Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Quarantine Quandary

Psalm 55:22 "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." 

James 1:2-4 "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work os that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

The definition of quandary is a state of uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation. I think that many of us have recently experienced times of uncertainty. This whole quarantine and not knowing what is going to happen next is driving my Type A personality crazy. I can only plan so much when everything changes from day to day and week to week. If I allow my thoughts to wander too much, I can start to feel anxious and fearful. I love the verse in James. It reminds me that no matter what we face in life, God can use it to produce attributes in us that He wants to work on. 

I think the big lesson God is trying to teach me is to cling to Him and rely on Him. I have been doing a lot of reflecting the past few days on God's faithfulness over the years. It is easy to slip into questioning why He is allowing all of this craziness around us and to get fearful over my family's health. God has been gently reminding me, as He has to frequently since I'm a slow learner like the Israelites, that He has this. He is still on the throne and He is still God. 

I decided that I would write down the many ways that God has been faithful to me over the years. Maybe it would be a great exercise for all of us to do to remind ourselves who He is and what He has done in our lives. Feel free to share your list with me! I love to rejoice and see how God has moved in other people's lives. When we think and reflect on all the good things He has done in our lives, it helps us trust Him with the future and focus on the positive instead of all the negative. So here are some of the things on my list that God brought to my mind:

1) How God drew my heart to Him from a little child until a teenager when I fully surrendered my life to Him. He constantly pursued me and showed me how much He loved me.
2) Wayne's cancer - I could go on for hours about how God has been faithful on this journey. If you want to see all that God has done, read our story from the beginning (February 2015).
3) God financially provided during Wayne's cancer. We knew that when he went on disability we would make it, but it would be tight, especially when it came to groceries. God provided through Wayne's co-workers to provide us with Peapod gift cards that lasted his entire treatment and recovery!
4) How God opened the door and moved us to adopt. That is another long story and you can read about it in 2017.
5) How God moved us to Chicago back in 2001 and closed the doors to moving back to CA. We had some amazing years in Chicago with friends that we made and that is where Wayne had some of the best doctors to do his brain surgery!
6) God helped me forgive those who abused me as a child and He walked me through the painful memories and helped heal me.
7) God faithfully provides each day for our needs. Sometimes it feels like the widow with her flour and oil that just kept multiplying. God faithfully provides for us on a daily basis. 
8) When God knew I was near a breaking point, God provided Wayne to be at home to help raise our kids, especially our special needs child. There was so much going on in life and I was just feeling stretched to the limit. I was crying out to Him and He answered in unexpected ways.
9) How God provided the perfect counselor for our special needs child
10) How God provided the perfect school for our special needs child and how we have seen him blossom. 
11) When God moved us to Chicago, God also miraculously provided my job transfer to Chicago from San Francisco. Only God could move a job offer to Chicago from San Francisco for a recent graduate who hadn't started working!
12) God protected Joella at birth with a perfect knot in her cord. The doctor told me God must have been watching over her because most babies with a true knot end up still born.
13) God sold our house in Chicago right before COVID19 shut IL down (literally just days before).
14) God has provided friends at different stages of life
15) God has enabled us to homeschool our kids without losing my mind
16) God provided the perfect house for us in KY (everything we were looking for, including walking distance to my parent's farm)
17) God has provided an amazing church for us to be part of at different stages on our lives.
18) How God changed the hearts of our kids after moving and is growing them in amazing ways. God answers prayers in crazy ways sometimes.
19) God provided protection when my tire blew five years ago on the freeway on our way to a field trip. God also brought the trial to a close without me having to travel back to Chicago for a week. 
20) all the little things God does but that He doesn't have to: desires that our on my heart that He works out. This reminds me that He is a good, good father!

These are just some of the ways that God has shown up in my life and revealed what a wonderful Father He is to us. 

We have been trying to find joy as a family in the midst of this crazy time. We have enjoyed the extra time together. Our kids have noticed that they don't like this kind of "quarantine homeschooling". They enjoy our weekly trips to the gym for PE, the library, field trips, community service, and going to church. They want all the other kids to know that this is not what homeschool is like. We have made the most of the time by getting our school work done, reading some great books, doing more crafts, baking/cooking, taking advantage of some free websites available, playing outside, and now we have been working on making masks for the community where they are needed. We also took an early morning hike about an hour away from our house. We didn't see anyone the entire time we were out. The kids enjoyed getting out of the house and expending some energy.

Will you join me in a challenge? I am choosing joy and thankfulness today over fear and anxiety. I am going to focus on the good around me, instead of thinking about all that I'm missing out on (tomorrow I should be running in New Mexico and getting another state under my belt). I am committing to reading less articles about COVID19 and more from God's Word. Let's also use this time to encourage people around us: call a neighbor, FaceTime a friend, and keep in touch with your family. If you are stuck in fear and anxiety, listen to the cd below. It is older, I think from the 90s, but it was the music that got me to sleep during a very difficult time in my life. God used His word put to music to not only allow me to meditate on His Words, but also to bring a balm to my soul. May this bless you as it blessed me!