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The Beauty of Seasons in the Wilderness - iBelieve Truth - April 11, 2024

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“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

Not too long ago, it felt like our family was walking through a wilderness season. Our family was stationed in Virginia, and My husband was leaving the Air Force. I dreamed of returning to Arizona and planting roots for years.

However, a few months before moving, we felt we were supposed to be in Missouri. My husband didn’t have a job offer there or anything, but there was a subtle nudge we couldn’t ignore. After weeks of praying, mostly through tears on my end, it was where we felt God calling us to go.

My husband scheduled job interviews weeks before the move, but none worked out. So we took a step of faith and moved our family with no job, house, or paychecks coming from the military. Neither of us had felt God calling us to a place before; we were excited, and I was sure He would use us to do big things. 

We booked an Airbnb to stay in until my husband found a job. It wasn’t the greatest. The living room was furnished with patio furniture, the house had a distinct smell, dog hair was in the fridge, the water heater would go out, and the septic tank overflowed repeatedly. So far, we weren’t off to a great start in Missouri. 

A couple of weeks later, while at a baseball tournament for our sons, in some kind of freak accident involving a batting cage net, our daughter’s tooth was ripped out. A couple of months later, she split her head open and needed several staples. Things continued to keep getting worse.

A couple of months later, one of our sons broke his wrist twice within the span of a few months. Our family had at least twenty illnesses/colds during our first year in Missouri. Then, my husband went camping with some friends and accidentally hit his foot with an ax while chopping firewood. To make matters worse, he hit an artery. Thankfully, a paramedic at the next site could place a makeshift tourniquet on his leg while they waited for the ambulance. He went into surgery once they made it to the hospital, but there were moments we feared he might lose his leg or, worse, his life.

On top of all these physical hardships, I was also suffering emotionally. Marriage and parenting felt more challenging than ever. Our youngest at the time had started kindergarten, and after ten years of being a stay-at-home mom, I wasn’t sure what my role or purpose was anymore. I began to question why God had brought us here. 

My husband did find a job, and eventually, we bought a house we could afford after his fifty percent pay cut, but I was feeling defeated, and for the first time in my life, I decided to see a counselor. 

Each week, I sat in Suite 301, peeling back layer after layer of the seasons I had become so accustomed to pushing through. I ended up working through old wounds I didn’t know still bled. I had thought God called us to Missouri to do a work in others when it was about him doing a work in me. 

In Exodus 15:22-24 it says, “Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. And the people grumbled against Moses, saying, 'What shall we drink?'”

They are excited to have fled their captors, but it’s the wilderness God leads them to. Then, they can’t find water for days; when they do, it’s bitter.  

After our daughter’s traumatic tooth injury that night at the ball field, I took her to the dentist, and what he said surprised me. He said if we wanted a tooth injury, this was the perfect kind because the tooth being ripped out root and all offered better healing in the long run. I don’t think a rescue always looks how we’d expect, but sometimes it provides better healing. 

I don’t know what your wilderness looks like today, but one truth we can rest on is that He is making all things new. Sometimes, it’s in the driest places where we grow the most when we are forced to thirst for God in a way we hadn’t before, and that’s beautiful. 

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Kasey McCoy

sarah nichols headshot 2Sarah Nichols is a writer who loves to encourage women by sharing hope-filled stories that point others to Jesus. She lives in Tucson, AZ with her high school sweetheart and their four kids. You can find more from Sarah at her blog http://sarahnicholswrites.com and on Instagram @sarahnicholswrites.

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Are you a Christian mom trying to juggle work and home? You're not alone! I'm Rebekah Scott, host of The Encourager Podcast, where I share insights gained from 15+ years of balancing family and running a business. My aim is to help you find harmony inall your important roles. Join me as we explore ways to create systems for success at home and work while keeping it real!

In this episode, we're simplifying spring cleaning with two easy tips for each of our five systems: Me, Food, Family, Work and Home. Join us as we explore practical ways to bring joy and simplicity into your home and work life! And if you love what you hear, be sure to subscribe on Apple or Spotify so you never miss an episode! 

Originally published Thursday, 11 April 2024.