Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

5.20.2014

Waiting in God's Best

After a whirlwind four-month courtship (which was really the culmination of a 22 year-long friendship), Joel and I got engaged (read our "Love Story" here!). We had stars in our eyes, we knew we loved each other--and we knew that God had called us to this marvelous thing called marriage. Less than a month later, however, we were both plunged into the darkest valley of our lives. Joel lost his job and so many things seemed to be spinning out of control. (You can read about our reunion in the midst of this, "Raindrops on Roses," here.)

I questioned God with honesty, sincerity, and fervency. Some of my rawest writing came out of that time, including "Jesus Wept {With Me}." And life didn't get easier as I hoped it might. "Joel's Graduation" was a bright spot of achievement during the summer, but our potential wedding date came and went. "You can't live on love alone!" I laughingly told the people who asked, while bleeding saltwater inside. 

God continued to provide for Joel in the lack of a full-time job through odd jobs and part-time work, proving Himself over and over again as the great Provider. Furthermore, He spiritually provided by continuing to teach us about Himself, such that Joel experienced a transformation in his relationship with God that affected every facet of both of our lives. As we drew closer to God, we also drew closer to each other, coming to know one another in a way that never would have been possible had the first wedding date not faded away.

And still no full-time work. There was the job that seemed God-given--but was given to someone else. There was the job that was an exciting adventure--but whose moral grayness caused us to examine our own convictions and led us to refuse the position. There was the job that was perfect! Joel applied for it in December, while he was visiting me ("Keeping Christmas"), and we were elated when he got not one but two interviews--and then an assigned project as part of the interview process. However, as the weeks stretched into months, we shivered against the cold question: "What if he didn't get this job?" When we were together in March ("On the Other Side of the Continent"), we found ourselves ecstatic to be together, but exhausted by the waiting and wondering. Miraculously, I was no longer questioning God. I was praying desperately that Joel would get this job, but I was also asking for strength to joyfully accept God's will no matter the outcome.

When the news came on April 2 that Joel hadn't gotten the job we had waited three months for, my spirit surged with peace. I sobbed, absolutely. I survived the first couple of days in a semi-catatonic state. Howbeit, I didn't question God anymore. I didn't even cling to the hope that something better would come along. That hope had fizzled months ago. Instead, a series of scenes flashed through my brain. In the kitchen with Mama as she shared of trusting in God through death. In the back of our church as a dear friend hugged me and said, "Trust God." As I whimpered back, "But it's so hard!" She repeated over and over again, "You have to trust God. You have to! Trust Him!" And then at my computer Skyping with Joel as he reminded me of the two most important things to remember: God is always good and be grateful.

My commitments still existed in a state of committed non-committal. My wedding seemed so far into the future that I could no longer even reach it. My harbored dreams for spring and summer plans were radically changed. Despite it all, I was OK. Suddenly I wasn't waiting for something better. Joel and I were in God's best right at that very moment. Far from being on hold, our lives were a construction zone for God--and He was about His best in our lives, just as He is in the lives of every one of His sons and daughters. 

Mid-April brought another application, which neither Joel nor I got excited about. Then came an interview...and another one! Proceeding so fast that we couldn't quite focus on the image, Joel abruptly had a job on May 5! Joel said it best when he wrote, "As you can imagine, Mikaela and I are very excited at this provision--one we have been praying for and desiring for a long time. And while it is easy in this moment to proclaim the Lord's goodness, we both can truly say that God has been just as good in the last many months of waiting and toiling in the other work He's provided. That was His best for then, just as this job is His best for now. Thank you all for your prayers and love and support through this year-long journey. Please continue to pray for Mikaela and I, as God continues to perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle' us (I Peter 5:10) in the days to come. He is good; He is trustworthy!"

So whatever your story is currently--whether it's the waiting or the fulfillment, the sorrowing or the rejoicing, never forget: God is good, and He is about His best in your life!

12 comments:

  1. So happy for you two! May the Lord bless you as you walk through life trusting in Him. Seek Him in all matters and you will be blessed with great wisdom.

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    1. Thank you so much Mrs. W! And this is wise advice--please pray that Joel and I may indeed seek God in all matters!

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  2. Praise The Lord!!!!!!!! I'm SO excited for God's provision for your lives. I will continue to keep you in prayer as you seek to make plans for the future:) SO exciting!!!!!!!!

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    1. Thank you Elanee--oh it is just so thrilling!!!!!! My joy is also continually multiplied by the many dear friends like you who are rejoicing with me. : )

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  3. So, so happy for you Mikaela! God is good! So, is there another wedding date set yet? :) Congratulations!!!

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    1. He is good all the time absolutely! Thank you, thank you! No wedding date yet, but we're working on it!!! : )

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  4. Mikaela, I enjoyed reading your perspective on the whole waiting process and how it was an opportunity for more faith-growing for both of you. Thank you, too, for including the quote from Louis Giglio. One day I believe we will see the "big picture" and fully understand that God is/was always, always working - for our good and His glory. Blessings on you and Joel as you prepare for the wedding! :)

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    1. Thank you Ruthie! That quote has resonated with me from the first time I read it--I'm glad you like it too. And I love thinking about the moment when we'll really see what God was doing throughout history and our lives. His plan is truly amazing and beyond our understanding right now!

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  5. I'm so excited for you! God is good!!

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    1. Oh He is, Aimee! Thanks for sharing in my joy. : )

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  6. Oh Mikaela! My heart leaps for joy for you! I remember we were talking about this at the WA homeshool conference and I was praying about this! I am so encouraged by your testimony! Many blessings to you and Joel. I will continue to pray as God brings you to mind!

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    1. Thank you so much, Amanda! And I REALLY appreciate your prayers--so blessed to know that you have been and continue to pray for us.

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