What if i told you that you would face lots of hardships. You will have troubles, worries, problems. Adversity. Like it's for sure you will get there.
What if every area in your life looked miserable. Sad. Hard. Impossible. Troublesome. Worrying. Concerning. What then? What would you do?
Adversity in our lives is inevitable. This is what Google says adversity is:
So here's an honest confession. My life lately, well not very lately, for quite a long time, has been full of adversity. Fairly unpleasant amount of situations. Circumstances. And by the long time i mean, year, two and some things even three.
My health has been messed up for about 4 years. Maybe 5. That long that i can't even remember anymore. So long. Since i remember i have been going to the dentist for example. Some say that it's genetics, some say just bad luck (which i don't believe in). Some say it's misfortunate. But ever since i was a kid, I've had to see dentists regularly. While others can go years without a cavity, I've had them all the time. I do brush my teeth and all that. But they just keep coming.
And now, for the last 4-5 years, I've also had a lot of other things. Mental and physical. From anxiety, panic attacks and depression, to mysterious stomach issues and feet pain. Sadly, Estonian doctors haven't been very attentive to me. And I've seen quite a few. Often disregarded and told to ignore things. I have kept asking questions, they have continually ignored me or not answered me. Which is fairly discouraging if you want answers. At one point you feel like not asking anymore and trying to "survive" for the lack of better word.
And then there's Sarah. Sarah has not been an easy kid. Ever since she was a baby, she hasn't been a great sleeper. Which has put a lot of stress on us. She has been held to sleep when she was a baby. Now as a toddler, we still need to do quite a bit. Often we just wish we could just walk out of her room and she'd sleep. You know how you see some babies or kids fall asleep anywhere, any time. Well, Sarah is the opposite. She struggles with sleep. We have developed routines and try our best to keep them. It helps a lot when a child knows what to expect. Whenever we have a harder night, where she doesn't want to go to sleep, wakes up several times a night screaming or crying or both, and wakes up way too early, we always try to figure out what happened. "Did we not walk enough? Is she teething again? Should we keep giving painkiller? Should we pick her up or no?". We are always struggling to find that right gentle way to deal with a toddler who is far from gentle and calm. And of course, that causes friction and some words between us too.
(PS! We still love our little girl and we are doing our best with everything - not asking for advice here, but just trying to explain one side of things).
Then there's me struggling with friendships. I've never had many friends. As an adult, i have even less, because it's way harder to let people in or keep in touch. Seems everyone has busy lives and here i feel like i have all the time in the world lol :D But in reality, they just do what they need to accomplish their goals and dreams. And i just happen to be in a different season where i have loads of free time. And that means, they struggle to find time to meet and i have all the time available to meet. Which can also be a struggle. Unpleasant situation. More adversity. Also, I'm not good at asking people to meet me, continually. I mean when people say no, or they are busy, i feel like I'm bothering them or they just need to do other stuff. I know it's not the full picture and full truth, but reaching out for me has always been hard.
And then there are finances. Ugh. This is hard. As long as i remember, even as a kid, we've had fairly little finances. I don't mind using second-hand clothes and books etc, but it's just a constant struggle. When you live on a tight budget, it cuts out most of the fun in your life. Like the movies, or eating out or new clothes etc. And especially if you need to spend money on medicines, your child keeps growing and still needs clothes, your clothes might fall apart because you have to buy cheap ones as you can't afford quality ones... Bare essentials. You buy food, try to keep it healthy-ish, but often unhealthy is cheaper. Then what? Try to live on the balance of a little unhealthy and some healthy. But no cinema, no concerts, no events, often no birthday presents for others either. Buy second hand where possible, or don't buy at all if possible. Postpone where possible (like i might need new glasses, but they can wait). It's constantly budgeting, thinking and calculating. Where else can we save? And on top of that, we have a debt to pay off. And we might be needing more soon because we need a car. And we just got some news that we seem to be owing Estonian government a lot of taxes as Peter is working as a sole trader... More and more adversity is added...
