The Blessing of Trials & Disappointments

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10

Apr

The blessing of trials and disappointments and seeing God's hand through it all. Read more on KaraLayne.com

It’s a funny thing about life. We get so wrapped up in what we think it’s supposed to be. The things we want, the dreams we have – and when it doesn’t happen within our timeline, it can easily feel discouraging. Or that you are failing the game of life. And that none of it will probably ever happen for you. Then you get right back to the grind of the everyday. Head down, working hard, still festering about what you see in the future that still has yet to come to fruition.

It is quite comical, really, that we ever waste time or energy lamenting about things that haven’t happened within the fabricated timeframe in our mind. Because the truth of the matter is, we were never in control to begin with. At least not on the larger, cosmic scale.

Anyway, back to having your head down and continuing forward despite feeling hopeless and heartbroken. Eventually, after time, you get smacked with a moment of clarity. And it’s always when you find yourself several steps from where you were when all that festering and lamenting was going on. There is now enough distance that you can look back with fresh eyes and see the path you have been on. Like, really see it. And you know what? Suddenly those setbacks, the doors that closed, the scary jumps without rhyme, reason, or guarantee – they all have come into focus a bit more.

It’s like a pair of binoculars. You can’t possibly get a clear focus while in the midst of trodding along on the trail. The path is rocky, there are things you’re looking out for – your hands can’t be steady through all of that trodding. It’s only until you have traveled for some time that you then come to a clearing or overlook that you can take pause. That you can then properly adjust that thumbwheel on those binoculars and get a really sharp and focused view.

And when you look back in the direction you came, proper focus and all, you can see the journey thus far for what it really was. What it has always been. You can see that the setbacks, the doors closed, all of it – that it was actually working in your favor. It’s not something you can possibly know while in the thick of it all. The trees are too tall and the forest is too dense and dark. All you can do is put one foot in front of the other, grab a bandage when you need it, and keep going because you have been told the view is worth it.

It was just about two weeks ago that we suddenly were feeling the strongest urge to push pause. And that the reality of everything currently in our life was not going to play out as we had hoped. There was supposed to be a move. There was supposed to be a new home. There was supposed to be land where we would watch these cubs do all the things they have talked about. It’s what we had our hearts set on. It’s what I can honestly say I ache for daily.

The blessing of trials and disappointments and seeing God's hand through it all. Read more on KaraLayne.com

But there is also a new job that is based in town. And there is one family car due to that new job. There’s an added daily commute that we didn’t foresee should we move farther outside of town for lower land and home costs. There are inflated home prices within the town that, what we have our hearts set on for our family, are millions out of budget. Everything changed a few weeks ago. There are variables there that weren’t before. And as much as I didn’t want to admit it, the reality was setting in.

Our dream move and homestead will continue to wait.

There have been tears. There has been frustration. There has been immense heartache. But you know what there has also been? A fresh perspective and a view that has come into focus a bit more. Well, after the tears stopped. And amidst all of the current disappointment, you know what we now see as we look back on the last three years in the waiting?

The closing of a business before the world fell.

Jarett owned a commercial cleaning company in Arizona. A brand new business that he had built to six figures when we felt called to move somewhere we had never been. Closing the doors to his company seemed crazy to so many, including us. Little did we know that just a year later the world would shut down. As a new company, we did not have the infrastructure to handle the blow of clients boarding up their businesses while everyone stayed home. It would have surely crushed us.

*Blessing realized.

The new job in Tennessee.

We moved to Nashville with an open mind. Jarett had just shut down his business and for the time being, we decided to live off of my income alone to get a feel for things. Within four months, Jarett could see the stress was weighing heavily on me and decided to find a job that was casual in hours but eased the burden. A position with a pool company. No excessive hours, a company truck, and clients that loved him. A job that also never skipped a beat when the world stopped in 2020. He continued to go to work daily. No tyrannical mandates. No testing ever.

*Blessing realized.

Another business closure.

What I thought was exhaustion from never-ending deadlines and client requests, being tethered to my desk day in and day out, turned out to be something completely different. I shut the doors to the branding and design portion of my business in the spring of 2020 which, without even knowing it, coincided with the entire world shutting down. I worked with a lot of other creatives who were then experiencing shutdowns themselves. Surely, that would have seeped into invoicing on projects.

But it would take an entire year to really discover the blessing in this pivot. And it came with Blair’s diagnosis. Something that has taken an extraordinary amount of my time and energy to focus on. Surely, I would have been drowning trying to keep clients happy while simultaneously serving my life with the intensity that I have been. Instead, I have been there for every bit of what I am needed for within my most important role.

*Blessing realized.

Then there was the opportunity out of left field.

A person we admire greatly and a family we love opened a new business in town. And he had one person in mind to step in as his first employee and senior construction manager. The skills and talents Jarett has cultivated over the years within the home construction and pool industry, working for the corporate offices of commercial cleaning companies, as well as owning his own business. It literally all intertwines into this one single position.

A position for a consulting firm that, I kid you not, assists people in the building of their custom homes.

An office that was opened a mere one block from where we live.

Which, as you can imagine, eased the burden of losing his company pool truck. No commuting necessary.

*Blessings upon blessings realized.

I have often shared the painful vulnerability that comes with live-sharing one’s life experiences and current trodding. It can easily be equated to standing in front of a crowded room completely naked. Uncomfortable doesn’t begin to describe it, you know? I have openly and honestly shared the vision we see for our family – the land and the lifestyle of freedom and self-sufficiency we want to cultivate. And over the past three years, that vision has continually been put on hold. Over and over again I have sat in the waiting, wondering when it will all work out in our favor. When will the righteous desires I have in my heart and for our family finally come to fruition?

And now, we are being asked to wait some more. For reasons unknown.

However, in the waiting, I have been continually watched over and cared for. Our family has been blessed beyond measure within the painful shifts and tough pivots. There have been blessings woven into the very fabric of those, what we assumed, were setbacks. Despite the disappointment and heartache, there is a renewed comfort and peace that comes when you are able to reach a place to take pause, look back, and clearly see God’s hand throughout every detail. I don’t know why we deal with what we have to. If I had it my way my Dad would be a phone call away and my daughter would not have Type 1 Diabetes. We play the hand we are dealt and we keep trodding. Because there will come a point that you are able to see the reason for it. Or the blessings that came from it. And we are always better for it.

If you are in a season of waiting, if your heart is aching for what has yet to come to fruition, I beg you – keep going. Keep trodding. There will be stumbles. And there will be bandages needed at times. But I promise I will be there with the Helichrysum and a hand to help you back up. Because the reward of seeing just how intentional and protective the Lord is with his timing gives a tired soul renewed strength. We just have to be willing to wait for a clearing to adjust our view.

Keep going, friend. There is joy and comfort in the waiting. You just have to focus on it.

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