The ride comes back around

This past weekend we went to Darien Lake Amusement Park for Peter's company picnic. The whole day: rides, parking, lunch, snacks, drinks, cost us a grand total of $10! Not only was it a fun time spent as an extended family, (my parents went too since my dad also works for the same company), but it was a bit of a sentimental and ironic reminder of God's provision. Let me explain.
A year ago Peter and I were going through one of the most challenging times in our lives, and certainly in our marriage. The job Peter was working at was just not cutting it so he was working a second job a few nights a week to make ends meet, barely. Allow me to just take a moment to brag about my husband. He is honestly one of the most sacrificial, selfless, caring and hard working people I know. When we were in our teens and our relationship was a few years in I told him I had always felt that all I wanted to do was be a stay at home mom. He promised me that he would make that happen.When we got married young and neither of us had a college degree, I  resigned myself as best I could to the fact that this would most likely not be a reality for me, since I expected us to need two incomes. When we found out that (surprise!) we were pregnant with Hayleigh just eight months later, I was heartbroken at the thought of having to work making barely enough to justify paying someone else to watch my baby. Peter, however, took it all in stride. He promised me that he would do whatever it took to give me the gift of being home with our children. It has not always been easy, or without sacrifices, but he has been true to his word. I am incredibly blessed to have a husband who was sensitive to the desire of my heart and willing to sacrifice of himself to make that happen for me and our family. So, for a while this meant working two jobs, neither of which he enjoyed.
We had prayed since before we were married for a "break", a job that would give good pay and the ability to work for a stable company with room to move up. Last summer Peter applied for a sales job at the company where my dad worked. We thought he would be perfect for the position! After an encouraging interview we felt as if everything was lining up and God was handing this to us on a platter. Little did we know that we would spend the next six months riding the Waiting Rollercoaster.
Peter was all but told he had the job last August while we were on vacation, but he was never given a start date. We tried to be patient, but we had so much riding on this job. It would mean that he could quit his night job and still make significantly more money than the two jobs combined. It was not all about the money though. This is a well known company that treats their employees very well and the advancement possibilities were promising, not to mention he was excited about actually enjoying his work and using his talents. Needless to say we were eager. As time passed, phone calls were not returned and previous information that he had been given was retracted, we grew discouraged and confused.
This was definitely a testing of our faith. Everyday we wondered whether or not he would get a call with news that he was officially hired and had a start date. It was hard not to be consumed by it, because of what it meant for our family's future, especially since I was pregnant with Braxton. We were both forced during this time to cling to God. The alternative was to crumble to pieces. We knew nothing, except the fact that God knew what was going on in that office and that He has promised to bring about what is best for us (Romans 8:28). Every phone call that either was not returned or was returned with vague answers just kept us on the hook, while simultaneously punching us in the gut. They even brought him in for a second set of interviews months later and put us through the waiting game all over again. We learned during these months to trust God in deeper and more practical ways. We did not know where money was going to come from to pay bills and prepare for a second child, but God always provided. And eventually when Peter got the call that he was in fact hired it was truly surreal. The first thing we did was thank God, okay maybe we screamed and jumped up and down first. My dad jokes that he could hear me yell all the way from their house. Peter started work on Jan 2nd, over six months after his initial promise of the job.
And here we were almost seven months later at an amusement park with this company. The roller coasters we rode on were a subtle reminder to me of what we went through during that time, the ups and downs in our emotions, our expectations, and our faith. (These rides were much more fun, and much shorter though!) I believe God is a God with a sense of humor and also a God of symbolism. Neither of these were lost on me as I reflected on those long months from the top of "The Mind Eraser" this past weekend.
I am so blessed to have my perfect partner to go through life with. Whenever I need a physical reminder of who God is, I look at my caring and faithful husband. I would not want to endure the roller coasters of life with anyone else. (Actual roller coasters are another story; he screams like a girl.) I am also abundantly blessed to have a God who puts me through trials that help me grow stronger, yet never forces me to go through them alone. While I prefer the rides at an amusement park to the roller coasters in life, I can honestly say as it says in James 1:2-4 that I consider it a joy to watch my God work in my life and mold me more into the person He wants me to be. It has taken me a number of such roller coasters to come to that point, but God knew just what I needed to get there. For that, and for the fact that God is a God who appreciates irony, I am grateful.


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