Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Learning

Jasper Speaks:

So today marks one month exactly since our last day in ministry. The road has not been easy. There have been many things that have happened. I look back to the day we packed the truck in Waterboro. There was so much confusion as we realized we had to leave so many things behind. There was my hurried goodbyes as I drove off with Scott and Aaron Chapman to pick Michele and Dennis up at the airport in Boston. As bad as the weather was that night, I look back on that ride and feel it was a wonderful time of ministry with Scott and Aaron. A time I would not exchange easily for anything. It all seems so much longer ago.

This, however, is a post about lessons learned more than memories cited. In no way do I claim to have a lot of answers. I also do not think I have learned very many things just yet. I do want to share some of the things God is showing me.

1. Even Though You Have Bad Days, God Can Still Surprise You

I have had some pretty low moments in all of this. I have mourned the passing (even if only for a season) of my life in ministry. I have felt the inadequacy of living in a home that is not my own. I have been humbled by my wife working to support us while I send out dozens of resumes a week.

Still in the midst of those hard times, when I am at rock bottom, God pokes a ray of the sun through the clouds. This comes in many forms. Some are humorous like driving to church without a jacket while calling friends who are snowed in with two feet of snow in Maine. Others are profound. Like when I had hit rock bottom in my job hunt and God brought me four offers in one day followed with an interview for a dream job the next. There have been many blessings in our darkest times. I am thanking God for that.

2. Satan Is Always Trying To Steal, Kill and Destroy

I have had some really bad spiritual days in all of this time. I have learned that Satan is always prowling. He takes every chance to knock me down and make me doubt. He has put many questions into my heart. I have learned that I have to stay on track and acknowledge God's plan and my role in it. If I ignore God's will, I can miss His blessing. My quiet time has to remain a priority. When I ignore God, Satan certainly does not ignore me. I have to fix my eyes on Jesus. That is harder when I focus on my agenda and Satan just loves to see me fall.

3. Starting Over Is Hard

This one seems like a no brainer but I really thought things would be easier than this. I guess I assumed moving back to my hometown would be a natural and easy transition. What we have found is that four and a half years really changes things. Most of our friends have moved at least an hour away. We have no social life. Even though Kendra has a job it is not challenging and she doesn't feel complete there. I have learned that we all need a reason to get up in the morning. I spend my days surfing the web for jobs and watching bad daytime TV. I don't have a reason right now and it is driving me crazy!

So there are many lessons still ahead I am sure. I am trying to be positive and learn all that God has for me. I would like to say that I am always happy to learn. I would like to say that I know how to be content in all things. God is still working on me. I know that in the end I will be a better man and a better Christian for living through this. Easy words to say and write, not as easy words to live.

3 comments:

iamnettie said...

Thank you for sharing your highs and lows as you have been making this journey. I will say it is refreshing for me to see I am not the only one who is getting down at time. Thanks :) (this is Jeanette from YS - aka iamnettie)

Dreaming again said...

I followed the link here from The Journey (Deneice) and just wanted to say ...

Starting over is very hard, if it was easy, everyone would do it without hesitation. If it was easy, the Bible wouldn't be full of people who had to start over. God had to give us example after example after example of people who started over.

Adam and Eve had to start over after the Garden.
Moses had to start over after he slayed the Egyptian.
Moses had to start over when God called him back to free his people from slavery.
Abraham had to start over in a new land.
Abraham had to start over being a father after decades.
Abraham had to start over after messing up and having ason through his wife's handmaiden.
Ruth & Naomi had to start over after their husband's died.
Job had to start over after he lost everything.
David had to start over after he'd been a simple shephard boy.
David had to start over when he was being chased by King Saul.
David had to start over again when he became King.
Jonah had to start over after being eaten by a whale.
Jesus had to start over because Adam and Eve had to start over in the Garden (I have very wide logic in that one, email me if you want me to explain that one)
The Deciples had to start over after their Lord was crucified.
Paul had to start over after he'd been persecuting the Christians.
Paul had to start over after he'd been in prison.
Paul had to start over after he'd been in prison.
Paul had to ..ok, you get that point.

We look at starting over and we all know everyone has to start over and that God understands it ...but do we really know that GOD UNDERSTANDS IT!!????????
So much so that he filled his Word to us showing us example after example after example of people who are starting over time and time and time again?

One thing remains constant in all those start overs ...God remains the same. His love for us is first last and always.
His mercy is new every morning ... for every new start, his mercy is there.

Dreaming again said...

I posted something a few hours ago, and it hasn't shown up yet that I can see ... so this is a test comment.