Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I Choose To Be Thankful ...

My heart has been heavy these past weeks.  Truth hasn't seemed to win out, and it anguishes me. 

The Ebola outbreak.

A few weeks ago, missionaries that were just a few miles from our children came to the US, to seek medical treatment and have been healed.  Don't get me wrong...I prayed for them, and am so thankful God showed his mercy and healed them. 

And now our country thinks everything is over.  Ebola hasn't won.  And it's over.

But it's not.

It is worse than ever, a matter-of-fact.  People are dying constantly everyday.  It seems I can hear the wailing as I sleep, and in my waking hours.  The wailing of hopelessness.  It seems I can feel the depth of despair and even the questioning if God is listening.

Our country has sent over experimental drugs to help those in this fight for their lives.  But our country has sent over drugs to a corruptive country.  Liberia's government will see who gets help and who doesn't.  They will make sure one tribe will survive over the other, and the government will see to it that they themselves are safe.  But those in the bush, those in the orphanages and those who don't matter (in the country's eyes) ... they will never see the "help" that was sent.

This disease needs to be isolated, true.  But in Liberia it is the extreme.  I know one particular story that a son tested negative to the disease, but his whole family died.  He was still shunned and isolated ... left to starve and die, because he was related to the deceased, even though evidence proved he was safe.  Villages and slums are quarantined.  Food doesn't come in.  And because of the state of the country, food isn't necessarily grown.  Starvation is now a factor.  And those who have food, are selling their goods at an outrageous price ... and we are talking about the second poorest country in the world.  I can imagine the food going bad before the price could be met. 

Things seem hopeless.  My heart remains heavy and in anguish.

Yet I'm reminded through Paul's words in Philippians of the hope we have.  That we are to look outside of the situations.  Look outside of the prison walls he knew so well, look outside of the cross our Savior endured but look to the One that is our prize.  (Philippians 3:14)  I'm to rejoice in the Lord always, not to be anxious about anything, but in everything , by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present my requests to God.  Today I search for the peace of God which will transcends all understanding, will guard my heart and minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:4-7)

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice.  And the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:8-9)

I admit, it is hard to find good, noble, right, pure and lovely, admirable and excellent things in this situation that strikes close to our home.  Our children could be starving.  They were hungry before, and the depth of hunger pains are more likely increased.  They could be isolated.  The country is so poor, communication isn't an option.  Fear is evident from what we do know.  Fear rises in me as well.  How can I be thankful?

But I choose to stand on faith.  I choose to believe the God that says he hears, hears.  I choose to believe the God that says he fights, will fight.  I choose to believe the God that says he comforts, will comfort.  I choose to believe the God that says he protects, will protect.   And I choose to believe the God that says he is hope will remain hope. 

I choose to shift my eyes more upward.  And I consider it my thanksgivings - the boy I shared many laughs with, the girl I held and let become a peanut butter mess.  I am thankful of the songs of joy as they danced and sang before the Lord.  And with the thankfulness, somehow I know God will rise above this all ... and even in this hopeless mess, everything will be ok.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sometimes We Just Don't Know the Whys

I was at the top of our stairs, and all the family pictures that are in a collage, on the wall caught my eye.  I reminisced each picture one by one.  At the bottom of the collage were the pictures of Elijah and Ruth.

I can't help but wonder how life would be so different if they were here and not there.  And I wondered what would life even be like with them here.

We here the news all over the world of the Ebola outbreak.  It is sad to hear.  It is even scary to some.  And I have even seen cold heartened comments from others.  I have read articles of a child who was diagnosed NOT carrying the disease, but all the rest of his family had died from it ... and he is still shunned, and even left to starve and die. 

And I think of Elijah and Ruth.  What is in their future?  Will they contract this or not?  And ...

Why couldn't God just have allowed them to come home?

With the transition of Duane's job, the anguish of other things that are going on in our lives, I can't help but be transparent with you, I have battled the thought:  "God, have you forgotten us?". 

