Matthew 7:11 - If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Jeremiah 17:7-8– “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Where do I even start on the ways that God has grown me? I can honestly say in the last 3 years I’ve grown the most spiritually. During that time God really showed me his plan is good even when it looks like he’s not answering my prayers, he in fact is.
Rewind 3.5 years ago. Both my husband, TC, and I are employed with great jobs, great benefits and a brand new home. His position was dissolved (oil & gas fell out) a year after we purchased our home, and I prayed God would find him a new job that would provide financially and we could keep living where we were in the one and only nice home I’d ever lived in my entire life. Instead, God moved us to the country where the house was in need of TLC but was a huge blessing financially. TC was doing manual labor building a log cabin and clearing land for a modest hourly wage. In that year,however, my husband dedicated his days to listening to the Word of God and growing into the spiritual leader of our home He had always intended TC to be.
Now, I didn’t see the spiritual fruit of this in the moment. Instead, I was praying for God to take care of us, but what I really meant by that was we kept our pretty house and lifestyle. But SURPRISE, God knew better, allowing TC to be in the word hours daily (he listened on his headphones) so he could lead our family and meanwhile prepare me to become more of the godly woman He intended me to be.
So, a year into country living, TC gets a new position (he still has today) and God blesses him with a better income than he’s ever had and shortly after, I lose my job I’m excelling at. Why God? So, here I was being stretched to find contentment in this season and find my true identity at the same time. Really God? I felt lost. I felt robbed.
Why did he take my nice home away? I’ve never had that before? Why did you take my job when I was achieving top performance? What do people think of us? I was embarrassed. And I finally heard him. “I heard your pleas. But what you think is best, Crystal, is so much less than I have in store for you. Trust me. Even when things look hopeless, trust me. Have faith in Me. Not your residence. Not your job. Not in what others think of you. Rest in me and my goodness and trust that I want to give you good gifts. Better than before. But I need you to know that your identity lies in ME, the one who created you. And no matter where you reside, I have blessed you with love and peace. I am preparing your husband to love you and lead your family to trust me and have faith in me no matter what circumstances you may face.”
Fast forward to today. I’m far from perfect. But the peace I observed in some tough times were only possible through God. I am employed again and in a job I love more than the one I lost. I make more money and enjoy my position more than the last, BUT, I am more than my job. It is not my identity. I’m ultra grateful for it, but I can’t allow it to be bigger than my God. That old house we live in...we still live there and it’s been a giant blessing during tough times for us. But if you look out our bedroom window, there is a pretty house being built where we will be able to minister to children, teenagers, friends and couples for years to come because He promises to give us the desires of our hearts and use those desires to glorify Him! So, I’m still growing and stretching in my faith and trust. I’m so grateful for that season of growth to lean in to him and trust his plan is better than mine.