Joseph

Oh, how I’ve missed writing.  I’ve been doing the very things I set out to do in 2013, and we’ve been productive and happy, but I do miss writing every day!

It has been a great month of transition, settling into our new lives here at Fort Jackson. Our house is completely unpacked.  The only remaining task we have left is to buy bookshelves for Bailey’s room, which we’re waiting patiently for, so we can buy the ones we want.  Until then, these books will be in boxes.

Books minus the bookshelf that was so cheap it didn't survive.

Books minus the bookshelf that was so cheap it didn’t survive.

Over the next week I will share short posts about what we’ve been up to over the past month.  Oh, and we may or may not find out our next duty station this week, so there’s a possibility that a “Where we’re going next” post may pop up!

Until then, I’ll leave you with a very special story about something that happened two weeks ago today.

We attended a new (to us) church that came highly recommended by friends all over North and South Carolina.  We happened to arrive at the church on their very first day in their new building, so we were starting something new alongside the regular people.

As the pastor spoke, I listened intently, taking notes.  He was speaking on Joseph, how he had been sold as a slave, and all the amazing things that followed.  When the realization of what I was hearing caught up with where I was hearing it (in Columbia), a wave of overwhelming love for my Lord washed over me.  See, the last time we lived in Columbia we were made aware of our debt (after we purchased a house and then realized we had no business buying a house) and we were drowning in our fear.

The Lord scooped me up onto His lap and comforted me throughout that scary time by leading me to a verse in Acts.  It succenctly sums up Joseph’s entire story, giving me hope that we would come out the other side of our debt-slavery in one piece, and, best of all, we would gain wisdom.

 “9The patriarchs, because they were jealous of Joseph, sold him into Egypt. But God was with him, 10 and rescued him from all his troubles, and granted him favor and wisdom…”

That’s my whole story, right there.  Four points, easy to remember and so full of hope:

  1. Slavery.  In 2006 we realize we had sold ourselves into slavery.  If you are under the weight of debt, you KNOW I’m not exaggerating here.  Debt can make you feel like you are a slave, because you are.  You have no choice what to do with  your money because you’ve already made a choice… to spend it before you had it.  (I’m not beating on you if you are in debt… I was there.  I want you to get out of it like we did!)
  2. God was with Joseph.  God was telling me in 2006 that He was with me then, not angry at me at all, and that He was going to be with me through the entire process of getting out of that slavery.  I thought it was going to take 10 years.  It took 4.
  3. God rescued Joseph.  That was the second promise He told me.  I knew he wasn’t going to rescue me by letting me win the lottery or having a huge lump sum of money dumped in my lap, because He was going to work on me (both Matt and me) in some major ways.
  4. He gave Joseph wisdom.  This is why he didn’t wipe our debt out as soon as we were sorry for the mess we had made.  We had to work four long years and sacrifice in a lot of ways but we were obedient, and He helped us through our mess, and in the end, he gave use wisdom.  And patience, and contentment, and compassion for others who are in debt.  Oh, I wouldn’t trade a day of it.  It was worth it all.

While on vacation in Charleston in ’06, I ran across an artist selling paintings on scrap wood.  Many of her paintings had scripture on them, but the picture I wanted was plain.  I asked if she could add my favorite scripture to it and she happily obliged.  I went back the next day and she had written:  “But God was with him, and rescued him from all his troubles, and gave him wisdom” on my piece.  It has been posted in each of our homes every since.

joseph

So, two weeks ago when it hit me that the pastor was preaching on THIS scripture (actually, the story in Genesis rather than the synopsis in Acts) and I was sitting IN COLUMBIA, on the other side of my slavery, I was floored at God’s faithfulness.  He was reminding me of how much He loves me.  The peace we feel financially, even as we are sacrificing here and now by only having one car, is so overwhelming.

This moment let me know we were in the right place for our time of worship and I have spent the last two weeks soaking in Genesis and the story of Joseph.  We’re in a totally different place than the last time we lived here, and we are a testimony to anyone who has debt that freedom and wisdom are the result of working to get out of debt.

Through the scripture, was God speaking to me.  It was hard for me to formulate words to say to him, other than, “Help. Me!”  While driving to post one day I heard a new song on the radio and the words brought me to weeping tears and I drove through the gate with tears streaming down my face.  I could barely see, but I had no where to pull off until I was through the gate.  Poor gate guard.

The lyrics say:

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say “Amen”, and it’s still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus:]
And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can’t find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
“I’m with you”
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

[Chorus]

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

(by Casting Crowns)

That song released in January of 2006… seven years ago this month.

About Jennifer

"Yes, they're all mine." The answer to the question I hear most often.
This entry was posted in About my faith, Discussing debt, family, military, personal development. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Joseph

  1. Jen Cooper says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS!! Your life is a testimony to God’s faithfulness!

  2. That’s the song I turned to with each one of the babies I lost. It always reminded me that God could get me through anything.

  3. Beth T says:

    Isn’t that just like God! To weave all the parts and pieces of our messes and His Faithfulness together!
    Please keep blogging!
    Love you all,
    BethT.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s