According to WordPress, I started this blog entry 10 months ago. As you can see, the title is most appropriate. The next full paragraph is as far as I got with it before, so I’m starting again. There’s lots to say. We’ll see where it goes…
“I’ve been waiting to write this one for a lot of reasons. I wanted some distance from our beyond-my-wildest-dreams participation in observing our first ever No Complain November. I wanted to get through the holidays and I wanted to see what God was going to do. I’ve managed to do the first two things just fine. I’m still waiting on God…”
Just yesterday, my husband and I were talking in the kitchen about how time has just flown by this year. (I know. It is the conversation of all of us who are past the age of college…and then some. grin) As I looked at the calendar, I said, “Can you believe it’s been almost a year since your last day with ___ (former employer)___? It’s almost time for NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER again, and that means in 3 days it will be the anniversary of when you lost your job! That just doesn’t seem right, does it?!”
He shook his head and then said with a small grin, “Ummm…maybe we need to skip NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER this year…?”
“Absolutely NOT!”, I replied.
“Well, ok then, but…get ready!” And then we chuckled…with the full awareness of all that really meant for us this past year.
Yes, you read that right. My husband suddenly lost his job on Day 2 of our first NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER last year. It was completely unexpected, totally blindsided us, and was one of those life events that just take your breath away for awhile. It just didn’t make sense…at first. But God. Oh, how I love those two words!
- was still entirely in control.
- had a plan that was not only for our good, but also for many others, as well.
- descended with His unexplainable, but oh-so-needed peace and rest.
- gave provision–on every front!–throughout the whole process.
- gave us time to catch our collective breath and then relax in Him…for the next SEVEN months.
- gave us a marvelously unplanned, but welcomed and much-enjoyed time together to laugh and reconnect in ways that just aren’t possible when your schedules are so tight that you rarely see each other or are too tired to do much when you do.
- gave my husband time to recover spiritually, emotionally, and physically from the incredible stress he had been under before starting the next challenge.
- surrounded us with encouragement from our friends and family every step of the way.
- gave us a new appreciation for our time together and allowed us to be reminded of just how much we actually LIKE each other in addition to the great love between us.
- gave us a heart for those whose lives have been like that for much longer than ours.
- at the appointed time, provided a new opportunity for him that allows him to function within his area of expertise, meets his need to learn new things, and allows him to function within his spiritual gift of teaching–and all with people who are ready to learn, ready to work together, and supportive for the whole team.
- used this as an opportunity to both grow and show our faith to those who were watching.
- gave us an opportunity to extend NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER into the rest of our year!
What looked like a disaster on that second day, has turned into one of our greatest blessings! Only God can do something like that! The waiting was absolutely worth it!–and so was the choice for us not to complain about it!
Throughout this past year we, along with our friends and families have faced many challenges–job loss, death, large-scale moves across country, health concerns, surgeries and hospital stays for loved ones. These things and many other life-events (large and small!) have provided us the choice about whether or not to complain…or simply plough forward and praise God anyway. I’m thankful to say that, most of the time, we’ve chosen the latter response…and so have our loved ones. In fact, this may have just been the most God-honoring year that I’ve ever lived through and I owe a lot of that to the deliberate choice to focus on the many reasons I have to be grateful instead of complaining about the circumstances I wish were different.
And so it is, with the knowledge that we have made it through this year with all of the hurdles we’ve cleared and those we know are yet to come, that I invite you to join us once again as we deliberately choose to celebrate–yes, CELEBRATE!–NO COMPLAIN NOVEMBER 2016.
Feel free to comment below if you want to “join in officially” or simply remain silent, but please know that you and your stories of how God uses this in your life are always welcomed here.
Tomorrow is our official kick-off day for NCC 2016, so…get it all out of your system today…or, better yet, start practicing for the the rest of the challenge! (big grin, REALLY big grin!)
Grace & Peace! (and no complaints!)