I know God is there.  I know His timing is perfect.  I know we will get through this.  I truly know all these things, but I just can't help but ask ... why.

One of these days I'll see the answers and know.  But today, my heart is heavy.  I have a precious son and beautiful girl on the other side of the world that I have trusted God with to raise, provide and care for and now trust to fight for their lives, more than ever before. 

And I turn and see all of God's provisions in our past and know He is capable and He is more than able. I may not know the whys of today, but just simply choose to believe - God is more than enough for all!

Life on the Other Side of the Fence

April 30, 2014 was Duane's last day at work, as he was laid off from a large, respectful company.  He needed a break, and we prayed God had that in His plans.  And we have always had a knowing seeded deep within that God had this all in control ... the next job would come.  We had hoped that after a couple of weeks Duane would be back at it, and we could pocket the sizable severance pay ... and pay off some bills while we were at it.  We had hopes and dreams.  And if we could have a nice vacation towards the end of the year, that would be the added bonus.

Today ... three and a half months later, Duane is still in that time off mode.  We have gone through the struggles of finding each others roles, as well as the confusion it has brought to the girls as I am now the one at work, and Daddy is the go to person.  Duane has the agenda of what is going on, but not as detailed as I would like ... and I am clueless as the coming and going of the activities in the household (if it isn't on the calendar).  Duane is the fix-it minded, goal oriented, head to the grind-stone type of guy having a summer with the emotions of four women, drama of high-school girls and watching his wife come and go with joys, struggles and exhaustion of work.  The other side of the fence looks doesn't look as "easy" as he once thought it to be (whether he admits to it or not). 

I continue to go to work.  I experience good days and bad.  My energy is taken there, and there isn't much left for home.  The joy I once had in the kitchen seems so far, so long ago.  I don't have much time with my girls, and feel at a loss because of it.  Being the caregiver and encourager I once was as I sent everyone on their ways and had things ready for their return seems to be at a loss as well.  This other side of the fence is foreign for me and I would so rather be back on my own side.

Duane and I have always had the traditional, "old-fashion" roles.  He went to work, he was the provider and I was the nurturer and home maker.  This summer we have learned to respect one another roles in a whole new way.  I think we have learned our lesson and we are ready for our roles to revert back once again. 

Yet ... the wait continues.

Duane gets leads.  He submits his resume.  We wait.  And for the most part ... the society for what it is ... we never hear a thing.  There is only one company that has given us the courtesy of a polite rejection letter.  Duane has submitted over one hundred resumes now.  And we continue to wait. 

I have been torn.  I have learned to wait on the Lord in all this, as my eyes have been waiting for a phone call or email to come through ... and I would find God in all that.  But instead my eyes have learned to focus on Him and all the rest would align itself. 

But now today, there is a new level of anxiousness and a new level of want.  I won't lie, there are days that you can't help but wonder "has God forgotten us?" ... and I just have to turn and extend my hand out to Him and know He is there holding it.  He tells us to trust, and we try ... some days are easier than others.  Today is hard.  I remember the list of answered prayers, and how God has seen us through each trial time and time again ... and then I'm reminded this will be like the rest.  God will answer.  God will answer

I have daydreamed and thought of moving across state, as that seems the only way we can see the country we live in.  I have surrendered and have even become excited at the possibilities.  I have surrendered to the thought of us having to move back to the state that was once called home, and have tried hardest to embrace it.  I have pleaded with staying in our beautiful home, that is decorated to our liking and have discovered a new side of me as I hike the great outdoors.  I have accepted it all ... to move or not, coming and going ... willing to do whatever God wants. 

Yet that is the question.  What is God doing?  What does He want?

So we wait.  We continue life on the other side of the fence for now.  Tension comes and goes.  We wait on the Lord.  And battle the thought of God forgetting about us.  And we wait. And we pray the waiting will come to an end ... quickly.  And I hold onto that deep seeded knowing, God this too all in His control.