The greatest of these…

(Updates below!)

I had planned for my next post to be about our vacation, but as I’m learning every day now, God changes our plans…sometimes drastically.

For all the years that I’ve known Dave, he’s wondered what he wants to do with his life. It’s not that he doesn’t know what he likes, but that he likes so many different things that there’s not much out there that will really help him feel more whole.

Last fall, he stumbled on an idea. I cried at first, because it scared me, and then I began to incorporate it into my daily existence and found it yummy on so many sides. It had just the right combination of fun and family and scary and money and challenge that we decided to try it out, to see if it could actually become real.

This summer, after our vacation, Dave exchanged some emails with the people who would have to agree to hire him for this to happen. They wanted all sorts of information–height, weight, date of discharge from the military–and we found it and gave it to them. Then we waited.

It only took a couple of days for us to get an answer, but it felt like forever. We talked, dreamed, schemed together. And then it came. He told me and I cried.

The truth is, this door isn’t shut, but they’ve determined that Dave is currently unqualified. It has nothing to do with his mind or his heart or his desire to minister. It has everything to do with some health concerns they have for him based on some current information and some history.

Are these things we can change? Maybe, with a lot of work and even more grace. But we’re a little bewildered, left wondering what God is trying to say to us and how hard we push this before we change our minds and hearts and plans and walk another direction. We had narrowed so much of our lives down to focus on this goal–I work so he can get a discount and go to school to get the degree that would make this job possible, he works so we have enough to live on while he’s going to school to get the degree that would make this job possible, we work out so that he can be in good shape to pass the prerequisite physical, we don’t know how much we should commit to a church because we might be gone in a couple of years–and it hurts to wonder if it was all for nothing.


Nothing is for nothing with our God. None of this last year, none of last sememster which was harder than any one when I was in school, none of it. But we thought we knew what it was about and now we find that maybe we don’t and that’s hard.

I think that’s the summation of this post–it’s hard right now. Not “I’m going out of my mind because it hurts so bad” hard, but “Life doesn’t look quite as bright and tears are often near and I pray that God’s making something beautiful out of all of this because I can’t” hard. If vacation was a mountaintop, this is a valley. And so we walk, hand in hand, through our valley, praying that we have the faith to take each step, the hope to see resolution where we don’t expect it, and the love to draw nearer to each other as we answer these questions.

Update: Dave decided to go for it. That makes it sound more unilateral than it was, but the truth is that it was his decision to make since it’s his body. So pray for us as we investigate some options and try to figure out what will work best for us. There are a lot of changes we need to make if this is all going to work out, so pray for courage and stamina and whatever else God leads to to ask for. Thanks!!



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15 responses to “The greatest of these…

  1. oh, this is so hard. i feel myself inside these moments, the fear and then the dare to imagine, the work and then the utter upset of it all, the worry and the timidity of hoping and the sudden determination that God is in this, no matter what it turns out looking like. but still, it’s hard. i can feel that. maybe because kirk and i had our own experience with that this year, thinking God was moving us to california for the be-all, end-all experience at ISF . . . only to have God turn us in a different direction that didn’t look anything like we had really imagined God had intended.

    i take heart at your assertive “no,” which says that nothing is for nothing with God. it was said so fiercely that i know you are holding tight to it with all you’ve got.

    sometimes i feel so frustrated that God gives us only pieces of our lives at a time, instead of the whole of it. i hate that sometimes he takes us in a direction so that he can get us to the next step he has for us, which we would have never seen if we didn’t head in this particular direction, even if what we thought we were heading for doesn’t end up being the prize at the end of that leg of the journey. sometimes i hate that. other times, though, i marvel at it. how on earth does he do that?? it’s amazing.

    but i’m sorry all the same, friend. sorry you’re carrying the tears and the hurt and the questions right now. loving you in them. can’t wait to hug you in person!

  2. Di

    i’m sorry for the disappointment too and praying for you both…Peace to you.

  3. Dear friend,
    I’m sorry I didn’t listen more to this yesterday when we had lunch. This is such a major change in direction, or at least a check in the direction you’ve been going.
    Love you guys and will be praying for you.

  4. ouch. man, this stuff is hard…just like you said. i won’t say anything you don’t already know. just sitting here with you with my heart caught in my throat somewhere along with yours.

  5. Christianne–I kind of thought you would know the feeling 😉 I know Dave and I are going somewhere…but it’d be easier to know how it would work out in the end (read my update…Dave decided to do his part to try to make the necessary changes and see how his body responds). Love you.

    And I AM holding tightly to that “No!” right now…sometimes life really is like a dance. One minute, you’re seeing the room from one side, and you think you know how it looks. The next, you’ve been whisked across it to another place and you’re not so sure you knew anything before.

