Monday, April 29, 2013

Peace about the Future

There's a fine line between planning and worry -- and goodness knows, I have not mastered it.  I tend to be a big planner, very thoughtful, prepared, but I also worry....and Dave and I have stressed about where we will be living next year and what our life plans are.  And the bad news is we still don't know, and the good news is that I think we are finally on the same page about what we want.

Sunday the sermon was on peace -- finding peace despite worry, trials, suffering, etc. He emphasized that peace wasn't the absence of worry, stress, trials, etc, it was the presence of Jesus in it. So true. and I am glad to hear him say it -- because I think a lot of times people make it sound like if you are stressed or hurt or worried, you aren't trusting or content.  I think its those feelings of worry and stress that drive you to Jesus.

And we are stressed and we do worry, but at the same time, I think we are LEARNING to be at Peace with uncertainty.  (The good thing about being a couple is that when he is doubting, I can usually be strong, and vice versa...rarely are we both negative at the same time!)

A good family friend who knows our stress totaly called us out after the sermon, saying "What a good sermon for everyone to hear" --wink wink -- IE, you two needed to hear this (It's okay, she's like my mom, so she can call us out on it!) And its true, Dave and I needed to hear that sermon and remember to depend on the Lord for our Peace in the meantime.

I am also so thankful that Dave and I currently only related to the WORRY part of the sermon on peace.  By God's grace, we aren't struggling through illness, death, suffering, just the anxiety that comes from wondering where God will take us.  And that is a huge blessing, as I know many people in the church probably related to the sermon because they are facing really HARD times.  But, I know those times will come, and I think that times of stress and worry prepare you to deal with those really hard times in life.

and God has been so good to us, isn't it funny how we, as humans, continue to struggle with trusting Him with the outcome?  The Lord will OF COURSE take care of us, of you, etc....

I've learned to deal with worry, uncertainty and rough times. What I am about to share is not ALL BIBLICAL advice, some is just practical advice...

(1) Look to God's faithfulness in the past.  He brings you through rough times, He has provided (in His timing).  As the preacher said - our scars are a testimony to God's faithfulness.  Goodness knows, even this year, God has brought my family through far worse than a little job search.

(2) Plan and hope for what you can.  This isn't biblical, per se, but I have just learned that feeling like some things are certain is a good thing.... Ask any mom whose waited for kids, she probably already has names picked out or a nursury.  Ask any single girl about her wedding and she knows.  Not because their emphasis is on silly things like nursury decorations or floral arrangements...its because when you can't plan when or who, you can plan small things.  Dave and I do that all the time -- talk about how when we are finally married, we will make pancakes on Saturday mornings or go biking in the evenings or take weekend trips.  I can't plan where we will live or what our jobs will be or even how we will set up our home, but we sure can plan on traditions and activities!

(3) Remind yourself that there is a plan.  I know in the past, in times of worry, I was upset because I felt there was no plan. Even if the plan isn't my plan, I find comfort in knowing there is a plan.   But, nothing is a surprise to God.  He has a plan.  I have learned to find comfort in reminding myself that God knows what is going on.

(4) Don't waste the "in the meantime"    This is clear enough.  While waiting for an answer, keep life busy.  Take advantage of your free time.

(5) Take a break.  Seriously, some days can't be spent planning and worrying.  Yesterday Dave and I met his parents for lunch and then went to the movies with my sister Ansley.  We went shopping, picked up dinner and watched TV.  After a week of final juries for him, moving for me, and jobhunting, we needed a break.

(6) Gratefulness.  It's a lot easier to have peace when you focus on the many things you have! No matter where we live after marriage, I will be with Dave-- so really, its hard to complain when I focus on that!  Also, Dave is graduating in one of the worst fields right now - so tough to get a job in architecture, BUT he continues to receive interest, which many of his classmates are not receiving.  We are so grateful for that!!

(7) Find someone else who is waiting.  The next several years of my sister's life is a little uncertain.   They know that they will be trying to get into graduate schools, etc. -- and that means most likely, moving.  I think that we have been able to be of some comfort to eachother because we relate.  Likewise, while waiting for Dave to make his appearance, I always related to women waiting on babies.  It also helps you take the focus off yourself.

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