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If you haven’t read it yet, please read my Construction Ahead blog before reading this one. https://tlfry.wordpress.com/2011/04/26/construction-ahead/

For the past almost three months, I have been jobless. It has been a time of doubt and uncertainty. I have been in the depths of the construction wondering when the road will finally be finished and I can enjoy the new pavement. I have been praying that God would open the right doors and close the wrong ones. I have been applying to countless jobs and have had only a few interviews. All of my interviews seemed like they went well, only to be let down with the words “We offered the position to someone else and they accepted.” But that meant God was closing the wrong doors. I knew the entire time that God had a plan for me and if I didn’t get a position it meant God had something better for me. The hard part was waiting for that plan to unfold and trusting that there really was something out there better for me. Sometimes I wondered if my holding out was pointless and I should try for something that didn’t use my degree. Three months of no income seemed scary, especially when you have groceries to buy and a house to maintain and a few more months until the dreaded loans needed paying off. I asked God to provide for me during the waiting period. And that He did.

First, I was offered a position as a freelance writer with Rose-Hulman Ventures. I only received a couple small projects and knew that wouldn’t pay the bills. But then some cousins went on a vacation and needed a dog sitter. They paid me to do it. A couple weeks later, some other cousins needed a babysitter and they paid me to watch their kids. The next weekend my aunt and uncle left for the weekend and needed someone to house sit and watch their dogs- guess who they paid to do it… me! Just this week another cousin called needing a babysitter for a few hours- again I was paid. Rose-Hulman asked me to do a bigger project which means more hours which means more money. Does God take care of his children? Does he provide for them even when they are uncertain about where their life is headed? Yes and yes.

And guess what else- This week I got a phone call. A local newspaper offered me a job. I am now a copy editor. I now have a job at a small paper where I can meet new people and build relationships, and I get to be doing something I really enjoy- editing!

Thank you God. You are my best friend, my provider.

I didn’t write this to gloat or brag about the good things happening in my life… I wrote it so you can know that even in your times of uncertainty, God is still looking out for you and He has a plan. My story is just one example but there are many, many more and one day, if not already, one of those stories will be yours- the construction period will be over and you’ll be driving on new pavement.

In life, we all face mountains. And no matter how many mountains we climb or fall off of, there are still more up ahead. Our lives are mountain ranges. There are four main parts:

The Mountain Top

This includes the joys, highs and celebrations in life. This is when we feel closest to God, when we aren’t facing any struggles and we put on our T-shirt that says, “Life is good.”

Everyone wants to live on the mountain top but all the growth occurs during the climb.

The Climb

The climb equals all the struggles and obstacles we face in life. Often it feels like the higher you climb, the harder it gets. Just as when you are climbing a real mountain, the higher you get the harder the wind blows. Obstacles can be small hills we must climb over but sometimes they are as tall as mountains. If mountains keep coming up, you can only be certain of one thing: the view on the other side must be breathtaking.

Once you climb the mountain, and enjoy the mountain top… the only thing left is to come back down. Unfortunately we can’t live our entire lives on the mountain tops. Richard Nixon once said,”Only if you’ve been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain.”

The Descent

The descent is split into two parts because there are two ways you can get off the mountain. You can slowly climb down or you can fall off the cliff.

The Climb Down

This type of descent represents the ruts we get into in life, the times we get too busy or start putting other things before God. Those other things can include our jobs, our finances, our friends, our families, even our ministries. The climb down is usually a slow process and usually we don’t realize it is happening until it is too late. The lyrics below from the song “Slow Fade” by Casting Crowns describe it perfectly:

It’s a slow fade when you give yourself away.

It’s a slow fade when black and white turn to gray,

thoughts invade, choices are made.

A price will be paid when you give yourself away.

People never crumble in a day. It’s a slow fade.

The Cliff

I think of the cliff as the tragedies in life including deaths or sudden bad news. Beth Moore said something like this in one of her books: Life’s tragedies can come in all sizes, even if it seems relatively small or minor to others. If it translated as something huge to your heart, it is huge to God on your behalf.

Sometimes we jump off the mountain top on our own, but usually it feels more like a push- something we don’t choose that feels like a shove out of our happy state, something that tears us apart and makes us feel like we’re falling with no end in sight. And then we hit the bottom…

Dark Valleys

The valleys are the sorrows, depressions, darkness and prisons of life. This is the forty years in the desert for the Israelites. It is our lowest of lows. But here is a quote that I love: “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer.” Even through the worst of times, we must trust our Engineer, God, to protect us and watch over us and most of all to bring us out of the valley. Psalm 107:14 says, “He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.” There is hope even in the darkest valleys.

We spend about 85% of our lives climbing and descending the mountain, falling off the cliff and cowering in the valley. That is a lot of time where we can trust God and use the struggles to grow. Because we all know suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. (Romans 5:3-4)

So right now where are you in this mountain range we call life?

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