"Sweet is nice enough, but bittersweet is beautiful, nuanced, full of depth and complexity. Bittersweet is courageous, gutsy, and earthy."
-Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet
Yesterday I talked about the bitter side of losing our jobs and our home. Today, I want to talk about the sweet. Because it's not all bitter. The bitter actually gives way to the sweet. But if that post had gotten much longer, you might not have lasted long enough to reach the sweet!
It took me a long time to start realizing the blessings that came about from our new life away from camp. I didn't want to see them. I wasn't ready to see them. My heart hurt too much.
But slowly and ever so surely, God opened my eyes and my heart to the blessings that surround us. Yes, we were so incredibly blessed at camp. We were blessed to be a part of that ministry and that community even if it didn't end the way we would have liked for it to. But we are not any less blessed because we are not there.
We are blessed to live close to my family and to get to see them often. Matt is blessed by my mom's fantastic homemade margaritas ;)
We are blessed to live right across the street from and be members of a church that is involved in the community and in missions around the world.
We are blessed to live so close to grocery stores and farmers markets, especially as we try to figure out my dietary needs.
Matt is blessed to be involved in a strong men's ministry at our church.
I am blessed to be involved in the Zumba ministry at our church.
Earlier this summer, our pastor preached on "reassignments". I don't fully remember the overall point to the message, but I remember with perfect clarity the part that resonated with me. He was talking about Elisha and Elijah. Elisha was just minding his own business, plowing his dad's fields like he did every day. And then Elijah walks up one day, takes off his coat and puts it on Elisha's shoulders (choosing Elisha as his successor), and walks off. In that moment, Elisha's world was changed forever. He didn't expect a new calling in life or a new job. He was just doing his thing. But the Lord clearly reassigned him. And so he threw a big BBQ party for everyone around and then went in the new direction, excited for what was to come.
It is exceedingly clear that God reassigned Matt and I. Matt now builds things, and he has a real knack for it. He is so smart and so talented! I get to teach middle schoolers science, and I get to speak truth to them day in and day out. We talk about how there is absolutely NO WAY that all the perfect intricacies of science could just come from chaos. The only logical explanation is an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator. I get to help shape these kids into responsible adults, able to think for themselves and make good choices. I get to encourage them and praise them daily. I get to laugh with them, and I get to learn from them.
I get to lead massive dance fitness parties for ladies multiple times a week. Not only do I get to help them reach their fitness and wellness goals, but I get to make them smile, laugh, and help them feel more confident. I get to pray for them and to share in their joys and triumphs. I LOVE that. And I didn't even know I could dance until God reassigned us.
We are blessed with the knowledge and the testimony that proves God is faithful and He provides! He answers prayer, He heals the brokenhearted - He is the champion of the weak, the poor, the destitute, and the undeserving. He makes all things new, and not only does He know what is best for us, but He wants what is best for us! Our lives are proof of it.
Yes, we miss camp. I miss my job - it was fun. We miss the community, the fellowship, and the constant presence of people pushing us closer to the Lord. We miss the raw, ragged beauty of the Texas Hill Country. There is a lot we miss. And sometimes I do wish we were still there. But we really are happy. And we really can't argue with the fact that God reassigned us. Even if we tried, we wouldn't get very far. Kinda pointless to argue with God (I mean, I've done it anyway...). We like our home, we like our jobs, and we know that God has our best interests in mind.
So after a year and a half, I think my heart has finally reached a place where it is willing to just be at peace. It has allowed God to work and to heal. It might have taken me a while, but I think I'm there.