Monday, January 11, 2010


I have waited so long to write this post.......... OUR PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED!! SAM ACCEPTED A FULL TIME POSITION AND STARTED HIS NEW JOB TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! He is working as a police officer again but this time he is with the University Police Dept instead of Gainesville Police Dept. He is excited about it and it seems to be much safer than working with GPD and regardless... IT IS A JOB!!!

I feel the need to recap here for those who may have just tuned into our journey through husband Sam was a police officer with GPD. He was with them for 5 years and in that time did an amazing job and was nominated for a silver star. He was officer of the month many times, he was trained in everything from evidence technician to CIT, etc. He did plain clothes work, trained for K-9 position, and at the end he was on a special ops unit among other things that I will not mention. He provided for our family and we had great health insurance and for that we were thankful but the challenges were tough on both of us. He was in the ER about every 6 mos (for a while our Sunday School class kept track, ha ha) and I had the horrible call that all police wives dread getting. I had calls in the past that he was injured/in ER before but they were always from him assuring me he was fine. This particular call was different, it was from the hospital at 2am, all they could tell me was that he had been struck while on route to a call at high speeds, his car had gone into a brick wall and was totaled and he was severely injured and I should come immediately.It was scary and thankfully he is fine now and all is well. Needless to say the "cop's wife" thing got very old very fast. It was like I was single since he worked nights and I worked days, we never saw each other. He couldn't come to church with me for 6 months out of the year. The job was stressful for him, he saw terrible things that I still can't bear the thought of him enduring, he even lost 2 of his friends who were officers when killed. In a nutshell it was difficult on our marriage and we can safely say we have been through the fire and SURVIVED! When our marriage was struggling we decided it was best for him to find a new job. Thankfully he found a job with Chrystler and things were good for a year... then he was laid off. Ouch.

That was 7 months ago. These last 7 months have been so very hard financially. It is difficult to complain and say that things are "rough" and that being "poor" is so awful after being in third world countries and seeing what it truly means to live in poverty and suffer. Our lifestyle did change drastically though and quite honestly if it wasn't for the help we've had from my mom and Richard I seriously wonder if we would be homeless right now!! We never doubted that God would provide and thankfully he did so via family and our friends at church. We have been so very blessed to have folks care for us and help us when we needed it. Shortly after hearing the news of the layoff and wondering how on earth we would feed our child and pay our bills our amazing Sunday School class brought us meals and giftcards for groceries and gas, even some diapers!! We were amazed that EACH AND EVERY time it came down to the wire and we weren't sure how we would handle whatever situation, our need was met through others. For example, Sam needed to go on an interview and I needed to get to my office but we had NO money for gas so we prayed about asking for help and what we should do. The very next morning without mentioning this need to ANYONE a giftcard for gas was on our doorstep. At another point we had eaten just about every strange combination of food we could muster up from what we had in the pantry and freezer and were uncertain about what to do next and then viola.. a very generous giftcard to Publix showed up at our door. We got a message from the Benevolence committee at church that they wanted to help us with our utility bill for the month.. um wow?? These are just a few of the MANY stories we have of how our needs were met. At one point Sam and I were talking about our situation and questioning God,... just why hadn't he answered our prayers? Why wasn't he taking care of us and providing a job for Sam like we had asked???. then we were instantly convicted. It was as if God was knocking on our heads saying "um hello?? have all of your needs not been met??are you really that spoiled?? can you really not see me at work??" and we realized that he had been providing for us all along, by working in the hearts of all of the people who had helped us. No Sam didn't have a job but we were still eating good food, we were still in our house, and we had our needs met. He was carrying us through, just not in the way we thought or had expected.

I still wonder about God's timing with this whole unemployment thing. Sam applied for jobs each week and nothing. We would rack our brains and say "Ok God, what are we not getting? What are you trying to teach us through this that we haven't learned? Please help us learn this lesson quickly so Sam can get a job..." weird train of thought I know but just trying to be honest. I am sure one day in the future we will look back and say " ah-ha! Now it all makes sense..." but I am not there yet. I take heart in the verse "trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight" Proverbs 3:5 and realize that it doesn't have to make sense. We grew so much through our struggles. We had some other scary times this year, not only the lay off but also with my hospitalization on our mission trip in Guatemala.. (" when you wake up, you will have had your surgery"is NOT ideal when laying on a bed in the ER in Guatemala... um yea.. top of my life list of scary moments!!), Sammy was so sick in hostpital with H1N1 and sick ever since, and the other random things that have happened. Strange as it may seem though, I think it has been a BLESSING to share the struggles with Sam. These times of uncertainty not only drew us closer to each other and strengthened our marriage but also drew us closer to our Heavenly Father as a couple. Waiting on God to answer prayers is HARD! I am sure you can agree you have had things you pray for so often that you wonder if the prayers are making it through your roof, ha ha. I believe that it is important that we recognize the true value in those "in between times" when we are genuinely waiting on God. Maybe He wants to grow our faith in some way, maybe His silence is part of his shaping and molding us, maybe He is still working things out for us or working on someone else's heart who is involved in the particular request, maybe He simply wants us to be obedient and to continue going to Him to meet our needs, I don't really know all the reasons he may have but I do know that he is quite fond of this waiting period. I recently read this on a freind's blog as she shared about grief and God's mercy. I hope you don't mind that I quoted you Kathie!

"And so we began our time of waiting. There’s something significant and necessary about the wait between the valley of the shadow of death and the goodness and mercy that follows. The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years before they reached the Promised Land. The world waited 2000 years for the Messiah. There were three days between Christ’s death and resurrection.........But our weeks (her family) in the wilderness kept us leaning on each other and dependent on our Heavenly Father. We continued to rest in Him and He continued to carry us."

There was one thing we knew throughout all the uncertainty and that was however it all played out we would make it through, the three of us together bound by love and our faith in Him. Just as Kathie pointed out, Psalm 23 always ends with "surely goodness and mercy shall follow" and we genuinely believed this for our family and there was a peace about our situation that could not be removed regardless of how bleak the days ahead seemed. As the days crept on without the promise of a job we not only began selling A LOT of our things on ebay but began praying even more as a family and spending time in His word. Sure we had our prayer/devotion time before but there was something about the desperation of the matter that made us genuinely seek Him and His will for our family more often and consistently. All of our time together as a family resulted in us growing closer and we came up with some really fun creative things to do together that did not cost a dime!

It is in the "goodness and mercy shall follow" spirit that I genuinely ask for your prayers. I am so thankful that God is now providing for us through this new job and I am excited about what is in store for us as we get back on our feet and begin planning for the future again. But to be completely transparent, it is hard to start the whole police thing over again though. I struggled when hearing the news that Sam had landed the job at first?? How wrong is that! We pray and pray for a job and then God provides one and my first response is "um... that isn't really what I had in mind, can you please try again God?" (enter game show buzzer sound here). Seriously, I am sure if God had a giant red buzzer that He could push when I thought the wrong thought, then all of heaven would have echoed the buzzing sound in that moment. So, I am doing my absolute best to be grateful and excited for Sam and to trust that this will be a GOOD thing for us. It is so hard though. I am not too fond of police in general at this point and it is even hard for me to see him in his uniform! So, please pray that I can have a change of heart and fully embrace this new chapter and TRUST GOD to WORK ALL THINGS TOGETHER FOR GOOD, just as he promises He will. I am doing my very best to believe that "His goodness and mercy will follow" with this too! Thank you!