Friday, July 17, 2009

responding to life's problems

"Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God."
Psalm 42:11

Feelings can be so fickle. Isn't it crazy that even in the midst of incredible blessings, we struggle with impatience, frustration, and doubt?

What is that all about? I mean really. (Sigh.)

Life is absolutely wonderful right now. Our family is enjoying a really fun and relaxing season. The kids and I put in an intense year of homeschooling and are fully immersing ourselves in summertime.

Our dossier is in Ethiopia and our son's file is just being finished up. Our referral call should come any day.

Geoff and I are completing lots of projects around the house and are enjoying the fruits of our labor.

Life is good. Very good. And yet...

There are still struggles and problems that we continue to face in the midst of our blessings.

Every day, we are faced with the choice between faith or doubt. Trust or worry. Hope or hopelessness. Joy or sadness.

For the past many weeks, our family vehicle has been in the shop. The same week that we sent off another large check to cover our adoption fees, we paid a hefty fee to get some maintenance and repair work done.

The next day, an alarm starting going off in our SUV (while I was driving it on the highway—scary), followed by a really bad sound. Thankfully, nothing dangerous happened and my heart eventually found its rhythm again.

On Father's Day, we took Geoff on a picnic and hike in the coastal range. Afterwards, we decided to drive around the area in search of a new campground. Until he got to experience the dreaded alarm the really bad sound for himself. Over and and over and over.

Not exactly what you want to happen while you are traveling along the curvy roads in the Tillamook Forest.

We made it home safely, albeit totally stressed. (We found out later that it wasn't just a bad sound. God had truly protected us from a potentially fatal accident. He is SO good!)

The next day the car went back into the shop. Only to uncover new problems requiring more money. The cause of the alarm? Yeah, that remains a mystery. They have no idea what's causing it to go off, or, how to fix it. :-(

The repair shop that (apparently) broke our car gave up and advised us to take it to the dealership. Where it has enjoyed a nice, long (and expensive) stay. The saddest part of all of this? They are at a total loss as to how to fix the problem. Even with the help of their specialists! They are now redoing the work done at the first repair place.

Can you say FRUSTRATING?!?

The thing is, our SUV is not old or in disrepair. Geoff's done a fabulous job of maintaining both of our automobiles. The part that really stinks is that prior to it going into the shop, we talked about possibly needing a newer vehicle. However, it didn't seem like a good time to make such a large purchase.

Although now a large purchase seems like a smart choice, it's no longer an option. The dealership won't accept the vehicle for a trade-in until they resolve the problem. And, by that time, we will have invested so many hard-earned dollars into said vehicle, if/when it finally is repaired, replacing it will definitely not be an option.

What a crazy situation we have found ourselves in. We have to believe that God is working for our good in all of this. What that good is, we may never know. He continues to provide for us. And we are so very thankful.

It always comes down to a choice, doesn't it? Wallow in self-pity and frustration—or—trust that God is in control.

Would you laugh or cry in this situation? I've done both! Neither one has improved our situation. (Go figure!)

Despite our feelings, we are choosing to praise God in the midst of this mess and believe that all of this will be worked out—in His time.

And really, the fact that we fully own both of our vehicles and have the finances to maintain them is a blessing unto itself. We have far more than most people in the world. Seems kind of ridiculous to worry or complain about something as small as a car in the shop, eh?

What about you, my Friend? Are you facing problems in your life that seem unsolvable? Please know that my heart goes out to you. Especially if your struggles are bigger than our little automobile conundrum. (It really does pale in comparison to most of life's issues.)

I pray that the Lord gives you everything you need as you wait on Him to give you answers. He will see you through. He loves YOU!

And now I'm off to tell my feelings that I'm done listening to them. Instead, I am choosing to listen to my Creator who loves me with a fierce and devoted love. Isn't He amazing?

LIVING A BLESSED LIFE, in spite of my pathetic emotions.

Sweet blessings,


Nicole said...

Just found your blog tonight! I needed to read EXACTLY what you wrote... to remind myself to keep the faith... to look to HIM no matter what.
Thanks so much!

mommy24treasures said...

I just am so glad you came by and commented the other day. I have read someof your archives when I have had spare moments and have been so inspired by your beautiful heartfelt posts. Thank you for sharing your heart.
I know as you continue to praise Him you are closing doors to the enemy and opening doors for Him to work this out for good. You are absolutely living a blessed life.

Sarah Dawn said...

Feelings are fickle, I love it. Thanks Amy for this reminder and for splashing me today in God's goodness, even when I'm throwing a fit at His feet.

Hugs for your day,
Sarah Dawn

ellie said...

Oh yeah! you are enjoying the opportunity to "consider it all joy when you face trials of many kinds" ok a total paraphrase. I struggle to find that joy {sometimes!?} but hey, you are living it. the blessed life I mean! I love your heartfelt, inspiring posts!

Big hugs from AMERICA!

xo ellie
ps I totally relate to everything you shared but especially the fact that whatever trials we are all facing it is so nothing in comparison to what the majority of the people in the world go through just to survive! I love that you totally get that. humbling isn't it??

Anne L.B. said...

I'm so sorry for you! Yet I know with certainty that as you trust in and wait upon the Lord, He WILL bring good from this for you.

J+M+S said...

Just found your blog and love your post!!! :) You write beautifully, and am sorry for your SUV trials! We have all been they make bicycles built for five?

Searching for God in the everyday said...

Beautiful! LOVE the last paragraph. Seems so simple yet how easily we forget. Love the choice you made!

Warren Baldwin said...

You write of such real-life experiences! Cheryl and I have faced this car situation many times through our 27 years. Right now we have a Suburban with 254,000 miles and a pick up with 170,000 miles, and now plans to buy a vehicle within the next 2 years. Break downs? Frequently. Paying on 2 college bills, and other commitments, prevents purchasing a new vehicle right now. We just praise God that our old vehicles are doing as well as they are.

Frustration ... it is painful, but it is a primary way God teaches us patient endurance. God bless and hang in there.

Christy. said...

Oh yes, I would love to get together! We could meet up in Hillsboro which is about 25 minutes from us. Email me and we can plan a time.

Have a great day!