running with the Lord ~ part 2
Hey there 🙂 Thanks for stopping by! This post is part 2 of a me sharing what the Lord has been doing in our lives for the last year. If you didn’t get a chance to read part 1, you can find it here.
The summarized version is that my hubby lost his job last December and since then we’ve been on a roller coaster ride of discouragement and dependence on Jesus. I can say without hesitation, that He has been found faithful again and again, but the last ten months have not been without their growing pains!
Before I continue, I should mention a couple things. #1 – My husband is a genius. He would deny it, but he is. He’s basically got the mind of an engineer and the creativity of well, a puppeteer! His passion is children’s ministry, and at the heart of him, he’s really just a big kid. I’ve never met a child that didn’t completely love him! #2 – God made me special but in different ways 🙂 I love music and art and writing. I’m a list keeper, I like organization. I love kids too, and having fun, as long as it’s balanced with sanity 🙂
And lastly, as long as Branden and I have been married, we’ve prayed about starting a ministry company. We’ve dreamt about writing and performing shows for schools and churches and whoever else would have us. We’ve planned out characters and skits and stage sets – everything! It’s always been THE DREAM! You know, when you ask each other, if you could do anything at all, what would your dream job would be? Well, that was it; for both of us! It would require the crazy creativity of a puppeteer engineer and the talents and organizational skills of an artistic list keeper.
Every year (we’ve been married 12 years now!) we would pray and talk here and there and write down ideas. We would just dream. But nothing ever really became of it, because, well, it just didn’t make sense. Branden always worked a full time job, we had two little babies, and honestly, it costs money to start a company! It was timing and finances and whatever else. Plus, who does that? Builds puppet characters and tells stories and travels around playing with kids for a living? How could that ever be what we really did?
Okay, let’s get back to December of last year. It had been a long, difficult season at the job Branden had. The Lord had told us that that door was closing, but we had no idea what was coming next. We assured each other that the Lord had a plan. Then, the first week of December, Branden lost his job. We had been holding on to hope, trying to encourage each other, but now, just weeks before Christmas, it honestly felt like the Lord had forgotten us. By May, it had been six months. Every door we knocked on seemed like a dead end. Even doors that opened a little would slam shut. We were frustrated and discouraged, and really really tired. Even the day to day became exhausting as we wrestled with this constant worry and doubt.
Then one night, something happened. We went to bed just like every night. But in the early hours of the morning, before even the sun was awake, the Lord spoke to me. I remember this because it’s not something that had ever really happened before. Usually the Lord will make a verse stand out when I read the Bible, or something will really catch me in a message. But He’d never really spoken to me in my sleep. It wasn’t a dream or even what you would call a vision, but it was clear.
The Lord gave me a show to write! It had characters and a set and skits. It had a beginning, middle, and end. It had music and costumes – everything! I woke up thinking, “Wow, I think we need to do a show! But where?” That morning, I told Branden all about it – the set, the skits, every little detail. I was super excited! Branden smiled and seemed happy that I was excited, but I could see that the logical, man side of him was thinking about how we needed to find a way to get health insurance or pay our bills.
That night, and for almost every night for the next two weeks, the Lord spoke to me in my sleep. I started getting excited to go to bed, wondering what the Lord would say! He gave me a second show to write, characters, sets, and even told me to start writing some music (which is strange since I’ve never really done that before!) I would wake up at 3 or 4 in the morning, my head bursting with ideas, concepts, even lyrics and melody lines for songs. I got a notebook and starting writing things down. And I started to think, could this be something the Lord really wanted us to do?
Along with these nightly conversations, the Lord started encouraging me during the day. He reminded me of verses he had given us as we had prayed throughout the years. He spoke to me about moving forward, about trusting Him more, about what it meant to hear Him say something crazy and follow Him! Every quiet time, every Bible study, even verses people posted on Facebook seemed to say the same thing – it was time to get ready, to run with the Lord!
Branden wasn’t really on board, not yet anyways. He would listen to me go on and on, but any excitement he had would quickly be squashed under the weight of logic and responsibility. I started to get a little discouraged. If this was something God wanted us to do, how was I supposed to pull him along? The Lord told me to pray about it, and so I did. A couple weeks later, a friend of ours called Branden to chat about what it would take to do this, to write and perform shows, to start this kind of company. This man had done it successfully for over 15 years, traveling all over the world, writing and teaching and performing. All of a sudden, Branden was open to the possibility that this could be something real.
In the weeks that followed, we started to work on the show. I wrote skits and Branden started to build puppets and the set. We started to talk about what we would call a company. I made a list of all the many things that we needed – graphics and a website and a someone to create them, a set and materials, and so many other things, including a place to do the show! The list seemed impossibly long. Slowly and remarkably, the Lord started to send people to help us, people that had the skills that we needed, but had no idea we needed them!
Some days seemed really productive, we were making some progress, and we were both excited! Other days though, I could tell that Branden still wasn’t 100%. He was still searching for jobs, still not sure if this was what taking care of his family looked like. We went on like that for weeks. Then, about a month ago, something happened.
Okay, since I’ve just made you read about half of a novel, I should probably save the rest for next time 🙂 I know this is a long story. I probably should have started it in May! If you’re still with me, please come back in a few days to hear the rest. I’m excited to share it with you! Until then, be encouraged! The Lord does see you 🙂