    Thanks for your love.

    Di…ah, yes, peace…needing that, right now.

    Steph–don’t worry…really. I don’t think I was really ready to talk then, since I’d just heard it. I don’t really know what this is yet, which is part of what makes it hard.

    Terri–thanks for being here.

  6. oh, this is hard. one of those moments where it goes something like: okay, God, i thought this is somewhere where you were leading. i thought you were opening doors. and now they’re shut, or at least open so narrow i can’t make it through. what are you doing? when will i know?

    and so we wait. and we wonder. and we cry and pray and wonder and wait and occasionally tear our hair out & scream & pound the walls or the floor. it’s easy to be on the outside & to say that God knows exactly what He’s up to, that He hasn’t forgotten you, that He has a terrific plan for what you’re walking through. i only know it’s annoying because i’m annoyed when people tell me these sorts of things & my heart is sagging & disappointed & hurting & full of questions that have no answer.

    so, that’s all i got sister. just that i think i kind of know what it’s like to wait in this awful place, & to step out over a precipice, trusting that you’ll be stepping onto something solid that you just can’t see yet.

    here’s to the not-yet ahead of you.

    love to you & dave.

  7. wow! that’s quite a step! way to go, dave! i love that he’s taking this brave step because it’s where his heart pounds the hardest. (or, at least i get that’s the sense of what it’s about for him.)

    i love, too, knowing how i can be praying for you two. thanks for giving us this very personal glimpse into your life together. love you, girl.

  8. Oh, the dance of life is sometimes a tango, other times a waltz, and sometimes it is that cheezy line dance and you are out of sink from the get go.

    I am glad to hear that you are not completely deterred by the recent let down. Continue to pursue that dream and have the courage to walk thru it if that door opens. But remember, if it closes that God will open up a whole new door, and a whole new place for the two of you to grow into ministry and in God.

    Blessings to you both. Keep praying and some day you are going to look back and say “wow, see what God has done?”

  9. linni

    trusting the process… one step at a time..

    which sucks, cause if we just knew how it is going to turn out, life would be so much easier…

    all i can say…

    trusting the process…and experiencing the love in the meantime! xx

  10. Tammy

    Hi Sarah, i have been MIA for a few days. I am cutting out using the net at work, i don’t want to get canned. Anyway, i read your blog the other day. This stuff is tough. Hang in there sounds like you got a good head on your shoulders with this.

    Thanks for being real and sharing your heart here.

  11. Okay, so I’m a little confused, but I understand (if that makes sense). Chris and I are both building, building, building–I’m working at my speaking and writing career, and Chris is starting an Internet biz. So I understand scary! We took out a loan to research and invest. Chris still works his day job, but we have no idea where all this is headed. If only we could know the unknown!

  12. Kirsten–I totally hear you. There’s NOT much to say…we’re trying to have faith in God and the dreams he’s given Dave.

    Christianne–your enthusiasm goes far to encourage me…so thanks for sharing it

    Carl–“wow, see what God has done”…you know, I’ve seen him work so many times that it FEELS like something like this shouldn’t be a letdown, because I know he’s up to something. And yet, there’s knowing that and living here and it’s a weird balance. Thanks for your strong, courageous words!

    Linni–you know, if there weren’t love in the meantime, life wouldn’t be worth it. otherwise, there’d be too many times separated from it. so I’m here, trusting and loving and being loved.

    Tammy–you’re welcome. Glad you’re back.

    Heather–sorry if my lack of detail confused you. it’s intentional, mostly because Dave’s current employers don’t really know that he’s pursuing something else, and he’s concerned about any of it getting out before it’s for sure.

    And wow! What a cool story you guys have! what is Chris’s business, if you can share?

  13. Maybe… um… did I miss something…. what is it he is hoping to do?

    As I read this, I too thought of Christianne [hi there, Christianne! 🙂 ]

    A prayer for you… that you will find joy in each moment, not worrying for the future…


  14. LL–it’s not a story I’m comfortable telling on my blog, because Dave’s current employers don’t know he’s looking at something else. I can’t find your email address (maybe intentional on your part or maybe I’m a little slow), but shoot me an email at aegialia[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll tell you the details.

  15. Amanda Rae


    Me too; me too! Send me an email too? I just talked to you last week, and we didn’t get a chance to talk about this either. (Can’t imagine why, in between bathtime and the wrestling match of getting on Will’s pjs;). Would love to know what I’m rooting for! But of course you don’t have to share if you don’t want to. Sometimes cultivating a private little hope that no one knows all about can be a lovely thing! Good luck to you and Dave!


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