Curveballs of Life

Sometimes, life throws you curveballs. But it’s never when you are expecting one. You think you are getting a beautiful, straight fast ball. And then it drops out of sight or slides way to the outside. I keep praying for that fast ball that I can hit out of the park, but, for some reason, I keep getting pitched the curveball. I’m guessing that means that I haven’t learned to hit it yet. Pitchers always throw the ball they know you can’t hit until you starting hitting it, right?

I think God gave the world so many things just to make sure that we can learn a life lesson through it. Why would God give us baseball? Yes, it’s America’s pastime. But that can’t be the only reason we have it. Can it? I don’t think it matters what we enjoy in life. Or what activities we take part in. We can learn something from every single thing. We (at least most people) learn lessons by doing them. Some people can watch something and learn how to do it, but generally you have to try it to get the actual usage from it. I can watch a baseball player hit curveballs all day long, but until I step into the batter’s box, I will have no idea how to hit that pitch. And no, I’m not planning to take up baseball any time soon. First, I don’t have time for that. Second, I really love watching baseball. I wouldn’t want to ruin that by trying to play it. I’m horrible at baseball!

If you stop to think about it, how many times has something happened and you relate it to something that you have done or gone through? Or you can relate it to something that has happened in someone else’s life. There is a lesson everywhere you look. Sometimes we don’t even need to be looking. It just punches us right in the face.

These last few weeks have been over the top stressful to say the least. God has been opening our eyes little by little for a while now. We apparently weren’t opening them fast enough though. God made sure that we got the message a couple weeks ago. I’m not going to go into all the gory details, but God definitely got our attention.

As most of you know, my husband has been a pastor at a very small church for a couple years now. It has always been a rough thing, but we were (we thought) working through all the issues. About a week before Thanksgiving, we had a business meeting at the church. I was not there because we had sick kids that night. But during the meeting, it got plenty heated and two of the members walked out, revoked their own memberships, and said they were never coming back. These two members happened to be the previous pastor’s wife and daughter. They were upset that my husband was putting his foot down to get everything done legally at the church. He had been fighting with them for almost two years about these things. They got mad and left.

A few days later, we get a lovely letter signed by a select few members of the church “reminding” my husband that he is to do things according to the church constitution. It stated that if he didn’t do things the way the church members wanted them done, they would force him to resign. This letter was an illegal threat to his job. We got that letter just a couple days before Thanksgiving.

Fast forward to the Wednesday before Christmas. We had two people approach Phillip at the church service about becoming members. According to the church constitution, members can join at any service. So, my husband brought them forward and the few of us that were there voted them into the church as members. Now, mind you, there were only about four of us members at this service. All the members that had caused the issue earlier had not been in church since they gave us that letter. But, this Wednesday was a normal service that happens at the same time and place each week.

A couple days later, at the Sunday service right before Christmas, Phillip announced that these two people had joined the church on Wednesday. The main “problem child” happened to show up to church that morning. He threw a royal fit right in the middle of the service and tried to say that they did not join on a Sunday and were not legal members of the church because of that. It was a major fiasco in front of all our kids and a whole bunch of guests.

All the happenings of that day were the last straw for my husband. He prayed all week about what had happened, and decided to resign his position as Pastor of the church. He announced it on the 30th. I could not have been more overjoyed! That place is such a toxic place. I have no idea how anyone can survive there. I am so thankful that God is in control and took us out of that situation.

I told you guys that the last few months have been a rollercoaster, to say the least. But God knew exactly when we needed to leave. This is something that He has been working on inside us for a while now, but we weren’t sure when to leave. But God did. He has everything planned out for us. He has our best interests in mind. “For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord… (Jeremiah 29:11)”

Our family has been put through the ringer these last few months. And not just with church members. Family, employers, etc. have all been frustrations and horrors over the last couple of years. You guys, I’m human. I’m trying so hard to not hold a grudge and stay angry and resentful at these people, but it’s hard! I get it!

Is it sad that I’m more resentful at certain family members for how they treat us than I am at these church members? I’m not really even sure why that is, but it’s true. I think it’s because you expect your family to be there for you when you have trouble or just need help with something, but that just isn’t the case right now. It seems like it always cuts deeper when it’s a family member hurting you. Especially when you didn’t even do anything to deserve the treatment they are giving you. They just blame you for everything going wrong in their lives.

You guys, I say all this for what reason? I’m not completely sure. But I do know that frustrations and upsetting circumstances are only temporary. Yes, they can last quite a while, but there will be brighter days. I’m so thankful for the brighter days. My family could really use some of them right now. I believe they are coming. I just need to be patient until they get here. God has me covered. I know that. I know He will take care of our family. God is way bigger than anything I could ever be. I know He can handle this.

I guess my point in all this is that, even though things don’t always go our way, we can still be joyful. Even though things aren’t easy, we can still trust God. Even though our friends and family betray us, we have God by our side. Even though we are filled with resentment, hate, and distrust, we have God to rely on. He will never leave us nor forsake us. I’m so thankful for a God who promises us that and ALWAYS keeps his promises. My God is way more than I deserve. I have no idea why God chose to save sinners like me. He died for everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. God can, and will, still save you if you ask Him to. God’s grace is more than sufficient to cover every sin you’ve ever committed. Every. Single. One. And it is such a relief to have that grace wash over you!! There isn’t another feeling like it in all the world. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

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