Tuesday, May 20, 2008

God's Providence

Right now in our Bible for Life class at FBC Durham, we're studying the book of Esther. It's a great book, and if you'd like to hear a WONDERFUL sermon on this, check out Mark Dever's sermon here (BTW--if you can't listen to all 63 minutes (!), start around the 30-minute mark).

So I've been re-reading Esther and thinking about the complete sovereignty of God in my life. Nothing is coincidence--God orders all things.

In 2003 I had to leave my job and find a new one. I was very unhappy about having to leave, and I did not want to work anywhere else. I went on one interview and took the first job I was offered. And I hated it. I was so miserable, and wanted every day to quit.

But God had a plan.

Almost a year after I started the new job, I found out I was pregnant. Wonderful, I thought, this will give me a reason to quit.

But then things started to get better. My work environment changed, new people came on, I was given more responsibility, and I realized that not only did I like my job, I truly enjoyed it. I was happy to go to work every day.

A lot of things happened at work that summer that I was pregnant, and I can't go into details here, but many things happened that you could call coincidence, but I call the providence of God. So many little things lined up where they needed to be for everything that followed to happen.

I submitted a proposal to work part-time, with a lot of hours from home. I volunteered to be paid hourly. Not only was I allowed to work part-time, and from home, but I was kept on at 75% of my salary, and kept my benefits. What a gracious God. If I had stayed at that first job, after Brad was born I never would have been allowed to work part-time, let alone from home. I would've had to quit my job, which would have been fine, but we probably would have had a cash-flow problem, living where we did.

So for the first year of Brad's life, he was cared for by either myself or Doug. Then he went to a baby sitter's house for two days each week, to play with her and her two children when we moved to Annapolis when he was one. And while at the time, I wondered why God moved us to Annapolis and the Naval Academy--so far from my job, and definitely not my favorite place, I now know it was so we could have Anne. Doug had health insurance with a large employer that gave us great benefits--we had never before and have not since had that same kind of health insurance. Again, the providence of God.

When I finally left my job before we moved here, I was back up to 40 hours, still working some days from home, with benefits, and a big retirement account from working and saving for almost five years. And the kids were still only going to the babysitter two days a week.

So in 2003, while I was moaning and complaining and ungrateful, God had already planned everything out for our family. In five years, I had not only had what turned out to be a GREAT job, but I learned new things, earned money, and built up our net worth, all the while keeping the children with either me or Doug.

When we moved to North Carolina, I did take a new job, but the hours weren't flexible, the benefits were horrid, and the work was a few levels below where I thought I'd be. Plus, I had gotten really spoiled at my DC job--I don't think I'll ever find employers and coworkers as nice as the ones I had! Doug and I realized that God has always given us exactly what we needed, when we needed it.

In DC, God gave me a job, and arranged for my work hours so that we had the money we needed. In NC, the cost of living is so much less, we're able to live on Doug's salary alone. Which, again, is the providence of God. Because if I was working full-time while trying to juggle a possible MS diagnosis (I'm feeling not-so-great these days, by the way--more on that in another post) along with a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, along with all of the other doctor's appointments we have (I feel like we're at a doctor every other day!), it just wouldn't have worked. I'm now able to completely focus on caring for my children, keeping my home in order, and trying to figure out this MS thing.

I'm just so grateful for the providence of God. It is truly amazing.

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