Wednesday, January 30, 2013

It's Certainly Uncertainty

Last year we felt the theme of our lives was "intentionality."  I liked that one.  This year, thus far anyway, I'm not so keen on the theme forced upon us: "uncertainty".  I probably should have blogged about it much sooner than today, but our life has felt so uncertain that it's hard to even articulate.

Marc is losing his job.  His last day is Friday, actually.  We find ourselves in a spot we NEVER would have anticipated.  Does anyone?  We found out last August that Johnsonville would be making some significant restructuring changes; and Marc would be out of a job or in a dramatically different job within 12-18 months.  It turns out it was about 6 months, and he was offered severance or a significant demotion with salary decrease (which we did consider but felt it wasn't where God was leading, as it wouldn't have matched with the gifts and strengths God has given Marc).

It's been shocking because it's not performance related.  Last January, at his yearly review he was given the highest rating, with a raise above their standard scale.  We could never have anticipated this change less than a year later.  We thought, with good reasons that I won't elaborate upon, that we'd be here for the long haul.  It was a bit jarring to come to terms with this idea that seemingly came out of left field.  

In the beginning, I was certain something would change.  We really thought God moved us to Sheboygan to raise our kids.  We bought this home because we could envision them as teenagers, running about.  I had worked through a lot of emotions about the culture in Sheboygan.  It is very different from what we were used to, but I felt like last year, God really answered the prayers of my heart in amazing ways.  I felt like I had deeper understanding of the culture here and had friendships that were getting deeper, and are just very special.  I finally felt rooted and HOME here, and we got the news about job change.  What?  Seriously?

We just don't know exactly what God is up to.  

What I know for sure? God shows us what we need to know when we need to know it.  He didn't promise us we'd raise our kids in Sheboygan.  He told us to move here.  He provided this house and He told us to form roots; we did that.  He did not tell us for how long.  Had we known that perhaps we'd only be here for three years, maybe we'd have been reluctant to make friends or be involved in ministry.  I know for sure that HE knows what He's doing and where He is leading, even if at the moment we are in complete darkness.

We don't want to go ahead of God.  So far, He hasn't shown us options for employment in Sheboygan area....and believe me, we've looked and talked to local companies (well, Marc has talked to local companies;).  It seems like He's leading us elsewhere, but He also hasn't shown us where that is yet.  Perhaps something will happen suddenly and we will end up staying right where we are for 20 more years.  We have no clue.  We know something is changing, and yet we don't know what it is changing to.

Should we put our house up for sale?  We are preparing it for being sold, but waiting for God to clearly tell us the timing on doing so.  

He is in final rounds of a job with a company outside Chicago...closer to my family.  Perhaps that will be good bringing Christian home?  Final rounds do not equal job offer, anyway, so we hold it loosely until God either opens or closes the door.  He is in beginning rounds of a few other jobs in various areas.  Will God move us to a new location with no friends and family in the middle of an adoption?  Would he do that?  He might.

We try to focus on today and remember Jeremiah 29:11 -- His plans are for our benefit, not our harm.  No matter what the "what ifs" are, we need to focus on truth.  All we know is, life is changing, and the only place we want to be is in the center of God's will.  Will Marc get a new job, or will we go through a period of financial hardship?  Will we need to sell a house that isn't easy to sell in this area?  Will we move?  Where?  Will there be good schooling options for our kids?  Will we have time to apply for Christian schools in a new area when deadlines seem to be April?  When will Christian come home?  Will we still be in this house when he comes home?  Or a new one?
A new home requires a new homestudy.  A new homestudy has different requirements in different states.  Will it slow down our adoption process?  (It won't change things on the Haitian side; it could delay things because our immigration preapproval is linked to our homestudy and will need to be redone.)

