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Saturday, August 16, 2008

In the Desert

I am in the desert, both literally and figuratively. I mentioned in my last blog...so many months ago...that my passwords are always Bible verses. I am mired in Lamentations 3 right now, as I walk through and live in this desert. However, I chose Lamentations 3:22-23 as the basis for my password: "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness."

I am living in the suburbs of Las Vegas, and thankfully my family has FINALLY joined me. My oldest son came in May, and my husband and youngest son came in July. I've missed them so much, but work continues to keep me away from them even now a month later. (I travel A LOT!) Deep inside, I wonder if this move was a result of following my and my husband's will, rather than God's. I wonder if it was driven by greed, as I received a large raise to come here. At the time I made the decision, I certainly didn't think so, but now I'm not so sure. Particularly since I have less in my bank account now than ever before, and I am deep in debt (really deep) from the move, having a house in Colorado that hasn't sold, and basically just overspending. My husband and I are not on the same page about money at all. Nor about a myriad of other things.

What else? My youngest son has developed a really poor attitude. He is surly and disrespectful. My oldest is entering public school as a Junior in high school. (And I am scared. He has been in Christian schools since Kindergarten, other than being homeschooled the last year and a half.) We just had a layoff at work that involved 244 people, and I was one of those who had to make some of the decisions whom to lay off. My heart aches for those who lost their job. Have I mentioned I travel a lot? I will be on the road part of every week between now and the end of September. I am so tired. And I feel so far away from my family, and my God.

Oh Lord, keep me focused on Your Word. May I breeze through the beginnings of Lamentations and get to the part about hope, Your love and compassion, and Your mercies (3:22-23). And then, bring me to the later verses...where I call on Your name, oh Lord, from the depths of the pit. Hear my plea: "Do not close your ears to my cry for relief." Lord, come near when I call you, and tell me not to fear. Oh Lord, you take up my case; you redeem my life. (3:55-58)

I wonder, do the peaks and valleys ever become more even? How is it I go through them so often? I am in the valley right now, much like my physical location in the Las Vegas valley. It's dirty and stifling. I had to take a one day trip to the "peaks" -- the mountains of Colorado -- earlier this week, and I cried at the beauty. Lord, bring beauty to my life in this valley...

I look forward to the morning...and Your mercies. Great is Your faithfulness!!!

If You Want Me To...by Ginny Owens

The pathway is broken
And the signs are unclear
And I dont know the reason why you brought me here
But just because You love me the way that You do
I will go through the valley
If You want me to

CHORUS: Now I'm not who I was
When I took my first step
And I'm clinging to the promise
You're not through with me yet
So if all of these trials bring me closer to You
I will go through the fire
If You want me to

It may not be the way I would have chosen
When you lead me through a world that's not my own
But You never said it would be easy
You only said I'll never go alone

So when the whole world turns against me
And I'm all by myself
And I can't hear You answer my cries for help
I'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
And I will go through the valley
If You want me to

7 comments:

Sharon Lynne said...

Michelle,

My heart and prayers are with you.

Cling to what you know is true.
God loves you. He loves each person in your family.

When God is silent, you can still cling to his attributes...He is compassionate, merciful, faithful.
I've had to repeat these over and over to myself when I feel desperate and alone.

I'm glad you're reading his Word. Keep clinging to the VINE.

Remember poor Joseph who spent so many years in prison. I'm sure he thought God forgot him. But God worked everything for good.

Dawn said...

Sharon asked me to come over and visit you today. I"m glad she did, because I have not "found" you out in blogland before. I am from Colorado and can totally understand how you would cry, coming back here for a short visit from LV. We drove through the desert one day - I had not been to LV, nor had any desire to go there - and I could not believe the view of that crazy place sticking up out of nowhere - a monument to gree, it seemed. But I know there are wonderful churches and schools there, at least that what I've heard. I can only imagine how frightening it would be to have kids growing up so close to that stuff. But I feel your pain and sadness in this post, and will pray for you. I know what it's like to have your beautiful kids turn away from the way they've been taught (you can see on my sidebar, if you ever want to be encouraged in that regard!)

I trust that you have found a good church, that you will be able to travel less, that you will hear God's voice in all of this. Blessings!

Dawn said...

Thanks for coming over today - it is ironic that I mentioned Kev's story, and you had read it back then. I need to have Kev read it again, because he's a bit discouraged right now - he has one more year of school to finally have his degree (age 32), and isn't at all sure he wants a job in social work. He's struggling with the church they attend, because he feels inferior to the "engineer" type of guys who are in their small group. I sometimes wonder if the drugs really messed with his mind and his ability to think clearly and see things positively. Please pray for him, if you have a minute. Is your older son the one you spoke of in the comments back then?

Let's do keep in touch!

Linds said...

Change is always difficult, and all the more so when we have teenagers. I know. I moved mine across the world back then. But you have to keep focussed on Psalm 139. I have clung to that through really difficult times, Michelle.

There is beauty everywhere, if we let ourselves see it, but I know how much you must miss the mountains. I desperately long to be in Switzerland walking in "my" mountains again too.

I will be praying for you and your family, and I will be back to check on you too!God's plans are never wrong. You are there because it is part of His plan. He knows what He is doing!

Larissa said...

Michelle,
I wish I had something amazing to tell you. And maybe I do...I don't know. They are words I need to listen to myself.

Sometimes in the desert God is doing His best work. It's so hard to see that, but you will gain strength from this time, although sometimes it seems easier to throw in the towel.

I'm sorry things have been hard, but hang in there. God ALWAYS has the best intentions for us, even when we can't see the bigger picture! If I can be of any help to you, please let me know. May God bless you!!!

Larissa :)

Larissa said...

Oh, and I HIGLY recommend you reading the The Shack...I think you would like it. It's great, and I'm not even done with it.

Erin said...

Michelle,
I have wondered how the transition is going. It reminds me of my own move 1 1/2 years ago! I am praying for you--that you will continue to fall at the feet of our Lord because only peace and joy can come from that.
Love,
Erin