I want to continue to talk about what grief has taught me/us. Sometimes I have a hard time putting into words when talking with someone what I’ve learned, but typing has always been a great avenue to explain all the things that are going on in Kristin’s head :).
I would say this is a deeper confession of mine, but I think a very real one. Something I struggled with early on (thankfully do not struggle with much anymore), is being so afraid of making a mistake to cause more pain. Let me unpack that thought. When we first found out about Dan’s job loss and the babies, we were so afraid of something else happening, that we were afraid of making decisions or saying something b/c we were afraid it would “cause” other issues. At that point we were so beaten down that we kept thinking “what else?” I had mentioned this earlier, but Dan wanted to go for a walk soon after the babies past away. When he stepped out the door, I was watching him like a hawk with tears in my eyes because I was worried about him getting hit by a car or something. Not that Dan is a “dangerous” walker :), but I was just so overwhelmed with the initial loss of everything, that I was afraid something else was going to happen. That even came with decisions. They always say don’t make big decisions when you are grieving. Unfortunately, we had to make some big decisions. Looking back, I sometimes wonder how we did, but that folks is ALL GOD’S GRACE. He gave us the “umpf” we needed to get through each day. I have learned that God is not a God who is dependent on me. Yes, we have free will I believe to a certain extent, but God is sovereign and His ways may not always be ours. God will allow what He will allow. He knows the person I need to become in order to be more of a reflection of Him. So why did I worry about more “bad” things happening? Because it was real. It still is to some extent, but my trust in God is so much further along. At any moment, something labeled as “bad” could happen, but God will take us through it – He has proven faithful!
Self-reflection. I sometimes feel with those two words, it means some “new agey” thought. Not at all. After going through a time of grief and loss, it does allow for a lot of self-reflection. Dan and I have said that we have been blessed to have time to think about all that has occured and refocus on what God is doing in our life. I have mentioned other lessons we have learned, but I would say even more so, we never felt the call to ministry as strong as we do right now. Many have asked us if we just wanted a break from ministry and work other jobs for awhile. I can understand where they would think that (and yes, having a few months break has been helpful), but we know our hearts are in ministry – youth ministry. There is just something about youth that we just love and are drawn to. In reflecting on who we are as a couple, God has reminded us of one of the reasons he brought us together – to do youth ministry together. I suppose there was a reason why back in high school/early college that I made of list of the type of person I wanted to marry and one of the requirements was a youth pastor! We are still praying that God swings wide open a door in youth ministry. There are things we talk about and can’t WAIT to do with youth again :). You’d think we never grew up! Like Dan has always said, you can take the boy out of middle school, but you can’t ever take the middle school out of the boy. Ha! Is that ever true! We have realized that God has still given us such a passion for youth ministry and we just can’t wait to step back into it! So we are thankful for God continually putting that passion in our hearts.
Daily I am thankful for God’s showered blessings on us – we have our house rented. And as far as we know, it’s going well! A few insurance kinks to work out, but in the end, it ended up being a HUGE blessing b/c we were able to save money. Having our house rented, means we are mobile – we are able to move when ever God says “Sterks, time to go.” We have a wonderful place to stay. Never once have we regretted the decision to move in with Dan’s parents. They have been so wonderful to us and so loving! Same with my parents – always have a bed open for whenever we are around. We feel so blessed to have such wonderful parents who love us so dearly and are there for us no matter what the circumstances. We just know that God has us in the palm of His hands and we just have to trust in His perfect timing.
So, those are the thoughts for the day 🙂