“This isn’t what we planned. It doesn’t look like we hoped. We need to make changes in our budget and serious decisions about our finances.”
The conversation between us revealed truth. Calm and congenial soon evaporated. Words clothed in fear became swords. Accusations were hurled at one another. Old tapes of untruths played in our minds. Stories from our pasts collided against one another. Instead of facing the situation together with combined hearts, we became foes, playing right into Evil’s desire.
There were many emotions fueling the battle of words. Pain of recent shoulder surgery and uncertainty about his recovery brought concern from my husband. Feelings of guilt, stemming from a lie that I haven’t done enough to earn my keep, surfaced again. I was certain I had quieted that lie. I realized this is still a vulnerable place Evil can get to me when I allow fear to overtake me. We were also contemplating the unanswerable question asked by many navigating our age category — will the retirement plan we have in place last as long as we need it?
I wanted to help our situation. I felt both fear and doubt as I considered my possibilities. I could rework our budget and look for some places to reduce our spending. Maybe I could get a job? I spent years in the corporate world assisting professionals. Raising five children, wearing the title of pastor’s wife and running a small business from my home all at the same time taught me to be organized and a good administrator. I could apply to re-enter the corporate arena.
Fear deepened with this possibility. I didn’t want to go back into the corporate environment. I didn’t want an employer to determine my calendar over the 365 days of my year. Being locked down again felt like being confined in a prison.
I railed at God, steamed in anger, spewed ugliness and pouted. I didn’t like the situation I felt God had allowed.
It felt as though I wrapped sharp wire around my heart to protect myself. I didn’t trust Him and felt abandoned. I was convinced He didn’t care about what I wanted or didn’t want. I needed help sorting through the fear and anger.
Wise counsel showed me the places where I could listen to the afraid parts of me and show understanding for my fear. I could face the lies about my value. They didn’t need to paralyze me from creatively looking at the future. They didn’t need to distance me from my husband or become the primary definition for my relationship with God.
I began inquiring about and applying for jobs. Door after door was closed to me. Honestly I was grateful. But that didn’t answer our financial needs.
Each closed door led to a new path to investigate. One path led to yet another. Despite my allowing fear to cloud my faith, God had a plan that emerged from my pursuit.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
I’ve held a secret desire. I’ve often told myself “One day I want to open a shop where I can offer my unique creations. A place that is mine and has my signature of creativity all over it.”
God’s plan of closed doors led my journey to an open door and the fulfillment of that longing.
My “one day” has come to be. I recently opened Loonfeather Gathering. It’s a place for me to play and offer my creativity for sale. It’s a longing I hadn’t spoken or pursued. But God knew. He allowed this journey so I could untangle the sharp wire around my heart and risk doing something I’ve often dreamed. In His wildness and plans for me, He answered my need to help us financially while doing something that fills me with great joy.
Valerie Avery treasures the journey of embracing all God has gifted her with including creating art and beauty using fibers, beads and nature. The bond of 46 years of marriage has created a legacy as mother to 5 and “Grammie” to 20. She is venturing into the world of writing and is grateful for a place to share stories of growth and hope. You can read more here.
Sometimes life plays out in a direction we never imagined. Your heart speaks of happiness and satisfaction in your new venture and it all came from a dream of long ago. The pain of your wrestling with hubby, God, and yourself…paid off. Your knew all along what you needed
to bring your heart “home”.
Dear Elaine….”to bring your heart “home”. I love this. A journey from agreeing to deception to coming home to God with my whole heart and trust and having a long-held dream fulfilled in the midst of the journey Home. Thanks friend. I’ll hold those thoughts. Love, Valerie
Dear Valerie, I loved this entry. I saw your photos on Facebook and did not know the back story. I was impressed with your venture and wondered about all the things I do not know about opening a shop and owning a business. I loved what you wrote: “It’s a longing I hadn’t spoken or pursued. But God knew. He allowed this journey so I could untangle the sharp wire around my heart and risk doing something I’ve often dreamed.” God is so good! All my prayers and hopes for you to thrive with your beautiful creations in your own shop. I hope you have a ball and I hope you make good money. (And for you to sell your rocking chair that you rocked all your children and grandchildren in ….wow!)
Thanks for your words Becky. I am having fun. My heart tweaked a bit as I read your words …”and for you to sell your rocking chair that you rocked all your children and grandchildren in…wow!” Yes it caught me for a moment and then I remember the vision of my shop. You and I have a story and the things we love that surround us have a story as well. I’m committed to the word “reloved”. I’m offering things with a greatly loved story believing they will move on to create more loving story in a new setting. It makes letting things of meaning go. AND, I just stained a larger, old rocking chair from the 1800’s which will become our new chair to rock our littles. The stories continue to be birthed through us and through the animate and inanimate things we love.
Your story, your struggle, your truth, and your dream come true gives me much courage. Thanks for writing and sharing a real-life Jacob wrestling story.