Here in the Smith home, we have been on what we could call a roller coaster ride for the last 2.5 years, since September of '06, if not earlier. It was then that Kurt was let go from his employer of over 20 years. We suddenly found ourselves claiming the title of "unemployed." We felt like someone had taken our lifetime together of 24+ years and torn it apart. We could describe it like a picture puzzle that had suddenly been shaken, tossed into the air, and all of the pieces had fallen in disarray. Our security, and what we really were putting our trust in was about to be incredibly tested!
We were going to find out that God was just breaking us down, drawing us in,
and getting ready to build us back up with the most incredible circumstances of provision, protection, and real peace! There is not enough space to tell of all that God did and worked to show his undeniable power and love for us, but indeed He did, and then some!
This path God had laid out for our family took us through 10 months of unemployment, 8 months of a family separation as Kurt took a job in Ohio, and then for the past 12 months, a job back in Charlotte working night shift and on half the salary he made in '06. God gave us just enough light for each step we were on , and no more. He wanted to keep us fully dependent on Him so that our faith would grow by leaps and bounds.
God used our physical circumstances as His tool to bring about the beautiful spiritual results He desired in each of us. We were trusting,... trusting,... trusting. It felt like a "free-fall" of FAITH.
I call it our time of "walking on water." We kept our eyes on the Lord, and did not allow ourselves to look down. (at our circumstances.) Once again, God provided amazingly through unexpected events, especially much overtime. It just felt like our bank account was the widow woman's oil jar in the OT that wouldn't run out, no matter how much she used each day.
Two weeks ago, Kurt was offered a new job (DAY job) that will fall in line more with where his talents and skills lie. This is the hand of the Lord. In these times and this economy, we just feel His grace and mercy working in each circumstance, and we praise Him for all of His wonders and sovereign deeds. We will continue to look to Him for His will, not ours. We want Him to choose, as it is always for the best, even when the times are hard, and we don't understand!!!
If you are going through rough waters, or have just entered some scary circumstances,we would say to you: Do not be discouraged. Do not be afraid. It is NOT the end, it is only the beginning! If you lean in and trust God, He will show you amazing things which you never would have known!
Prov. 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge Him, and HE WILL direct your paths."
We would not trade this recent journey we have endured for anything. What may have looked to be bad, God used for good.
God is good....all the time...God is good.
He gives and takes away, but our hearts will choose to say, Blessed be the name of the Lord!
(my theme song for the last year)