He sees you.
This past year has been one of the hardest.
The thing is, I have said that before. And if you are a pastoral family, I am guessing you have said that lots of times, too.
But God has been faithful, and I just want to encourage you by sharing where I have found joy in the hard days.
Like many spouses of pastors, I have worked the entire 17 years we have been married. But then my entire team was let go and I lost my job this past March. I absolutely loved my job, and it paid incredibly well. It was pretty hard to fathom how God would take care of our family when we were all of a sudden out $4,000 a month.
Read that amount again.
We thought we would be ok, because my husband’s second job was just picking up, and he would be able to make good money hauling for Menards. And then at the end of May, Menards’ trailer didn’t pass their DOT inspection, and my husband, Stephen, was out a job.
We stopped every bit of our spending and were in survival mode, literally only spending money on groceries and bills. We cancelled plans and vacations. We sold our camper.
But I kept trusting that God would provide. AND HE DID. In humbling ways. In unexpected ways. In ways I still can’t figure out.
Stephen got another job in August with a non-profit in the town where we live…and it has been such an amazing blessing to still be doing ministry as his second job!!! He loves it there, and the hours work perfectly for him to be able to still work at the church and be home with us in the evenings. We are so very thankful.
I, on the other hand, had been searching and applying and getting NOTHING for a job. Which can be so discouraging, because I didn’t think it would be this hard.
And yet through all of this, I just have a strong sense that I need to be home right now…for this season. For my kids. For my own health. To be able to help at our church more. For my dad as he cared for my mom in her late stages of Alzheimer’s, and as we were in the process of getting my mom placed in a nursing home. To be available for so many things going on right now.
I felt at peace about this. We knew it would be crazy tight with the church income, the income from Stephen’s second job, and my hobby business selling handmade skincare products…but we could survive. We had it figured out. [I hope you catch my sarcasm]
And then at the beginning of October it was one thing after another. I felt like I got beat down and got back up-only to be beat down again. First it was our refrigerator, then it was our basement flooding (our kids are still living in my office), and several little things like lost wallets (one never recovered, the other found but blown apart by a semi) a missing laptop charger, frustrations with Medicaid, and the stress of placing my mom in the nursing home, and more.
I was thinking, “WHY, GOD?!?”
WHY did the sump pump have a fluke failure?
WHY couldn’t you have stopped the refrigerator glitch?
WHY does my mom have to have Alzheimer’s?
WHY do we have to struggle like this?
WHY does life have to be so hard?
WHY, WHY, WHY??
On and on.
And then I stopped.
God provided for us. He provided when we were FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS short every month. He will provide for us in ALL of these circumstances. He will be with my dad as we just made the absolute hardest decision in caring for my mom. He will be in our basement situation even in spite of being well over our insurance limit. He will be in the utter chaos that is my house right now.
HE IS HERE.
And, I have more blessings and things to be thankful for than I can even count.
I just want you to know that He loves you and He sees you, and He sees your hard stuff, too.
Michelle Mowat, and her husband, Stephen are currently serving at Cornerstone Church, in Mt. Pleasant, MI.