Wednesday, April 14, 2010

When Life Gets Un-Fun

When Life Gets Un-fun…

...even then, God provides joy and blessings. Once again our family is in a season of abrupt change. Although I am sad for the events which led to our needing to be in the States this summer, I am secretly delighted to be in a position to have to trust Him again more fully.

Does that make sense?

In the early years, every day was a challenge and every decision required divine guidance. After all these years, somehow the early thrills wore off. The stress levels decreased. And all became familiar, almost mundane, as I have implied before. Our monthly support settled into a predictable and comfortable pattern. Even our brief summer trips to the States became routine.

Then suddenly some neighbors received threats to their lives and were evacuated from the field. That event was followed by other frightening rumors and dangers, which drastically altered our little Mayberry-ish existence. Now we lock our doors at night, keep gates locked during the day, and train our kids to be more watchful.

In the midst of many discussions with our children about safety precautions and awareness, one of our three youngest still living at home, came to me about something that had happened in the past that was still interrupting sleep.

Consequently, our whole world got turned upside down.

We began making preparations to spend three months in California for some counseling and emotional support for this child. In spite of a whole range of emotions that have crept to the surface after learning of my child’s wound, deep down I am still my mother’s daughter, and as such, a Pollyanna-wannabe. This little alter-ego of mine has seen me through many difficult chapters of my life. Even now I am journaling how glad I am to spend this summer with my two college kids, how glad I am this evil world is not my home, how glad I am….

You get the idea.

My question for you is what do you do when it doesn’t seem enough to simply focus on the bright side, declaring, “Let’s play the Glad Game”? Where do you go for comfort when life gets Un-Fun like mine? When your heart is breaking? When you are reminded that following Christ does not guarantee your children’s safety? What do you do?

IRL*Asking questions. Trusting more fully...again.


  1. ((((((((((Jamie)))))))))))))

    When my life gets 'un-fun' I take a friend to the city and we get pedicures.

    Seriously though - clinging to the promises and yes, looking very hard for the silver linings in the black clouds Satan tries to smother me with...if nothing else I have Jesus' promises that He's preparing a place for us.....

    Some days that looks like - Just do the next thing.

    Love you....

  2. Jamie Jo, So often when I read your blog, I feel that you could be writing about my life. Thank you for keeping it real. I'm sorry for the heart ache of your family. The one thought I get the most consolation from is that if I were not on the right track and living for God, Satan would leave me alone!!If Satan is attacking, I must be doing something right. Also, THIS WORLD IS NOT MY HOME.

  3. What do I do? Life had some very un-fun parts for me as a MK, and life still has some rough things as a missionary. I tend to pour out my heart, all of it, either to a good friend or in writing. Then I climb the highest thing hill or mountain that there is around, stand on the top of it, and cry. When I've settled down from all that, I listen quietly to God, who I've learned, holds my heart through all the pain He lets me walk through.

    Glad your family is able to get help, and will be praying for that time.

    Then I tell myself, "One day... (fill in the blank)... one day, heaven."

    But something I would not tell anyone in the middle of pain (so don't ask why I am telling you), I've learned that God does not waste our wounds or our scars; and that where the devil tries to mar our beauty with scars, God often turns those around to be a beauty that attracts others. God will have the victory - even in our scars. He won the world through His own scars.

    Sometimes He asks us to walk through pain. I don't like it at all, but I am learning to keep following Him even there. It is often where I have learned to know Him the best.

  4. "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you..." ~Job 42.5

    Part of my ministry this past term required an in depth study of the book of Job. I'd never before considered the fact that Job's season of "un-fun" was before his benefit until I came to these words at the end of the book. Job was a God follower and God knew Job could be put to the test and that he would not turn his back on God or curse Him, that so many of us would be challenged and learn from his example... yet all of Job's un-fun was also for him. Before, he'd heard of God... afterwards, he'd seen God's hand.

    Sadly, it is during the un-fun in my life that God's hand becomes most evident and that I lean on Him and His understanding rather than my own. Un-fun is the opportunity that I tend to forget when life is fun and things are going well...the recognition that without Him, I can do nothing but that I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. I don't like those times of un-fun, but I am starting to be thankful for the refining it works and the ways I learn to trust Him more.

    So sorry for your difficult time. I will be praying for you.

  5. I was looking forward to reading your post when I logged on this morning. I'm having one of those weeks that are just tough to slug through. I'm really battling discouragement and maybe even a touch of depression. Thanks Jamie for the reminder to see this as an opportunity to fall into the arms of my savior. And thank you the rest of you for your encouraging comments. I know they weren't directed to me, but I am taking them to heart today!

  6. I, too, am grateful for all the encouraging remarks. Actually, I'm glad you see the original post and the comments as being for you, because that actually is my heart - not to just blab about where I am in this journey, but to share yours as well. This comment section provides inspiration for all of us. Thanks so much for participating. You are not alone! We're in this together. I love that, don't you?

    (And yes, Faith, trips to the city for clean painted toenails somehow touches the soul. Thanks!)

    In the arms of Jesus, yes! Is there anywhere we'd rather be? And someday... heaven. Yes! This world is not our own. Great reminders for each of us this week.

  7. Oh, Jamie, so sorry that your family is having to go through this right now. I pray that you and your child will receive encouragement and healing...when life gets un-fun for me, I usually throw a pity party first. :( Yeah, not very spiritual, but very human. And then I get over it and move on, in the strength of His grace. I usually find a verse in the Psalms that speaks to my heart and post it somewhere so I can read it often.

  8. Great article (again!), J.J.! Thanks for always opening the door to your heart and allowing us to peek inside.

    I totally get what you mean by being "secretly delighted" when you are forced to trust God more fully. It is funny how we try so hard to protect ourselves and our loved ones from all manner of pain and struggle. But when-without fail-the pain and struggle arrive right on His schedule, then we are immensely blessed with a deeper sense of His love, His presence, His sovereignty, His REALNESS...and with tears we know we can only give thanks.

    My sister just walked through the blackest, hardest year of her life. But she says, "No matter how awful it has been, I'm still so thankful that I'm not in 'Egypt' any longer. I'm walking in reality, with God...even if it is the wilderness right now."

    Oh, the mysteries of God! So many times, I just echo our brother Paul when he exclaims, "Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!"

    How good to belong to Him.

    Praying for more blessings on your family this summer, J.J.! hugs, shelley.


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