Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What's Next

I mentioned before that there's a lot going on in the Puhl house. A lot of what, you may ask?


A whole lot of waiting. And praying. And wondering. And begging for direction. And guidance. And... just... something...

There's still a lot of waiting to be had, but I wanted to share with you a part of the talk that Studly and I had this weekend.

sidenote: Isn't it just so refreshing sometimes to connect with your spouse on a whole new level? Or maybe not as "new" as just... it's been a while. We have had a great time together the past week or two, and I feel like we're both growing so much through all of this. But individually and together, as a couple. It's just like a breath of fresh air.

Anywho - back to what I wanted to share with you. But in order to tell you that, I need to share with you a story, first. There are many versions, but here's the basic idea:

An older woman, known for her faith, is in her home when she hears an emergency notification on the radio. An obviously concerned news person alerts everyone in the small valley-town that the local river's dam is in danger of breaking any minute and all should flee to higher grown immediately. Not a moment passes after the old woman's prayer to God is finished and there's a knock on her front door.

A younger neighbor, one who regularly assists the elderly woman with yard work and basic house maintenance, tells her that she needs to grab her purse and nothing else and get in the truck with their family. They are heading up the mountain to higher ground to wait out the coming flood.

"No, you go ahead. My Lord will save me."

He pleads with her for a few moments, before realizing that it's useless, and reluctantly leaves, driving his family to the safety of the higher ground.

Sure enough, not 20 minutes later the water is rising around her home. It begins seeping in under the doors, and eventually the windows, as well... so the elderly woman heads upstairs, praying for rescue still, in order to stay dry.

Upon reaching her bedroom and closing the door behind her, she opens a window to the sounds of an approaching speed boat. A fireman calls out to the woman, "Climb into the boat! We'll take you to safety. The waters are rising fast. We have to hurry!"

"No, no," she says stubbornly. "My Savior will rescue me. You go save the others!" Slightly annoyed, yet extremely concerned, the fireman insists that she climb into the boat, but she closes the window and turns away. The fireman drives on, saying a prayer for the woman as he leaves.

As the water begins to slowly trickle into her room, she pulls down the attic steps, climbs up, and then climbs through the low window out onto the roof of her house. Once she settles into a spot near the peak of the roof, she closes her eyes and begins humming and singing the hold hymns that she sang growing up. Songs of God's incredible faithfulness and abounding love. Songs of his provision and salvation.

From a distance the sounds of a helicopter grew louder and louder, until the wind created by the beating blades could be felt on the old woman's face. A rope ladder is thrown down from the open side door, and a voice shouts over a speaker, "Ma'am! Grab onto the ladder, we will pull you up!"

"Leave me here! My Jesus will rescue me!"

"But, ma'am, we just came from the river and the rain up north is causing even more flooding than we expected... you must come quick!"

"No. I will be fine! My Lord will not forsake me!"

Defeated, the pilot orders the ladder pulled up and turns the helicopter away.

Sure enough, the waters continue to rise, and the woman is ultimately swept away by the raging waters. Unable to keep herself afloat, within moments she finds herself standing in front of Jesus.

"My Lord!! My Lord, I waited for You! I thought surely You would hear my cries and save me from this flood... why didn't You come for me?"

With more love than anyone could imagine, and without the even the smallest amount of frustration or annoyance, he looked her in the eye and said, "My child, I sent you an urgent warning, a neighbor's car, a fireman's boat, and ultimately a helicopter. I did not forsake you. I would never leave you, nor forsake you."

Whew. Pardon me while I wipe the tears away... that story gets me choked up even just thinking about it. I mean, don't get me wrong - there's a whole comedic aspect to it, too. But just thinking about God's faithfulness, even in the midst of our stubborn ignorance... it's just amazing to me, the God that we serve.

Our decision to believe in him means nothing in the concept of his existence. And with that comes his grace - he is not an angry God, casting out punishments, and sentences for our actions, but rather a loving God that allows us to make the decisions we choose, even knowing that it would end in our hurt and ultimately his heartache. All of the anger and wrath and disappointment he had for us died on the cross, and now we are left with nothing but forgiveness and his amazing mercy and grace beyond anything we're capable of comprehending in this life.

That's how much he loves us!

Sorry. I know I got off topic, but that story is just such an amazing reminder of his faithfulness, to me.

So... back to what I originally planned to share with you -

There are a lot of possibilities swirling around the Puhl house. And we're really eager to jump at one of them... for a lot of reasons, but don't want to force it. We really truly want to be where God wants us. We want his will to be done in our lives and want that so much.

We believe that he puts desires in our heart for a reason, but we also know that at times we are the ones burning those desires, ourselves.

Basically, we're feeling stuck in this place of wanting to push for it, but not wanting to force it, either. We want to put forth all energy and effort that we can to make it happen, but at the same time we don't want to MAKE it happen, ya know? We're praying about it. Praying that God's will be made clear to us, but we know that sometimes we need to learn patience in these situations.

But we also don't want to sit back and do nothing, expecting God to literally force it on us, either. He won't do that. Sure, he can... but I don't believe that he would... not in this situation. SO we also struggle with not wanting to be like the old woman in the story above, where we insist, to a fault, that God will intervene, when that could be exactly what he's doing right now.

Either way, we're in a holding pattern. We'd appreciate any prayers you'd be willing to give for us, at this time. Prayers for patience, and peace in the situation. Prayers for God's will and his direction in the decision-making process. Prayers for sanity and strength through it all.

And I'll update you as I can. I promise.

But that's it for now... just a little tidbit of what we've been dealing with. Trying not to over-think things, and trying even harder to remember that we are so very small compared to our larger-than-life God.

...And finding peace in knowing that.