only help my unbelief


I really should be in bed
December 21, 2008, 11:24 pm
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Today was a full day.

I woke up this morning and got to church early to greet the kids in my Sunday school class. Almost all of them were there, which is rare, and we had a special craft to do courtesy of Lee – picture frames to decorate, with pictures of our class that we took last week. The kids loved the pictures, and decorating the frames took an incredibly long time, which was actually great. I loved sitting there helping them put the stickers on and talking about the pictures.

After church Christian and I drove back to my house and ate a delicious lunch. Then my mom took us over to her friend’s house, where her friend and her friend’s daughter took some engagement pictures for us. I don’t know how they turned out yet, but we did have a good time making each other laugh and feeling somewhat awkward at trying to look like we weren’t posing.

That only took about an hour, so we came back to my house and relaxed with my parents until it was time to drive back to church.

We were in the 2- and 3-year-old nursery tonight, so it was the same kids I have in Sunday school. They were super sweet tonight, wanting to sit in our laps and read books and take silly pictures. My heart was full of them when we left.

After that we went to a Christmas party where we got to fellowship with friends from church. It was a really relaxing, joyful time, and we felt refreshed when it was over.

We drove back to church to pick up Christian’s car.

I dropped him off and was about to drive off, but I waited because he didn’t have his cell phone with him. God was so gracious.

Christian’s car wouldn’t start. Even though a couple weeks ago it was in the shop for two weeks. And we paid almost $1,000 to get it fixed.

We were able to jump it, but we still don’t know what the problem is.

We have a lead on a car someone is trying to sell before they go on the mission field, so we’re going to call them again tomorrow to see if that’s a possibility, but we know it’s all in God’s hands.

If you think about it, please pray for us. It seems kind of like we’re drowning. There’s the wedding to plan, and we’re still looking for an apartment, and now we need to find a new car as soon as possible. We know God is big enough to handle all this and more, but our faith is being tested, and we know that God hears the prayers of the saints.

Honestly, though, I’m thankful for these trials. Tonight on the way home the song “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” came on my iPod, and it was just what I needed to hear. I don’t think there’s ever been a Christmas when I wanted Jesus to come and overshadow me more than I do this year.

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight
Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel

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Exceedingly abundantly beyond
November 8, 2008, 2:24 pm
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On Thursday I left work to grab a quick lunch at Taco Bell. I checked my phone for messages and found that the director of the temp agency through which I’m employed had called.

She said my company was laying off all its temps at Thanksgiving.

I choked through the rest of the conversation, then hung up the phone. And in the Taco Bell parking lot, I cried for ten good minutes.

Was this really what God had in mind when He gave me this job? I thought.

It just seemed like a cruel joke.

I finally composed myself and ventured inside the restaurant. As I waited for my food, little vapors of memories passed through my mind. I remembered phone calls for babysitting jobs when I needed money to pay my health insurance. The phone call the day I found out I got this job. The brothers and sisters who told me they were praying for me.

By the time I was done with lunch, the future didn’t seem so fearful. God spoke to me mightily.

I fought off tears back at work, though, as I e-mailed my closest friends to let them know what was going on. I asked for their prayers.

Yesterday I was pulled aside at work and told that through a special arrangement, I would be able to stay there until at least the end of December. And at the end of that time, they might be able to work something else out.

I wanted to collapse in a puddle on the floor. I was so humbled that they would go to such great lengths to keep me. Not only that, but I’ll be getting a small raise, which was not expected at all.

It’s kind of like God scooped me in His hands and said, “Chelsey, I could just give you the promise of at least another month at work, but because I’m overflowing with grace and mercy, here’s some icing on the cake.”

I told a friend last night that I had been pondering scenarios that would allow me to stay, but never in a million years could I have come up with the way God actually worked it out.

And, I’m finding, that’s pretty much the way it always is.

And now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we could ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus both now and forevermore. (Ephesians 3:20-21)



Perspective
October 30, 2008, 5:21 pm
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The last few days have really shaken me spiritually and emotionally.

On Monday morning, a young lady from my church was in a car wreck. By the grace of God, she survived, even though she was ejected from the car. Three days later, she’s progressed very well, although it will be a long road to recovery.

She’s supposed to be married in December, but she could be in the hospital for months.

As her family (she has one older sister) gathered around her, more problems. Her older sister was hospitalized today for some GI problems. How much more difficult can it become for this family?

I know the Lord is sovereign. I don’t know her family very well personally, but I’ve seen their love for the Lord at church, and I know that He has them in the palm of His hand.

And it has humbled me this week. At the gym Tuesday night I was doing some free weights, and as I looked in the mirror, I wasn’t too pleased with what I saw. But instantly the Lord turned my thoughts to Ann Forrest. I bet she – and her family and fiance – would give anything just to be able to stand up. And here, I’m upset that I’m not as skinny as I wish I were.

There have been some difficult circumstances at home, but are they as difficult as what Ann Forrest’s family is going through?

I’m not pretending like my struggles don’t exist, but rather, I’m thankful for the reminder this week that God is bigger than any circumstance that seems so formidable, and He’s got li’l old me in His hands, too.