[Grace] Under Fire

I very briefly contemplated titling this post “Through The Fire Part 3” as a continuation of the journey of From Breakdown to Breakthrough -Through The Fire Part 2 but I quickly abandoned the thought because this is an entirely new journey. Bear with me as I take you through the adventure that is my life.

Over the last seven years (hello, marriage) I have noticed that before any significant breakthrough for my family, we encounter hell on earth. There have been unexpected crisis upon crisis at each turning point of our lives only for the clouds to suddenly lift and we find ourselves better off than we ever were before the bottom fell out of our world. I did not always recognize the cycle. The bliss of newlywed life had me temporarily unable to spot a pattern. We were still trying to find a new normal after all. But in the last couple of years, I have been very intentional about paying attention to what is going on with us. If you read my post from last month, I wrote that post after one of the most personally productive and fulfilling eight month stretch of my life and exactly one month after one of our family’s biggest win. It is not even a full month later and I am already updating you about being “under fire.” Coincidence? Only if you believe in them.

I serve a very intentional God and I also happen to agitate a very calculating enemy, as old as the fall of man. My family and I have been flourishing despite the pandemic and I pray God’s continued grace over us. But the last two weeks of our lives were completed upended. We lost our normalcy, our sense of well-being, and the ability to plan for our foreseeable future. It is literally the 100th or so transition for us as a family. Something is always changing for us, and as soon as we establish a new normal, everything is thrown into a blender and blown to bits again. I have come to expect the unexpected and I have gotten quite good at it if I do say so myself. I have become something of an expert at establishing a consistent home life for our family even when the changes happening around us are moving at a million miles per hour. But even THIS current pivot took me completely by surprise. We are looking at three major life transitions before the year ends, all happening simultaneously. I should be reeling from the force of impact (and last week I was). Just today, I had my first GOOD cry about all the changes and the loss in stability that was in the works for us for the next several weeks and months.

But after my good cry, and about two hours of check-ins, texts and conversations with my village of sisters, I had an epiphany. Every time God elevates my family, it is preceded by the worst kind of warfare, destabilization or crisis. The elevation is never one we know was coming and we never realize what our heartbreaking time of wilderness ushered us into until we are actually walking in it. It happened before we became homeowners, it happened before every major pivot we have had as a family, and it happened again before my promotion and before I successfully published my book. It definitely happened before I took the leap to close my practice and follow God’s voice in the direction of my dreams (hello, panic attack. You guys remember that , right?). Every victory has been preceded by a battle we never anticipated fighting.

So I am sitting here, in the midst of one of the most life-altering experiences of my life, living in a peace I cannot really explain. I have no clue how the other side of this valley looks for my family. We are going to be living life moment by moment and day by day – unable to make long term plans for probably a few more weeks, maybe months. But I am deeply assured that God is orchestrating this time to bring me to a “promised land” I did not know was even available for me and my household. He did it three years ago when He brought us to our “Rehobeth” after seven transitions in one year. He is faithful to do more than I can ask, think or imagine in this situation as well.

In the meantime, I intend to pull on my history with God. The goal of this time is not just survival. It is to live gracefully. Full of grace, abounding in grace, rich in the grace of God. Because it is available for me. God’s grace is the ointment that soothes every smarting sting of loss. Grace is the oil that keeps the machine of my life operating at full capacity. So in this place of yet another “wilderness” experience, my goal is to see God with fresh eyes; rediscover just how deep, wide, tall and vast His wealth of grace towards me happens to be. God has proven Himself to be exactly who He said He was and is. And because of that, I am more than convinced that I can prosper in anything – even under fire.

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