re hanging on by our fingernails, and they’re quickly giving way. I feel like that little kitten holding desperately to the rope. What is that rope? That rope is my faith in Christ, my hope in his promise to provide for us, my trust that he will send us where he wants us when the time is right.
For 6 months I haven’t posted as a pastor’s wife. I’ve simply been a wife, an expectant mother and now a mother. But, my husband is still a pastor. He’s not getting paid to be one right now, but he IS a pastor. It’s his gift, it’s what he’s been called to do. And yet, we still wait. Why are we waiting? Why hasn’t God swept us off to a new and exciting ministry? Why are we still living out of boxes and not settling into a new home? Are there lessons to be learned here? Are we supposed to come to some kind of epiphany during this time of waiting? Or, are we simply here to trust Him? To have faith that he will provide? I have no idea. I don’t have any answers. I don’t know how to be upbeat and optimistic any longer. I don’t know how to encourage my husband. I feel my little claws are losing their grip on that rope and soon I’ll be falling.
And yet, I haven’t fallen. It seems just when I think my fingernails can’t take anymore I’m given more strength. Maybe not enough to actually climb that rope, but enough to keep hanging on. I’ve been reading Hebrews 11 this past week. It’s the chapter on faith, and what is often known as the “Faith Hall of Fame.” It talks about Abraham, Abel, Rahab, Noah. People who were asked to do seemingly impossible things but had the faith to do it anyway. God asked Abraham to kill his son Isaac. No explanation was given, and it must have grieved Abraham to even think about killing his son, but he started to obey. When God saw he would obey, He provided a way out for Abraham and provided a ram to sacrifice instead. Noah was asked to build a boat when the land had not experience rain yet. What on earth was a boat needed for? But, he built the ark and God revealed his plan as Noah needed to know it. Abel gave a gift to the Lord out of his own need. God saw his heart in the giving and blessed Abel for it. I see these examples, and I know there are so many more, and I have to wonder, do I have enough faith to be put into Hebrews 11? It tells us that “faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I need to be sure of the hope that God has a great ministry/church for my husband to preach in, and I need to be certain that it will happen even though I can’t yet see how.
If you think about it, pray for me, pray for us. Pray that I will remember this rope I’m holding onto is hope, that I will remember it’s my Father who is giving me the strength to hold on. Please also pray that I will know how to be an encouragement to my husband and show him love during this very dark and low time for him. Thank you.