Patient Love by Rikki Strong

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Rikki Strong

It’s my birthday tomorrow. Most people don’t believe me, but really, April Fool’s Day is just another day. People have birthdays on April Fool’s Day… though, we don’t always like it.

Looking back, as people often do as another year of life comes to an end, it is plain to see God’s hand working. A year ago today, my husband was living and working in another city, in another state. I was, for all intents and purposes, a single parent of a very active 6-year-old. I had been content where we were, in our little house, with our little plot of land and our flock of chickens and our ministry to local youth. I would have happily stayed there forever if I could have.

My husband lost a good-enough job four days after Thanksgiving and got a much better one in another state two months later. He moved in February, and our son and I stayed in the house for another four months to finish the school year.

I should have been excited. We were moving back to the area we had grown up. We both had family here we hadn’t seen much during our nine years in Idaho. There are so many more opportunities for our son, who is academically advanced. But you know what? I hated every second of it. I hated the thought of leaving our little house. Our first home. The only home our then-six-year-old knew. I fought the idea for a long time and begged God to change his mind.

But, God had other plans for us, as He normally does.

In the past year since getting the new job, God’s hand has been not only in our financial life and the big things like a place to live, but also the little things; the minutia that often gets over-looked. Like the sparrows in the field, God provided a safe and loving home for our flock of chickens and the cats we had to leave behind. Our ministry to youth was embraced by some of the grandmas in the church and is still thriving. We, though the use of the house we still own, are able to be a blessing to one of our former ministry kids, now a single mom with two young children.

We were able to quickly find a new home church and recently became official members. At our new church, our son participated, enjoyed, and excelled in Bible Quizzing (the kids studied the book of Genesis this year). One of his 20 Bible memorization passages this year was Psalm 32:8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

It took me a good nine months to begin to come to terms with and begin mourning everything that could have been in Idaho, and it is still an ongoing process. Through everything, however, God continues to instruct, teach, and lovingly counsel.

It’s hard to feel God’s loving eye in the midst of the turmoil, but you can see it clearly when you look back. What earth-shattering–or even just minorly-inconvenient–thing are you facing today that you wish was simply a bad April Fool’s joke? What is God trying to teach you through this time?

Patient Love

My novella, Patient Love—written last April in the midst of all the turmoil—is 50% off today (March 31, ’14, ebook edition)! Tomorrow, it returns to its regular price of $1.99 (ebook; $5.49 for the print edition).

Patient Love Smashwords (Nook, Apple, Sony, PDF) http://bit.ly/1aecPhW

Amazon (Kindle, Print) http://amzn.to/15mucLG

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