Uncertainty.  Uncertainty. The controlling side of me is not so fond of uncertainty.  It's been hard to communicate with our kids.  We had to tell them a couple weeks ago that Papa will be changing jobs, because after Friday, he'll be home every day.  It was hard to be unable to answer their questions about what job and where....wish we knew, kiddos, wish we knew;)  

We certainly are not in a comfortable place.  I keep clinging to the passage in Isaiah about those who wait on the Lord renewing their strength.  It says, we'll rise on wings like eagles.  It's an interesting picture.  Eagles build their nest HIGH on cliffs.  When babies are to learn to fly, the mama pushes them out and swoops to catch them before they crash on the rocks below.  She does it repeatedly until they learn to flap their wings and fly.  Based on this scripture, I know God isn't going to let us crash on the rocks below, but so many times, I've cried out in prayer, "Look, the rocks are getting pretty close now, please swoop in and rescue us, or show us what we should be doing to fly."

It has certainly been tough at times; I'd be lying if I said otherwise.  It just plain isn't easy to look at a future full of uncertainty.  Still, I have to honesty say that I am also thankful.  It's at times like these that you look at your life and realize what is important.  We have a strong marriage and healthy children.  We could lose everything material and know that we'd still have the key to happiness- a personal relationship with Jesus.

The stuff we've said we believe has been put to the test and with increased certainty, we know we do believe it in the core of our being.  That is a beautiful thing- our foundation isn't on certainty in this life, it's built upon a God who is completely certain and doesn't change.  What a blessing.  To be shaken and find your soul is build on solid rock is just amazing, humbling, and makes us evermore grateful for a sovereign God, Unchangeable and Trustworthy.

I don't know if God will move us from Sheboygan, but it seems at the moment that He may indeed be leading that way.  I've been able to sit and pour out gratitude for my time here.  The moments of stillness and the beauty of nature in our very own back yard.  My Tuesday evening Bible study, where I am the youngest by far, that challenges me every week to keep pursuing Jesus.  My mom's group, that erupted out of nowhere, completely in God timing, giving me peers that live life with me in authenticity.  Two of my closest friends here, who I know without a doubt are life long friends, have made me a better mom.  They remind me to seize TODAY, to enjoy THIS stage, and smile at the future.  A beautiful Christian School, with a community of teachers and parents that love God and my kids.  A church with solid biblical teaching.  A small group that feels like God put it together Himself.  If I leave here, I leave here having grown, having been blessed and hopefully having been a blessing to others.  

Isn't that what life is about?  About not wasting time that you are given?  I have been blessed beyond measure in my life.  I have friends in various parts of the country, and I realize that love is not bound to a location or time.  Heart-bonds spread wide over miles.  I know I am better for being here. I won't pretend that I don't hope and pray some things are soon clarified;)  But the uncertainty has allowed me times of examination and brought me to my knees in Gratitude.

God doesn't change.  He provides.  He is present.  He is good.  He will lead and guide in HIS perfect timing.  In the meantime, we wait;  I look forward for the opportunity to report back when we are soaring on Eagles Wings;)


  1. Change is hard. We have just recently left our home of 6 years to settle in a totally different place, and it hasn't been easy. But, it has been such a blessing to begin to see glimpses of what our merciful and kind Father is doing. I will be praying for you!

  2. Kim, once again you reminded me why we worship, why we love a God who is so good. You show us through your time of waiting what it is to praise in a storm. Thank you so much for sharing, it really softened my heart today <3

  3. Oh Kim, I'm just catching up with your blog today and I read this am just so thankful that we both have God's voice in our ears. Jeremiah 29:11 - as you know - is something that sticks in my heart and mind and will not lessen its message. God takes care of all the details and He takes care of us. Praying for you guys as you enter into this season on uncertainty.

  4. Oh Kim! My heart goes out to you! Thank you so much for sharing on the blog so I always know what's going on with you guys. We are very overdue for a quick Skype check in if you and Marc are up for it (although this sounds like a crazy time for you all). Move to So Cal! It'll cure your SAD, we're here, and it's culturally diverse! ;) Love you and Marc dearly!!!