A dream born in suffering

“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.”

loonfeather gathering

God’s plan of closed doors led my journey to an open door and the fulfillment of that longing.

Loonfeather store

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 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.