By Laura Carter
Good evening to everyone. We greet you from Erial, New Jersey. First of all, we would like to apologize for not getting this updated sooner. There is a story here that I am going tell you about. Hopefully by the end you will sympathize, laugh, and then thank the Lord for difficult times that truly grow us in our walk with Him.
But first, I will quickly recap the last month. We left Iowa at the end of June and spent a week at Twin Lakes Camp. It was a great week filled with many blessings. From there we spent a day in Arcanum, Ohio, with our friends from Immanuel Baptist Church. This was a wonderful time spent renewing friendships and feeling the love and support we receive from this church. After that it was on to Dayton, Ohio, where we spent a few days with our great friends Erik and Leah Dayhoff. We appreciate their wonderful hospitality. As our time in the Dayton area was short, we briefly shared time with a few friends and supporters. But don’t worry, we will be back in September to see the rest of you.
After Ohio, we went on to New Jersey where we are now settled. Soon after arriving in New Jersey , we went on our vacation to Maine. We decided to camp some along the way but that turned out to be quite an adventure due to all the rain. We enjoyed a calm week in Maine searching for sea glass, kyacking, finding endless cool rocks, exploring the ocean, and spending time with Pop-pop and Grandmom. The kids also enjoyed spending the money given to them by our friends and supporters at Haddonfield Bible church.
After Maine, it was time to get back to real life. Cornerstone Fellowship of Erial, New Jersey, is one of our supporting churches and they have been so gracious to let us stay in their parsonage for the time that we are here. The kids have had the privilege of attending Bible school at both Grace Bible in Barrington, and also Victory Bible in Hammonton. We are looking forward to being with more of our friends and supporters here in New Jersey over the next few weeks. But most of all, we have enjoyed being near Scott’s family. The 6 grandkids have had fun getting to know each other and we look forward to much more time together this month. Pop-pop returned to his childhood as he set up a ‘water extravaganza’ in his back yard for the kids to enjoy. Grandmom has stepped right up to Aviannas constant thirst for more books. We treasure the time we have with our family here.
Now onto the reason for the delay; life. Last week was a week to remember. I have a health problem that I am working hard to resolve but it decided to rear its ugly head last week with no warning and no explanation. When I have these flare-ups, I am in survival mode and virtually everything in my life is on hold. So Scott stepped in to ‘hold down the fort’ in our house. During that time three things happened that we could have lived without. We backed our barrowed van up and broke out the back window, Scott’s computer totally died, and my only valuable piece of jewelry (besides my beautiful wedding ring) was lost while being valued by a jeweler. Thankfully on Saturday, I began to feel better only to have to step in for my poor husband who ended up covered in poison ivy and throwing out his back. Aching and itching is not a good combination and so by Sunday night he went searching for relief in an emergency room. As I write this he is not itching as much, but is still in a lot of pain from his back and walking around like a zombie from muscle relaxers.
All of that leads me to share what I am trying to learn these days. Why in the world did God have to cause all of that to happen in one week? Why did he allow it to happen at all? Why do I feel picked on? Why is it that I am always looking for someone to blame? And then on the other hand, I struggle with guilt, like, these problems are nothing compared to the things my close friends are going through. What is my problem? These are questions I battle all the time. Do any of you ever ask these questions? Well, I don’t have any easy recipe for dealing with all of this, but I do have something that you can focus on everyday, good and bad. Scott has been so good to help me think through and try to really understand a very important truth from God’s Word in order to better handle these things. The truth is simple. It is that Jesus Christ, my Savior, chose me and died for me. That is it you say? That is it. So how does that fit into my life and my day to day struggles? Where would I be without him? What do I truly deserve? Why did he choose me? How can I complain about anything in my life when Jesus Christ went through so much for me? The truth I have been focusing on lately is that Jesus loves me. He loves me more than my husband, more than my children, more than my parents and family. How can I possibly doubt what he is doing in my life when I let that soak in. How could he want less than the very best for me when he loves me so much.
So where are you? Do you savor the truth that you are so loved by God? Do you savor the truth of what Jesus did for you? I hope that through our struggles you can think through your own and pray for the Lord to remind you of how much he loves you.