It was just three weeks ago today that Joe headed into a meeting that would change the course and direction of our lives. At first, it sent us into a whirlwind of emotions - disbelief, hurt, anger, denial, and uncertainty. The initial sting of being "let go" from our ministry was strong and the response of friends, family, acquaintances, and God was equally as strong. (Read more here.) I sit here today overwhelmed by all I have learned about God, myself, and my strong community of positive and encouraging loved ones. Our family has truly been held up these past few weeks. We have received hundreds of texts, phone calls, emails, Facebook posts, Facebook messages, scriptures, quotes, and songs to uplift, encourage, and remind us of how rich and blessed we truly are. We are reminded of God's goodness, faithfulness, and the fact that He still has extraordinary plans for our lives. And not just our (Joe's and mine) lives, but for the growth, development, and future of our kids as well.
Today I want to encourage you with a small sampling of things that have encouraged me so that - in whatever trial you are facing today - you may also receive truth and encouragement.
So many quotes that I would love to share, but I will keep it to one powerful quote. This quote reminds me that who I am becoming and who I am is far more important than the circumstances that surround me.
"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson
I don't know that I can choose a favorite passage from the Bible. There have been so many that have meant so much to me each day these past three weeks. Every day I am in a little different space, dealing with a different piece of the hurt, or needing a certain reminder to keep me moving in the right direction. So here are a few:
Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own. Proverbs 3:5 MSG
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18-22 ESV
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. James 1:2-4 MSG
There are a number of songs that have blessed me. Here is one of my favorites with a few lines followed by the music video.
So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held
Another song that I have repeated over and over again speaks to God's awareness of my situation. Joe and I had huge dreams, plans, and visions of possibility for this ministry and our part in it. We were seeing glimpses of these coming true in a short time (less than two years) so when the whole thing was halted it was difficult to see (and still is sometimes) that God has even greater plans for our future. He sees what we cannot see and allows the very best into our lives even if it hurts - He is Sovereign Over Us.
Your plans are still to prosper You have not forgotten us You're with us in the fire and the flood You're faithful forever Perfect in love You are sovereign over us
Thank you to all who have loved and continue to love on our family. We love you back more than we can express. And I still say with strong conviction that living the extraordinary life - regardless of the pain - is so worth it! And in Joe's words,
(I’m Traci, the "Be Extraordinary!" blogger. I share insights that challenge and encourage moms to be the best version of themselves. To me, that’s an extraordinary life! Click HERE to receive blog updates and a free newsletter.)