To Live and to Love

Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

Life, NOT Fiction. January 12, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — mrsschrage @ 4:15 pm

It’s been a rough start to the new year. I have been looking for a full-time job since moving to Asheville in November, without any luck. Really, I’ve been looking for a full-time since getting married in May, but more intensely since moving again. In South Carolina, I couldn’t get a job because, quite frankly, I was a Yank and white. (No offense, just the truth.) In Asheville, I can’t get a job because for every job I submit an application (I have long since lost track of how many) there are probably 60 people in line in front of me. I went to a job fair recently thinking it was no huge deal, but it was so packed with people of all ages and appearance, even moms with kids. I felt like the job fair was deceptive and giving people craving employment false hope. I left utterly discouraged.

At the beginning of my long, drawn out job search, I suffered from my pride. Earlier this summer, when I couldn’t get a job at the Lancaster Blockbuster, I was low in a prideful way. Last week, when I couldn’t get a job at Kmart, I was low in a desperate way. This summer, I thought my education should ensure suitable employment. Now, I’m in line with people of equal if not more education. (I recently interviewed for a preschool job where the director told me she had people apply with doctorates in education.) This summer, I was humbled on the surface. I resented not getting a satisfactory job, and still felt I deserved better. Now, I’m humbled deeply to my knees.

Jeff has been my incredible support, reminding me that we don’t believe in a health and wealth gospel. When things are difficult, God is still sovereign, still loving, still our Jehovah Jireh. Jeff discovered a new artist last week (Jon Foreman) and we’ve both enjoyed listening to his work, and this song, Your Love Is Strong, has been particularly comforting:

Heavenly Father, you always amaze me
Let your kingdom come in my world and in my life
You give me the food I need to live through the day
And forgive me as I forgive the people that wronged me
Lead me far from temptation
Deliver me from the evil one

I look out the window the birds are composing
Not a note is out of tune or out of place
I walk to the meadow and stare at the flowers
Better dressed than any girl on her wedding day

So why should I worry?
Why do I freak out?
God knows what I need
You know what I need

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

The kingdom of the heavens, is now advancing
Invade my heart, invade this broken town
The kingdom of the heavens, is buried treasure
Will you sell yourself to buy the one you’ve found?

Two things you told me
That you are strong
And you love me
Yes you love me

Your love is
Your love is
Your love is strong

Our God in heaven
Hallowed be
Thy name above all names
Your kingdom come

Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven
Give us today our daily bread
Forgive us weary sinners
Keep us far from our vices
And deliver us from these prisons

Last night, only two kids showed up at youth group. The numbers were discouraging, but to make up for the lack, we had an impromptu movie night, watching Stranger Than Fiction. The movie was good for me to see because it reminded me what life would be like without a Sovereign God. I explained “choose your own adventure” stories to the newer generation (how did they miss out on those?) and what an impact that had on me when I was younger because I was intrigued by the possibility. We discussed whether or not it is healthy to look back on life and question the things that happened, and wonder about the what ifs. It is easy to question and doubt, and harder to accept reality. No matter what could have been, the now is what is, and God is Sovereign. Sure, had we stayed in Charlotte, I would be a manager at Williams-Sonoma, but we wouldn’t be here in God’s will for our lives right now.

I don’t know what the future holds, but I am comforted to know that I can rest in God’s love for me, and that my life is not determined by a lunatic novelist.

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3 Responses to “Life, NOT Fiction.”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    hey Shannon,
    Just want you to know that you’re in my prayers. I can very much identify with what you’re going through. I continue to be thankful that we serve a faithful, caring Father.

  2. CLS Says:

    You will appreciate the work of Justin Peters. He gives a seminar on the Word of Faith movement that is very powerful. He also has a unique perspective as he lives with cerebral palsy. Justin comes highly recommended by my pastor, Dr. John MacArthur.
    Watch his demo if you get a chance at http://www.justinpeters.org

  3. Christina Says:

    Hey Shannon — I’ll be praying for you. God is faithful and He shows us more of Himself through suffering…


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