Our marriage. Has always been hard. Always. It started as a long-distance relationship with me in Estonia, moving to Denmark and Peter in Australia. I mean that was hard. We got married and i moved to Australia. It was hard. We come from different backgrounds, different cultures. Everything has been a struggle between us. I don't remember a time where we've had like amazing season together. Maybe a few moments, weeks, here and there, but more or less all of our relationship has been really really hard. We have a lot of arguments, misunderstandings and we keep going through them. We keep pushing forward. Praying, hoping, trying. Not going into details because it's personal between us. But i can tell you, it's been very tough for us. Yet, we know we belong together and i couldn't even imagine my life without my husband.
There are things we need to buy, we have kept putting off due to finances. Like Peter needing a new laptop for his work because the current one is just very very old and slow. But we just haven't been able to. No point in buying a cheap one and then needing another one in a year or so. Same way, i need to postpone buying glasses or shoes and such, because we just can't. Or the fact that i am not buying clothes much and i have currently two pair of pants for example which i alternate because it's not possible right now. And also, i don't want to just buy something that might fit and is super cheap, if i don't like it. So i keep my closet minimal because i don't want to spend money on things i don't like. Yes, it's hard. But somehow we push through.
There are things we wish we could do. Like go on trips, go eating out. Go on dates as a couple. But not in this season. Well, in all honesty, we do eat out on rare occasion and then mostly in a cheap place. Like Peter has a birthday coming up and we are going to eat out because that's like once a year and we are leaving soon. So we made an exception. But dates for just the two us, or cinema or theatre or anything else. Nope. Not right now.
This makes me feel dark, gloomy, sad, and like we are missing out. It might sound miserable and in so many ways it might be. I am not writing this to get pity or that people would send us money or anything, no-no. I am writing this to share something personal and how we go through this. Because we are. We are and we will.
The news about taxes arrived yesterday. I was out, by myself. Wanted to have some time out as i am a stay at home mum, then occasionally Peter allows me to spend some alone time outside of the house, to journal or whatever else i need. Peter let me know that he finished doing his taxes and we owe a big amount of money... And then my mind just went racing off into dramatic exaggeration of doomsday coming. "How is this possible? How can they ask so much? How are we going to manage? How are we going to pay for that? What are we going to cut out of our already minimal budget? I mean, if i skip drinking that once a month coffee it's not going to make even a dent in this debt...." And so on. The mind was racing with emotions, dramatically exaggerating everything. There was fear of the unknown, doubt of how we get through this, anger towards the government and so much more... I stopped my alone time early and came home. I couldn't focus anyway. I cried. And we prayed and talked and talked. And i cried more. Because everything together (my health, our marriage, Sarah's sleep, my friendships, our finances) it just kept hitting me in the face like a ton of bricks. How is this possible? I try my best to do healthy meals, but still try keeping them cheap, but we have a child who needs proper nutritions... I try to have time with God daily. We pray, we tell Sarah about Jesus, we pay tithes, we go to church, we serve... Where are our blessings? How long do we have to go through this? Why us? Why can't we just get a break? I just don't understand how we keep getting more and more things that happen to us. I just don't understand...
I was filled with so many emotions. I cried. We talked. I cried. We talked. We prayed. I cried to God. I was just exhausted. I couldn't think clearly or see clearly. And that day just couldn't end soon enough...
And today. Today, i got up. I felt a little better. I was a bit calmer. Then the initial storm had subsided inside of me. Yet there are still unanswered questions. I did my morning as usual, including reading the Bible, worshipping and praying.
I could've chosen to ignore that. My normal routine. Because i was upset, had circumstances and emotions to tell me otherwise. But i chose to close the door (while Peter minded Sarah). I put on my headphones and i cried out to God. I worshipped. I proclaimed blessings over our life knowing in my heart that they WILL happen, one day. I cried out to Him. Prayed over every area of my life and blessed it.
And then i sat down to my journaling Bible and dug into the Word. I am still in the Old Testament, currently in Numbers. And i try doing a page a day. Rarely do i do more. So i was at Numbers 13:17 and read until chapter 14:6. And that little amount between there is so so much! It was so impactful today and after all that long rant of my life before, i wanna tell you what God showed me today in His Word.
