jack-in-the-box moments

People have been asking me for this story again.  I have combined the two posts so they can be read together.

One Friday morning in 2009, my life was drastically changed. The week before had been filled with Jack-in-the Box moments. These are moments where life jumps out at you and scares you silly. I never did like that toy and can’t even imagine working at a factory that makes them. The song it plays – “Pop Goes the Weasel”- warns you that Jack is about to pop out so you try to prepare yourself for his sudden appearance. Being prepared doesn’t help. I always jump. That Friday morning I was weary from jumping.

On Monday we were a family of four; by Friday we were down to three. On Monday I was a minister’s wife; by Friday he had been fired. On Monday, we were upper middle class; by Friday I could qualify for food stamps. On Monday we had a three bedroom house complete with two kids, two dogs and a fenced in back yard. By Friday we were preparing to move. “Pop Goes the Weasel” became our family song.

Thankfully the scary free-fall we were experiencing was broken by a gracious, loving church and a Sunday School class full of friends. They took the shame and embarrassment we were experiencing and lessened it with graceful love. Our church provided my sons, dogs and me with a house until we could get back on our feet. When we moved in, there were groceries already in the cabinets from my Sunday School class. Meals, cards and monetary gifts came. God provided through his people.

It was during this time that I sat on the edge of my bed asking, “God, HOW do I DO this? How do I DO life?” God drew me to Proverbs over and over again each night. It became my guide for “doing life” as it was at that moment. In Proverbs it shows that there are really only two ways to do life – you do it “with God’ or you do it “without God.” I had a choice to make. Did I want to live with bitterness, revenge, and fear or did I want to be free from those things building up and choking my life? I wanted to be free, so I chose God.

That may sound like a proud bragging proclamation, to say “I chose God.” But it is not. God cries out to be chosen with His arm raised over the worldly crowd. He waves it wildly in the air, hoping to catch our eye. “Pick Me, Pick Me” is His chant. Our eyes scan the crowd of choices and in our brokenness and neediness we point to Him and shout –” I choose Him”. He steps forward and makes the weasel’s song fade and replaces it with a new melody…fresh, clear, compelling, pure and free. It is God, and He is singing.

Zephaniah 3: 17
The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

jack kept jumping (Part 2 of Jack-in-the-Box Moments)

After November of 2009, Jack kept jumping. Our lives had been drastically changed in one week and our lives would change even more as the New Year introduced itself. Thanksgiving and Christmas with family passed and became dear memories…really dear memories.

I started off the New Year by going with my sister to chemo. I had never been in that situation before and seeing the young and old waiting for their turn in treatment was eye opening. When my sister stated that her doctor was the leading specialist in the type of cancer she had and that he only accepted “special” cases, I knew we were heading into a place in life I did not want to go.

As January ended I prepared to budget for February. I pulled up my recent paycheck stub online and noticed that my paycheck had decressed significantly. A phone call informed me that the IRS was garnishing my wages for taxes my husband and I owed. Since he was fired and we were separated, I was the only one with a job…so they came after me. Now my two boys and I had to live for five months on $800.00 a month. This surprise almost put me under, but God held my nose above the water.

Not long after that my son’s car blew up, and then he wrecked mine. My tri-focals broke and had to be replaced. February was the month of broken things that just settled in along side our broken emotions. It was at this time that I noticed laughter…the weird kind of laughter that breaks out when the Jack-in-the-Box toy pops out at a baby. It is a laughter mixed with fear and amazement. I had the laugh, my friends had the laugh and my children had the laugh…what else could go wrong? Well, a phone call can go wrong. My Mother was sick. The day she got out of the hospital was the day she went back in the hospital. The news was not good. We lost her here, but she gained heaven with her Christ-bought soul.

On my birthday in March, we buried Mom and that evening we were told that my sister had three months to live. We lost her in two…May was her date to go home.

Where was God when all this was happening? He was where He has always been..on the throne. I don’t see the throne room of God as a cruel place where He flings out sorrow to earth. There is not a jester standing by Him who is playing around with my life to entertain. Why? Because Death, Decay, and Sorrow are products of this world that I have to wade through. Their flow of muck originated in Eden, but will end with Heaven. It will be clear one day…until then I will by faith see LIFE in death, I will see Hope in decay and I will see Joy in sorrow.

Jack is in his box…eternally confined. God is on His throne….powerfully free.

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About 2b14u

I'm just a person. A person who has learned a lot of truth in the darkest days of life. The truth that glimmered, flashed and at times broke through like a day's dawn all came from the hands of a mighty God. His light makes the darkness worth it. To know my background, visit my posts titled "Jack-in-the-Box" and "Jack's Still Jumping"- Feb. 2012.
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14 Responses to jack-in-the-box moments

  1. This is beautiful! I have a similar experience with God when my dad passed away. God sent all His people to my place to help me. God truly provides!

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  2. Caitlin says:

    that verse at the bottom is my favorite verse 🙂 I love your term “jack-in-the-box.” such a perfect image for something that’s so hard to put into words! I also used to suffer depression until God set me free in an instant (also in 2009!). what an awesome God we serve 🙂 it’s encouraging to hear about how the Body stepped in to help you guys in your time of need. this is indeed The Church! thank you for sharing!

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  3. iI have those moments many times over, i need to be reminded constantly that he is waiting on me!

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  4. Mindy says:

    As I sit here tears well up and threaten to roll remembering your nightmare. You demonstrated such a graceful spirit through it all, and you still do. God has used you in ways im sure you arent even aware of. You are a continual picture of God’s presence in the midst of a storm.

    I think Zep. 3:17 is my all time favorite verse. When life seems to be too much I love to picture the God of the universe singing over me!

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  5. 2b14u says:

    Reblogged this on a nut's notes and commented:

    People are asking me for this story again. The follow-up story will be added to this blog so it can be read together.

    Like

  6. As others have said, a beautiful testimony! I also went through a time when I lost everything, including my wife and 4 children (they are all alive but I have no contact with any of them any more). All I can say is that God is indeed gracious: He met me there and has led me through it all. More: He has now given me so much more than I could have believed possible! Not wealth, but a wonderful partner, a nice home, and a great church family. Persevere, He will continue to see you through and will, in time, bring you to a better place.

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  7. lorischulz says:

    Thanks for the “Like” on my blog post. And thanks for sharing your story! What a great reminder of how good our God is – all the time. -Lori

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  8. exegete77 says:

    Thanks for your story, but especially God’s story. May God’s mercy continue to guide you and bless you in Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for stopping by my site.

    Like

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