Monday, November 24, 2014

Leap of Faith

God has blessed me and my family with an incredible financial opportunity, in the form of a new career path for me. While the financial benefit of taking this new role is rather obvious, the prior position I had provided significant emotional and professional fulfillment. I'll likely continue to find much of the same in the new place too, but a transition like this also means leaving Egypt to find... Hopefully the land of milk and honey.

I'm not always great at trusting God. He gave me an independent spirit and a strong intellect, so letting go and letting God tends to give me some of my greatest struggles. I want to have control of all of the variables as I change roles. Instead, I need to pray about all of them, and then let God take the reigns. Some of the things that came to us easily before have become more challenging now. It's definitely a stress inducing situation to start a new job when my family is so much bigger now, newly within the last year. Suffice it to say that there's not much of the same life for me as a year ago. Sure I still have the same wife and same house. But things are dramatically different from before.

God has provided us strength so far. I can say we've hit some low and weak points recently though. Change is hard. Thankfully I can trust Him through the whole ordeal. And I know that at the end of the day all of this will just glorify Him, as best I know how.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Best Time

Family Time
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Fatherhood makes every moment the best time. At the moment of my first child's birth, I had the best time because I witnessed a miracle. At the moment of birth for each of my twins, I had the best time because I witnessed a miracle twice. During the first 24 hours of my first child's life I had the best time because each breath of a newborn baby sounds better than the most perfected orchestra playing the world's perfect symphony. I had the best time during the first 24 hours of my twins' lives because each one showed me again how much each second makes a difference.  One of my twins spent 11 days in NICU. That was the best time because it reminded me to trust God. I was broken down more than once during those 11 days. But God still used it as the best time for His purpose... I'm still figuring out some of what that was though.  The other twin got to come home with us when the hospital released my wife. The other twin missed her sister desperately in those days away from her. That was the best time because I got to bond with her intimately while helping her cope with a loneliness she couldn't understand. I had the same loneliness. I still don't understand why we feel these things, but having that moment God used it as the best time to teach me how to love something so dearly, and yet have no direct access to it.

Tonight I got to have the best time helping my oldest child cope with a friendship that has fractured. In the eyes of a child, this kind of friendship breaking causes a kind of pain that I only think adults experience when we lose someone we dearly love. Children, as I've experienced it, have a capacity for unlimited and unconditional love. When, however, that love does not return - they don't seem to know how to describe what they feel - lonely. Tonight I had the best time as a dad helping my daughter stop being lonely. God helped with that too - I showed her how to pray when she hurts.

I could extrapolate so many moments in my life since the birth of my child as the best time. Many of the moments before then, certainly, had some greatness in them. However, I found my faith reborn at the moment of that first child's birth - that was the best time for God to find my heart and call me to Him. The work God did to lead me to that moment, I thank Him greatly for. However, since I did not seek Him directly before that time, unfortunately many of my best time moments before then are lost to me. However, I know He was there, carefully planning for every best time I get to have.

More than once, people have called me hopelessly optimistic. I think that optimism comes from having deeply centered hope... not from being hopeless.  My optimism stems from the fact that right now, in this moment, God has brought me the best time. Like the Bible verse I quoted, God knows the right time for everything, which makes every time the best time. Sometimes I spend the best time quietly reflecting, reading, and writing. Sometimes I spend the best time as a father. Much of my best time comes from fatherhood right now. Children depend deeply on their fathers (and mothers - but I can't speak firsthand about motherhood) which makes their need the best time to raise them. I desire to live every day as if I have the best time doing it, because I want my children to understand what it means to have such hope - deeply rooted in Faith.