“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)
“My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.”
― Corrie ten Boom
What a beautifully written poem; but how painful, exhausting and frustrating to be living it with only the underside in view. Sorry it has been so long since our last update – we have been struggling to find the motivation to a.) Write an update at all & b.) Have anything of value to say! In a nutshell, we feel like we are entrenched deep within the mire of the second verse of this poem and I (Erik) will be the first to admit that I have fallen victim to the truth therein “And I in foolish Pride forget that He sees the upper and I the underside.”
Life here in Hawaii HAS BEEN ANYTHING BUT EASY. The difficulties are many, the battles are daily, and it seems that every task is wrought with mishap and hurdles of ever increasing size; we are tired, we are scared, we are frustrated, and we are at the end of ourselves.
SO – what has transpired since we last updated? My job at ALTRES did not work out – long story short, I was not the right person for the job and it was not the right job for me and my decision to quit on DEC. 9th I’m sure came as a relief to them instead of them having to come up with a better reason to lay me off. We have also since been blessed with the responsibility of being the ‘Campus Overseers’ for OneLove Ministries Windward satellite Campus in Kailua, HI. WE ARE STOKED and believe amidst all the confusion that this is the reason the Lord brought us to HI. At this time the church is not in a position to bring us on staff and thus the position is merely voluntary at this point but as the overseers there is a small parsonage on the church grounds that will eventually be made available for us to move into around March 2014 for a significantly reduced rent from what we currently pay. However, this too is a challenging situation as the church is in the midst of a custody battle over the church property and there are some law suits in full swing from one of the previous church staffers which has only served to delay, confuse, and challenge forward progress as the satellite campus. Furthermore, Law suits seem to be in this year as we find ourselves up to our eye balls in debt from a ongoing lawsuit of our own of which I can say no further other than the obvious; It SUCKETH and it has been a learning experience we (and our creditors) will not soon forget!
I have also experienced something that has been equally challenging to every physical set back listed above and that is the realization that as far as the corporate world is concerned; I apparently have nothing of value to offer as my resume and experience is not firmly set upon collegiate pillars of excellence and an MBA. Furthermore (as I learned in my short time with the staffing agency) I am the exact opposite of a strong candidate in the Hawaiian market based on my lack of degree, lack of island experience, and my resume apparently shows that I job hop to frequently! Furthermore there is a sad disparity between the offered wages (stupid low) compared to the cost of living (stupid high) that is in HI. Lastly, the sting of my time with ALTRES will not subside until DEC. 2014 as a condition to hire (yes, even for the 90 day trial period for which I was hired) I had to sign a 1 year non-compete with them and thus working for any other staffing agency is not possible until then.
Therefore, as I sit and type this on nearly the last day of 2013 the outlook from every human cell in our bodies is bleak and our return to the mainland seems inevitable. We have turned in our 30 day notice on our current rental as we do not have the reserves to pay for any more than 1 more month here (and our current reserves, Praise Jesus, have come from several amazing and faithful friends & family members that have so graciously and freely given to us – which is a whole other ball of wax to humbly accept). I am hoping to connect with the Senior Pastor of OneLove today to try and work through the details of the parsonage that is said to be available in March but regardless the hurdles remain : 1.) Where are we to live after we move out of our current rental at the end of January? 2.) We are still financially responsible for the small monthly fortune of this rental until new tenants take over the lease 3.) Happy thoughts don’t pay the bills and regardless I have run out of those and instead need a job! 4.) If the law suit continues much longer or if an unfavorable verdict is the outcome we may have to pick up the bankruptcy for dummies book to determine what chapter to file for.
How we wish we were a better example of His sustaining Grace like perhaps those that have gone before us like Isobel Kuhn or Hudson Taylor; able to graciously and with such class and stride draft elegant life changing quotes to go down in history as the centipedes eat us alive (PTL no real centipede scares for weeks now, only a constant and ever increasing wood ant infestation through out the house) BUT apparently we are too fleshly minded and carnal to so joyously take pleasure in the greater work that the Lord is doing in our lives.
And yet – we KNOW God knows what He is doing. We KNOW non of this has taken Him by surprise. We BELIEVE He will sort this all out [this – meaning stay in HI or return to the mainland as either would require miracles]. We PRAY that through our transparency others would not be discouraged from taking steps of faith and trusting the LORD as we would do this all over again in a heart beat because regardless of how we feel about the difficulties of life we know we were bought at the precious price of the blood of our savior Jesus Christ and even if he slay us we will hope in and praise Him (Job 13:15 lose paraphrase). We are learning that we are somewhere on the misty flats between the American Dream Christianity and the oh so challenging struggle that is the walk of faith and to be honest we long for the ease and comforts of our previous life. Unfortunately for our flesh that little thing about “Picking up our cross and following Him daily” leaves not an inch of room for anything other than death to ourselves and the pursuit of Him. Fortunately for our character God is more concerned with it than the comforts for which we moan and groan for.
Death is ugly. Death is stinky. Death is raw. Death is no fun at all – and yet, we take solace in this:
“We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you. ” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
Truly if anything good comes from our leap of faith here in HI I attest that all Glory will be unto God as we in our own strength & ability have nothing to offer.
We love an miss you all and will try to be better about posting about what the next step is.