So let's go dig deeper. Today and most days recently i use an app that has commentary (you can find it here: Enduring Word or find it in the app store. It's one of my favourite commentaries to use. I've tried others too, but have stuck with this one for months now.
vs 18 See what the land is like, (here Moses is sending spies out to check out the land)
Mose has subtle unbelief, even though God already told them what the land was like. And here i am thinking that do we trust God with where He is calling us OR do we also do our research and try to figure things out before we even get there. I know i have thought so. Because we heard from God to go move back to Austalia. And of course, our human mind tries to think of what we use to travel around (like buying a car, what kind of car etc), where we are going to live (like staying at Peter's parents house, but also what are we looking for in a rental, even though we haven't even arrived yet), how is work schedule going to look like for Peter and so on...
vs 24 That place was called the valley of Eschol (which means "cluster") -
Here i just pray that we would receive our clusters, our Eschol. I pray that we would reap Eschol, more than we can carry, so we could bless others. I pray for the outpouring of God's blessings over our lives.
vs 28 But...
That's all i circled in my bible. Because that is all i needed to see there. But, "despite all that" ... at that moment, Moses, and every man of faith in Israel SHOULD HAVE cried out and said "BUT NOTHING! How can one say "we went to the land, found it good, and God's promise is true", and then say "but"...." We so often have that doubt. Not just me i assume. We hear from God, yet our human nature keeps thinking about all the "but..." and "what if..." God has called us to Australia. He has called us to be together, to have a child, for me to stay home with our kid (maybe a few kids in the future). So i need to hold on to that and see that He WILL provide.
vs 30 But Caleb tried to quiet the people as they stood before Moses. "Let's go at once to take the land," he said. "We can certainly conquer it!".
He had faith! It took great courage to STAND AGAINST the TIDE OF UNBELIEF, or doubt and "but!" attitude. Cabe had the spirit of Romans 3:4 "Let God be true but every man liar".
We need to stand against our "but", our unbelief, our doubt. I could've believed my thoughts and emotions that were having a dramatic and exaggerating situations. I chose to dig into His Word to see the truth. We chose to pray because we know that from our strength we can't do this. We can only do all this with God.
vs 31 "We can't go up against them! They are stronger than we are!
Their unbelieving response was a potent combination of truth, lies and exaggeration. It was true from the human perspective that they are stronger than we - but to say "we can't go up against them" was a lie.
BECAUSE they were with God, and with God all things are possible. Especially as He has said that He will give them Promised Land. He called them there. He made a way. He won't fail them now. So do we have to believe that whatever the enemy keeps throwing at us. God keeps growing our faith. Keeps providing. Keeps getting us out of these situations. Regardless of the giants in front of us, our God is bigger!
vs 1 began weeping aloud.
That was me yesterday. Just crying. Just feeling so sad and sorry for myself, for my family. Like how much longer. But today, i feel calmer. God doesn't make everything "easy". God was trying to cause something to die - the flesh, sin-nature, the old man. Same way with us. He wants us to grow in faith during our trials. Seems that we are. And oh man it's tough but necessary.
vs 3 why is the Lord...
God can not do evil. We often ask God why this or that. We need to trust Him. Faith comes with trials. Ultimately faith or unbelief does not spring from circumstances or environment, but from our hearts, which God has to change.
Ugh, that is a hard one. I know i have some unbelief. I know that i have so many questions to God, "why me? why us? how long ..." etc. But ultimately, i have to have faith and trust Him.
I hope you got here. You got through this hard post that i felt like i needed to write. I sit here in bed, trying to rest while Sarah is having her nap. Trying to manage pain that i have, trying to muster up the energy to do dinner. But i hope you got here. Hope you got encouraged to keep pushing on, to keep believing, having faith and trusting God, even when it's so super hard and seems an impossible situation. Hold on, it's not over. He has a plan. He will stand for you and with you.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to share to whoever needs this encouraging word. Or an example of struggling faith. Of growth. Whatever you wanna call it.
And until next time :) Be blessed!