Inside Out

This week I’ve felt crazy.  God does something incredible and then an hour later I’m in a pit of despair.  It’s amazing how quickly my emotions can get the best of me and the gratitude, awe and thankfulness for all that God is doing is out the window.  I don’t know if you’ve ever experienced this- maybe you’re far more sane than I am- but it feels like I’m two totally different people.  Like all of a sudden I’m in the movie Inside Out and my body has been hijacked by the character Sadness one minute and Joy the other.  (If you haven’t seen the movie, I love how it illustrates emotions.)  There are few times when I’m feeling a combination of two feelings, but instead swing from feeling all one to the other so quickly it can make me dizzy.

This past week was only our 4th week of  the new semester.  So we’ve only been officially working on starting a Bible study for that long.  And despite how much I want it to be true, things aren’t built overnight.  So this last week I began the week as Joy.  We were coming off a great weekend, and although it was parent/teacher conferences (lots of late nights and long days) the week was shaping up pretty well.  Monday I was Joy.  And then Tuesday hit and I was Sadness.  Money has always been a stress point, but now that the kids are in preschool and we’re needing to pay for that, it is a whole different ball game.  So after getting the kids on Tuesday and realizing that numbers didn’t add up, Sadness took over.  Andy and I talked, and both separately felt convicted that instead of feeling despair and trying to come up with a solution ourselves, the Lord was challenging us to pray.  So we came home and wrote on our prayer board.

I continued as Sadness until Wednesday night, when I came home and Andy shared with me that we received some unexpected money!  Praise the Lord!  It would buy us some time and at least then some of the stress was relieved.  So Joy took over on Wednesday night and stayed in control for awhile this time.  Thursday we were shocked and blessed again when Andy dropped the kids off at preschool.  One of the directors came out and told Andy not to pay tuition for the week because we had received a scholarship!  We never applied for a scholarship, the school applied for us!  With the scholarship, we will now be paying about 1/3 of what we were paying before.  God is so good and we spent our day in awe of how present He is with us down here, and how quickly He is answering our prayers and taking care of us.  (We also at a coffee date that morning met the head soccer coach who is a believer and connected us with the regional head of FCA!)

I walked into Friday as Joy.  It is our night of Bible Study and it was our third week.  We had high expectations and were extremely disappointed when no student came.  The logical side of me knows that only 3 weeks in and coming down here to start this thing alone, there will be lots of lulls in the beginning before we get a core group to build around.  I remember it well at the beginning of semesters when I was a student and involved in Cru.  We had the lulls and the uncertainty at the beginning of every semester and we even had a core of committed students, full time staff, and a recognizable name behind us.  So we shouldn’t have been surprised when we also experienced a lull.  But we were.  And suddenly all of the amazing ways that the Lord had been answering are prayers were a vague memory, emotions took over, and we began questioning if we are really supposed to be down here.  Sadness stayed in control, and took over even more when we received a letter from the IRS that our tax return would be delayed long enough that my hopes of visiting my grandparents over spring break is no longer plausible.

Walking into this week, I wanted to share the amazing ways that the Lord continued to answer our prayers and intervene with us this past week.  I am in awe that He is interacting with us in such a consistent and tangible way.  And I don’t want my discouragement to overshadow that.  But I also didn’t want to pretend like I have it all figured out.  I know that those of you that read this pray for us.  You are dear friends and I know that I can be honest and you will lift us up in prayer.  So I decided to share a real snapshot of our journey.  This week is not an exception, but is more the norm.  It has been par for the course down here that our emotions slingshot us from deep gratitude for the miracles God is working to questioning if we made the right decision to be down here.  I feel crazy a lot of the time.  We are committed to being down here because deep down we know this is exactly where the Lord wants us.  He makes it clear all the time.  But I would love any prayers for the times in between when discouragement is strong.  Or prayers for mental stability.  That might be it too. 🙂

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