I feel like my life has been turned upside down since October 29th. (in a good way of course)
This has been the best, but also hardest 3 months and I never would of thought I'd be where I am now. The transition to married life as far as cooking, cleaning, and managing school has actually been pretty smooth. It's different, but God's grace has given me the ability to meet the daily challenges of being a wife with great joy. I love my husband more deeply today than I did on our wedding day, and I think that's what God intends. However, life isn't a "1950's tv family show" and we've definitely experiences many trials and convictions in the last 3 months.
We did a 40 day fast and devotions to get ready for a D-Now in Madison, and it was this point that we saw what God was revealing to us about our lifestyle, decisions, motives, and actions. First, He put a conviction in our hearts that we should move to a not so comfortable neighborhood/house. This wasn't hard to say yes to because I know Christ calls us to "deny ourselves and pick our cross". We decided to look for a new place, having no clue what we were looking for. We looked into a couple rentals and nothing seemed to be right, but one day I was randomly driving in a neighborhood near Philip's work and saw a for rent sign on a house. We checked into it, and felt that the Holy Spirit was leading us here. The crazy part was that there was another family interested so we had to put down a good deal of money THAT evening. Philip was confident that this was God's leading so we did it. This was the beginning of the testing of my faith. It's completely illogical to put down as much money as we did without even sleeping on it. However, I would say this was the easy part.
The hard part has been every day since we decided to say "yes" to God's call, and since then we've had to depend on Him every second of the day. Honestly, I've never been in a place where I couldn't depend on myself or parents or friends. I've always had a "safety net" in my life, and now that there isn't one, I'm learning to trust my God more than I ever have. I think we depend on God whether we realize it or not(breath, health, ect), but I guess I've realized my dependence for Him more than I ever have. If you know me, you know that I'm pretty much a control freak, but I can see that God is breaking me of that. The truth is I DON'T have control, and I guess never really have.
On the other hand, I'm also experiencing the "joy" that James says we should have for trials. This has all been really hard for me, and I know God has so much more testing in store, but despite that I can't wait to see how He continues to change me to look like Him. I can't wait to see Him grow my faith to be as big as a mustard seed.(definitely not there yet)
The craziest part of all this to me is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. This has been hard on me so I can't imagine going through the kind of trials that Paul talks about. I used to think that I could give up my life for Christ in an instant, but I've found that I'm a lot like Peter.... He tells Jesus He will die for Him, then a little later Peter denies ever knowing Jesus. I'm realizing more and more the distance that my sin separates me from God, but with that I'm realizing more and more the power of the blood of Christ to bridge the gap.
This is getting long so I'll end it with this thought. "Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Cor. 1:9
Paul and Timothy almost died suffering for the gospel, and they see it as a good thing because they had to rely on God. That's what I want. I want my heart to be like that. It's not there yet, but I want the faith that can endure sharing in the sufferings of Christ.