Justin Ryker Swick

Justin Ryker Swick

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dream on

I'm back!!! And if all goes as planned it is for good this time, (I know I hear God laughing too).  :)  Turns out there are very few of my plans that go according to....my plans.  What I have learned from it all, however, is that I just need to keep dreamin' on.  The past couple years have been a whirl wind; both good and bad.  My family is stronger than ever, we have gone through some really bad times and some really good times. Sadly the bad times tend to try to outweigh the good ones in my own mind, and then I am reminded that all works out according to God's plans.  So here I am.  Let me fill you in a little of our past 2 years.  I would like to say that our experience with Justin helped shape me, and prepare me to deal with what would lie ahead. 

I was offered a "dream" teaching job in a school where I did my student teaching.  I thought for sure that leaving our newly purchased beautiful "dream" home was the right thing to do.(Turns out I dream a lot!) :) There have been times where I look back and think, "maybe not so much" but it has brought us more blessings and opportunities for sure.

When I took this job, I thought that this is where God was calling us to be, that we would fit in, and live happily ever after in a small, close knit, community doing what I love, and living in yet again a very beautiful home, even if we don't own it.  Turns out that was not our happily ever after.  My first year of teaching went pretty well, with only one hard hit towards the end of the school year, and a miscarriage to boot.  That is where this "dream" started fading and my "dream" career was no longer a dream of mine.  I don't want to go into too many details as I want this post to be about speaking life not bitterness.  I am not bitter about the way things went as it allowed me an amazing opportunity to homeschool my beautiful children.  I have met some really great people that I love and cherish and I have met some other's that became lessons.  I cannot say that I am thankful for every situation, but I had to go through them to learn from them.  It also made me wake up and realize I still have the potential to dream on. 

Our son was taken out of a hard situation as well, and I know it all worked according to God's timing, even if I didn't think it was in tune with mine.  Seems He always has a way of doing things better, I doubt Him, (because I'm not always a quick learner), and once I finally come to my senses and remember His promises, that is the time that He really shows off; and He has done that for us big time.  I have to learn to quit doubting His grace, mercy, and love for me.

My second year of teaching was anything but a dream, and I realize that that is not where my heart lies, nor is it where God wants me to be right now.  I am grateful for the opportunity considering I went to school for it.  Had I not been given the opportunity I would have spent my life wondering if I missed out on something.  Don't get me wrong, I loved teaching, I love the children, but it is not the environment I am supposed to be in, and God knew that, as He always does.  I think there was a time when I should have been a teacher, and I got that chance, I know I made a difference in a few children's lives, as they did mine; but my time for teaching is done and it is time to dream on onto something different.  A dream where I can wear my heart on my sleeve, whether through a blog or through words, I didn't feel I could open up like I had in the past, and stopped writing completely, and endured yet another miscarriage.

We decided after I lost the job that it was time to move back to our dream house, find jobs there, take yet another leap of faith, and move back "home" to Iowa, (the land that I love).  :)  About a week before making it final Ryan was offered a job here we couldn't refuse.  I was excited....and crushed.  This is such an awesome opportunity for him, and yet we were once again in a place where we had to find a different dream, a brand new one in a place we weren't exactly welcome anymore, for situations out of our control. 

Then.....we found out we have to move.  This really was a blessing.  While we love our house we really need a change of scenery.  We have a month and no prospects...oh gosh.  Once again, my doubt and fear kicked in.  Once again, I felt sorry for myself, why do we always have to struggle?! I may have screamed that to the heavens on more than one occasion when the kids weren't around.  Then I was reminded of Philippians 1: 29-30 For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have."  and also Phil 4:4-7 "rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  

The next day we found a place, a least a potential place, nothing is certain yet, but I am thankful, so very thankful that God allows me to stand on His promises even when I am shouting out in fear and anger and every emotion that doesn't come from Him, and He reminds me that it is His plan that needs to come to pass, it is not my world to conquer. He's got this as He always does, and I need to learn to quit doubting, getting angry, or fearing the unknown.  He knows what He is doing. He made me a dreamer and I'm so thankful He did.  I am still finding myself in this world, (that I don't need to conquer), and in the mean time I may lose some battles; but that's okay...I still dream on.

Phil. 3:13-16
Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us, then, ho are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.