Trials and Thanksgiving

Then Job answered the Lord and said: I know that you can do all things and that no purpose of yours can be hindered. I have dealt with great things that I do not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I cannot know. I had heard of you by word of mouth, but now my eye has seen you. Therefore I disown what I have said, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:1-6)

Job has been on my mind a lot lately. The man had everything and he loved God. Then Satan took it all away.

I have wondered what my response would be if Satan took everything I have away. Would I respond as Job did and not lose my faith while remaining grateful for what I had left?

In the last year-and-a-half my life has taken some drastic turns. My husband and I chose to leave a very full, fulfilling life and move back to Pennsylvania. We left very dear friends, a daughter, granddaughter, and new son-in-law, and a church and school that we loved, to come back to a known, yet unknown, life. When we moved back we had no home and my husband’s business was unsure.

After six long months we finally finished building our new home and, although the headaches that accompany the building of a house remained, we at least had a place to call home.

The rest of our lives have not been so easy for my husband and I. Our thirteen-year-old daughter settled in nicely and made new friends, but that has not been the case for me.

Getting my husband’s business up and running enough to sustain us has been a struggle and my finding a writing community and friends has not proven easy. Even though we were only gone six years, life here did not stand still and the things we expected, like our connections to our extended family, changed. Besides building a new home, we have to build a new life.

Many times I have questioned God, wondering if we made the right decision. Should we have stayed in Washington where we were so comfortable, had friends, had a good life? My other question: Did I let my husband make this choice for me while neither of us considered my feelings? Did he drag me across the country when I really didn’t want to move?

Through all of our trials, there have been bright spots, times when I have seen a glimmer of light and felt that we made the right choice. We have gotten to see my sons and their families, who remained on the east coast when we moved west. We have reconnected with our extended family although it is different than it was before.

Then at the end of September, 2014, something happened that shook my world. It was a double edged sword as in one way it was a sad, unexpected experience while on the other edge it served as a wake up call to God’s plan. One of the reasons we decided to move back was to be with our aging and not so healthy parents.

In September my father passed away. I knew he was not well and he was not long for this world and yet we can never be truly prepared for that moment when a loved one leaves us to be with Jesus. I didn’t even make it to the hospital in time to say goodbye.

I was angry at my mother for not calling me sooner, maybe a little angry at my husband and daughter for taking so long to leave home when that call finally did come, and mad at my father for not waiting for us to get to the hospital. And angry at God for taking my father away from me and not giving me the chance to say goodbye.

I was angry at myself, for not being able to touch him in the hospital, for seeing a zombie lying in that bed instead of seeing my father, and pulling back when I finally touched his hand in the casket.

After the funeral, when things finally settled down and I was able to get some perspective, I realized something. Because of the choices my husband and I made over a year ago, I got to spend the last year of my father’s life close to him. I was able to spend one last Christmas with him.

Because of our move my father got to see his great granddaughters in the month before he passed. He got to see his grandchildren, but mostly I got to spend time with him, not enough, but yet enough. I was here for the last year of his life, instead of living across the country and talking infrequently on the phone.

We got to have political discussions that I hated. We got to talk about our shared faith. And mostly after years of not feeling his approval, came to realize that he did approve and actually supported my writing endeavors. He even loaned me materials to research my current work in progress and was interested in how it was going.

In spite of all the pain, all the doubt, all the trials, this last year-and-a-half has been a blessing. I got to know a man on a much different level than I had previously considered. I realized that God knows best and even when I doubt, question and rail in my anger He remains steadfast.

I still struggle and have days where I doubt my decision to move back to Pennsylvania. I still question God’s guiding me here. But then I remember the positives, the things that are working and the realizations that have come through my pain and trials. Then the only option is to be like Job and be thankful for the situation that I am now in and acknowledge that God is in control and He alone knows what plans He has for me. Like Job I will continue on the path before me and wait on God’s rewards.

Thank you Jesus for all that you have given me.

Let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise. (Hebrews 13:15)

Copyright 2015, Christina Weigand

Christina Weigand

Christina Weigand

Christina Weigand’s a writer, wife, and mother of four. She is also Nana to three granddaughters. She lives with her husband and youngest daughter in Cranberry Twp. Pennsylvania, returning there after a short sabbatical in Washington. Currently, she’s working on fantasy novels and inspirational writing. Through her writing, she strives to share the Word of God and help people young and old to realize the love and mercy He has for everyone. When she’s not writing, she’s active in her local Church as a lector, Bible Study, volunteering at her daughter’s school helping the children develop a love for reading and writing. Jesus fills her home with love as she shares Him through her writing.

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