As Thanksgiving approaches, Melanie and I wanted to post a “thank you” to all the prayer warriors who have prayed for us and loved us over these past years. We are immensely grateful for God’s gracious leading through both difficult and joyous times. We have been overwhelmed by your prayer support. We are not sure why God chose to bless us with so many friends, most whom we’ve never met, who have faithfully upheld us in prayer. Thank you! May God bless each of you as you have blessed us.
I was recently talking with an extended family member who was struggling with uncertainty over her future. It wasn’t the future that was hard for her, but just not knowing how things would work out. I remember numerous times 2+ years ago thinking, “God, if You’d just tell us when You’re going to bless us with children, we’ll be happy to wait.” Waiting on Him is rarely easy, and yet that’s what He asks of Christians frequently. To wait, and while waiting, to trust. Looking back, I realize that I’m glad we didn’t know what would happen when. God faithfully supported and led. We only needed, and at times could handle, the next step.
Each month, the guys from my family, and often a few other friends, lead a chapel service at a local men’s shelter. The November service was going to be challenging. Due to a wedding, all my normal piano players were tied up. I worked and worked to find someone to play the piano for the service. After repeatedly asking God for His direction and provision, and then telling my dad about my dilemma he offered a suggestion. “Why don’t you play your guitar?” he said. I enjoy playing at home when it’s Melanie, Abigail and I and we’re finishing up our family Bible time with singing. But, at the mission with a group of men… sounded like a disaster waiting to happen. However, due to a lack of other options November 9th found me carrying my guitar into the mission. The chaplain led us to a number of different places before we ended up in an upstairs’ room. Because of remodeling, the normal chapel wasn’t available, and the two alternate locations didn’t work either. The room we held chapel in was one floor above where the piano was located. God knew we didn’t need a piano player for that service. He directed and provided in spite of my best efforts.
Rereading my above paragraphs, I’m realizing how difficult this is going to be to conclude and pull all together. I’m sure a skilled writer wouldn’t have a problem with that, but since it’s just me I’ll do my best and hopefully it is somewhat understandable. As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m impressed by two things. First, gratefulness – to God for saving and leading us, to Melanie for her love and trust over the years, and to our families, friends, and blog readers for your love, care and support.
But, I’m also reminded of the years Melanie and I spent without children. For some, five years will seem like a long time, to others short. We’re aware of how many couples there are throughout the world that desire to have children. We’re told that the holidays are all about family and memories. There is of course much more to them, but family time is important. I can remember Christmas celebrations where Melanie and I were acutely aware of the fact that we had no children. Scripture says that “even in laughter the heart may ache…” And yet now we look back at those years with a whole new perspective. They seem much shorter in hindsight than they did when we were “living” them. But, we also see God’s perfect control over our lives, what we learned during that time, and how He prepared us for what He had in store in the future. His leading is right, even when it doesn’t make sense to us or fit our desires. To trust isn’t easy, it’s required.
Nathan, Melanie and Abigail