Do You Desire To Bring Your Child Into The Kingdom?

It's hard enough to be a Christian parent in this world. How do we combat the forces of evil while at the same time raise our children to desire to walk in God's light? By seeking His face, His Word and inspiration from each other as we stumble through this parenting process together. You will find all the instruction, encouragement and resources you need right here at The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take to help you be the most effective witness to your child that God would have you be. Look around and come back often. Let's learn together.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

When Doubt Creeps In

photo by Katie Dureault
Have you ever struggled with doubt? If you’re human, you have. Well, I have really been struggling with it all week. Actually I think it’s been building up to a head that finally let loose.

After twelve years with the same company my husband unexpectedly lost his job in May of this year. We were on vacation when a co-worker of his called to say the company had just shut its doors, a victim of the failing times and management ineptness. To say we were in a state of shock would be putting it mildly.

If it had to happen it actually came at the right moment. We had managed, through years of diligence and joint focus, to have eliminated all our debt - save for mortgages - just that month. We were putting away a little, not a lot, but a little into savings each week while growing a decent 401k through matching contributions at my husband’s work. We also had managed to acquire three houses and were renting two of them. All this on one income.

My husband and I started late in life, marrying when I was 30 and he was 42. We’ve been married for 18 years. If you do the math you’ll recognize that my husband is quickly nearing retirement age. In fact, if he had his druthers he’d have retired already.

Fortunately, the transportation industry doesn’t turn down applicants for driver positions since there’s such a huge shortage of them and massive turnover problems. My husband found a job right away, but his pay has taken a hit. He’s not making as much and the benefits are W-A-Y more expensive than what we were paying before.

The hours are also much, much longer and harder. When he finally stumbles in on the weekend, he is absolutely fried. And I can’t even call it a weekend. Often he comes in Saturday morning and leaves out Sunday afternoon. He has enough time to have Bible study with a friend, go to church with his family and maybe complete one small task and that’s it. The rest of the time he’s trying to rest his aching body in the easy chair in our living room. When he can keep his eyes open.

A friend in the industry asked us recently how hard the transition has been with Bill losing his job and having to start all over again. Well:

Bill wants to do more, to contribute more to his family, his church and his community, but he can’t. Which often leads to frustration and anger as he watches time and dreams pass by. photo by frostnova

His Christian witness comes under attack because he is constantly battling frustration and anger. Which just further fuels the frustration and anger.

I wonder if it’s time for me to go back to work. I was an ER nurse, but it’s been 14 years since I last worked as one. Still, I could follow the world’s mandate and maybe work at least part-time in a nursing home or something.

We’ve always been frugal, but our frugality has hit a new high. My daughter recently asked me if we were poor. I chuckled a little, then explained that, yes, we are probably on the low end of middle class, but very few people in our station are debt-free and have three houses. Still, it’s hard to constantly be struggling.

The expectations I have for my blog aren’t quite coming to fruition. That’s led me to begin calculating whether the return on the investment has been worth it. And I feel guilty for thinking that way, because it’s a ministry.

While we’ve been treading water for quite some time (or it seems like it), it would make it a whole lot easier if we knew for how long we were going to have to do it. Or if there would ever come a point where we could start swimming in another direction. It would be nice, too, if we could rest and float for awhile, but we can’t let the current take us out any further than we already are.

It’s been a week where little things have tilted the scale. One morning I woke up, completely and utterly angry and fighting mad, and that’s when it dawned on me.

We are under satanic attack.

Bill has been reaching people around him for years with the gospel, but he has been refocusing over the last few months to bring men into a stronger knowledge of the Lord so they can lead their families. I, of course, have been focused passionately on reaching parents to be missionaries in their own home, witnessing the gospel to their children.

It was bad enough that we were reaching our own children, even our grandchildren. But now other families as well? Don’t you know that Satan is having a fit and trying everything he can to thwart our attempts. He’s the master of deception and doubt. He’s been working overtime on me.

Help us fight the Evil One. You can help us by doing the following:

Pray for us. We need God’s strength, wisdom and discernment to get through this difficult time in our lives.

Pray for yourselves. Take what Bill and I are learning and sharing and ask the Lord to help you apply it to your own family’s life. Help us fight Satan by allowing the Word of God to impact your life so that a legacy for Christ will be established in your home.

Pray for revival among the families in your church. Work to be an example to them and to mentor them as you are able to.

Spread the word. Pass The Greatest Mission Trip along to everyone you know. Email it, Stumble it, Digg it, message your friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, post it on your church’s website, whatever. I’m not purporting that the content on TGMT is the greatest thing since the wheel, but if one more family comes in line with the Word and begins teaching their children God’s awesome salvation plan, it’s one more satisfying dagger in Satan’s heart.
photo by Wildcat Dunny
To my friends Sue, Diane, Lisa and Lynn - ladies, your prayers and words of affirmation came at just the right time. Thank you for helping me get through this week. And to a few of my fellow bloggers out there who wrote just the perfect devotion or lesson this week - John, Dave - your words kept me going.
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lynnmosher said...

Hey, Deb! I know how hard it is in today's economy. We have been suffering in lack for years. I'm so sorry you are going through this but I know the Lord will keep you afloat. Just don't take your eyes off Him and the waves won't overtake you. It may feel like it but I know you'll be able to stand strong. Will be praying for you. Be blessed with the Lord's presence and His peace and comfort...Lynn

Deb Burton said...

I treasure our new friendship and covet your prayers. I know I'll be able to weather this and any other future storm because I know who it is I draw strength from. I just need to keep reminding myself of that, and am thankful for friends like you who love the Word as much as I do and keep me on base!

thewifeypoo said...

Deb,I am sorry for what you are going through. These things we face are our tests, all of the hidden things the Lord puts insides us is to use for His Glory. He is using you in a mighty way. You have penned many wonderful things that do point to Him. You are doing a good job, that doesn't mean you don't have moments. I don't know your time, mine is about a week, then I count it joy. Not easy in the flesh, but we walk by faith and not by sight(jobs,money,situations).

I know as a sister you know these things. I will lift you and encourage you, the Lord is doing His work. Stay strong and fear not, he did not give you a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind. Thank you Lord that you have prepared Deb and her family for such a time as this, and I thank you that you will supply all of their needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.

Deb Burton said...

Thank you so much for your kind words and especially for your prayer. I know that greater is He who is in me than he that is in the world. Satan may get to me from time to time, but he can't have me!

Greg Johnson said...


I know where you are at and have prayed for you today.

Know that you are loved,

Bobus said...

I'm not sure how I found your blog, but I subscribed and have been following for a while since it seems you are on a similar mission with your children as we are on with ours! Anyway, just wanted to leave a message of encouragement...and I pray God continues to use your voice to speak out on the important issue of child-discipleship!

Deb Burton said...

I know that I am not alone, and I thank you for including me in your prayers.

Bobus, I thank you also for your words of encouragement. I have such a passion for reaching parents who don't know they are missionaries or aren't sure how to go about it. But i also know how important it is that I rely on God to use me as He sees fit, and not the way I think things should go. That's where His wisdom & discernment come in!