Thursday, January 10, 2013

Finding Joy despite the Anguish

Good Afternoon Blog World.
To say that I am blown away with your kindness and response to my first post would be an understatement! So thank you for making this girl feel like I wasn't all alone in this blogging world. I truly appreciate all of your sweets and thoughtful comments, the reassured me the importance of using this outlet to tell our story of survival as well as document our day to day life. Once I wrote the last post I really started thinking about what I would write this time. I know I said it would include pics of the new house as well as some tips to treasure hunting "old soul" style. But the fact of the matter is there is something bigger on my heart that I wanted to talk about. Something a little deeper and less cosmetic if you will.
I have always ( well for as long as I subconsciously can remember) believed that EVERYTHING happens for a reason. Its true. I am one of 'those' people. I often find myself thinking back over events and seeing how the Lord had his hand right in the middle of it all! So, with that being said, in January 2012 my mom, my sister and I started in a new Beth Moore bible study offered at our church. We LOVE Beth Moore!! We have done several of the video/workbook studies before and knew that this one would NOT disapoint. The topic was one of her newest studies and one of my favorite books in the Bible, JAMES. I remember sitting in the first class and watching the video and just thinking how in the world will this apply to my life? I didn't make it to the second week of class because that was the week we lost our home in the tornado. Turns out though that the third week of class (second week in the workbook) was based around how Joy and Anguish can literally coexist. And boy did I understand that! I had such Joy in the fact that God spared our lives and the lives of my neighbors but I had such anguish constantly replaying the events over and over again in my mind. Anguish thinking about the "what-ifs" I'm not going to lie- it took me quite a while to get through this. I lived in such a constant panic stage for several months(until joining a bible study this past summer where a very wise lady pointed out to me that God does not call us to a spirit of fear. That the only thing we are to fear is the Lord. Well hello. I knew this, but it wasn't until sweet R laid it out on the table very bluntly that I realized that I was to finally let it go and trust Gods plan !)
There was a verse in the workbook that went along with the joy/anguish discussion. The verses were: James 1:2-4 "count it all joy, my brothers and sisters, who you face trials of many kinds, for you know the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, and lacking nothing" These verses really resonated with me and helped to change my thought process over the next 9-12 months. But ultimately. These verses have become my "life" verses. I made the decision to just know that the Lord brought us to this place for a reason and I am to Glorify him through it all. So that's been my goal and will continue to be.
Looking back to January 23rd the Lord showed us several signs right off the bat so that we knew he was there. The were subtle but definitely not coincidence. For example, when my brother and his wife and mil came and picked up my boys and we were just waiting for the sun to come up I found a page from favorite devotional book that I had been given years before. The page was lying on the driveway and when I picked it up and shined a light on it the top read "In our weakness he is our strength" I clung to that!!
Then as our parents arrived and we went back into our house for the first time we went upstairs where our home was opened like a little doll house- everything in Fearings room was destroyed and pretty much gone- but on the wall a cross never moved. On the cross was the verse "Angels watching over you" Psalm 91:11.

And one of my favorite signs came in the shape of a heart. All of the windows in the front of our house were completely gone(window frame and all) except one window. And that window was broken into the shape of a heart. People would stop and take pictures of it because it was really crazy how our house was destroyed the way it was yet that window was a reminder of light in the darkness! I'll include a few pictures- and next blog I look forward to sharing pictures of the new house!

This is the last picture in front of our old house. This was a very bittersweet day- the day they tore the remainder of the house down. We found Joy in knowing that saying goodbye to that house would allow us to start our me journey with our new house. I will always treasure this picture. Lord, I pray we will never lose sight of where we have been and never take where we are today (physically and spiritually) for granted!

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