Our time in Rockford, Il was God ordained!! There was so much blessing and alot of growth there. It is clear that God desires to finish the work he started in us individually and also together in marriage. As He does that, He is always so gentle and so patient with us, because we are not perfect and we are always growing more and more into the image of Christ, God's Son.
We were in Rockford for two weeks. We went with plans to work, but God shut that down and decided to do a different kind of work, and not a fun kind. After 5 days of such a sweet time house sitting, and just in time for a marriage conference! We hit that lovely little thing in marriages that I'll deem a 'speed bump'. Those tricky things you hit on the road of life that forces you to either slow down or stop and make sure you're not gonna crash into something. Not our best days, if we are honest. Pride and selfishness wiggled its little way into our hearts and it ended up being a hard few days for us both. These days are so difficult and can make everything feel so wrong. However, Emmanuel, God with us, and he absolutely was! Vision gets really murky during these unfortunately hard days and it's tough to see how God is working at all. It's almost impossible to see that He's using that time and those days to bring out things in us that He desires to deal with. They are the days that you just have to rely on your faith and faith does get you though! Amen. How thankful that our Fathers work is so strategic and intentional and not all at once. It doesn't crush us or our spirit. Could you imagine if God just put all of the sins that you've ever done, just right there before you! You'd fall to the ground and never get up! (heard that on the radio). He works on us bit by bit, never a thrilling time and you may find yourself looking for the nearest exit door to this particular form of sanctification, the kind he does like this in marriages. But continue on and push past the un-comfort and glory does await. As you let God complete this much needed weeding out in you, you can experience the Kingdom of God here on earth...and it feels fabulous! Rockford was basically a ford of rocks (in our hearts) that we had to carefully navigate across to get through to a stronger side of ourselves.
Once we do, we get there, to that other side. We walk through the depths of ourselves. Guess what? God is there as well because He held your hand across that rocky plain and He led you even closer to Himself! Repentance and Redemption always come hand in hand, and they are real sweet to the taste. But, eating a spoonful and well, sometimes a plateful of humble pie is a must to get there. This journey has been beautiful, yes, but it's not all been easy, don't let the pictures fool you. We have been renewed 100 times over already. Our faith has been renewed 100 times! Our marriage has been renewed 100 times! Redemption in us has been renewed 100 times. How could we ever get through a day of life anywhere without His forgiveness that gives us the power and the strength to forgive each other?
So, even though Rockford was 'hard as rocks', we are once again new! By God's grace, we left stronger than arrived. Our love deeper than before we got there. There is just no planning for what God wants to do in us! From ashes, we see the beauty and that phrase just always rings true when you go through something where everything feels as weak as dust. Trust God in the hard stuff! He is divinely planning your steps and ours and some crazy way we still have gas in the tank!
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"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand." 1 Chronicles 29:14