Gasping to Breathe
This last year, I’ve been able to breathe deeply again. I feel a sustained inner rest for the first time in a long time.
I also feel like I’m on a pendulum. One end of the pendulum was our church plant: Pathway, full of responsibility and opportunities. I was a full-time mom, hostess, singer and teacher for Pathway on the weekends. I tried to be a loving considerate neighbor and friend to many families on our street. For a few months I was also juggling a job at a country club. I knew I couldn’t please everyone in my life, but I still gave it 110%.
I lived with anxiety and fear when it came to our finances. Our income had been cut by 33% and I was anxious. My health began to deteriorate as my anxious state swept over me. Each month I came before God and asked Him to provide for us. I knew He could. I knew He loved us, but would He meet our needs over and over again? We severely trimmed our budget and had very few “extra” things (which I know is a relative thing living in America). We felt confident asking God to meet our needs since, they were legitimate needs.
And God answered prayer. Every month He provided for us. God used random circumstances to take care of us: refund from our escrow, gift from a friend or family member, side work for Milo, Income Tax Refund, pulpit supply on vacation, (I keep a list each year of God Moments where He provides for us above Milo’s check).
I wish I could tell you I wasn’t nervous during that season. That I never panicked or had a melt-down with Milo. That my nerves didn’t get the best of me. That I didn’t feel badly that God had to take care of us day by day…but I can’t say that.
I was faithful to always share with others how God was meeting our needs. How he provided miracles that humbled us. But I also wanted our circumstances to change. I wanted a normal steady life that wasn’t dependent on miracles.
I was gasping for air during those stressful years. And then our time with Pathway came to an abrupt end and we moved to Oregon.
Now the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction. Milo only works 40+ hours a week instead of 65+. I’m a stay-at-home mom of a first grader and an active 5 year old. We finally have the privilege to live near family. We are leading a life group at our church and I sing on the worship team, but otherwise we have no responsibilities in our church. When Milo is home, he is home. Our rental home is comfortable and more than adequate. Milo’s salary pays all of our bills, and for the first time in 6 years, we have a savings. And I feel like I’m breathing again…freely…relaxed.
Where is the balance on the pendulum swing? How long will we be on this side of the “tock” before it turns into a “tick”? Can we live this relaxed and be who we need to be for Christ? Is serving out of our giftings all He requires right now?
We miss our active “formal” ministry role. But we’ve also realized that we minister because of who God is making us into. We don’t need the titles. We simply thrive to walk the road with those we are meeting.
But our lives seem so different. We are the same on the inside…the same people…just breathing deeply.