Ishah Whipple: One Day at a Time
by: Ishah Whipple
This past June my family and I made the decision to be obedient to God's call and move from South Carolina to Arizona. It was not a light decision by far, and it took a lot out of us. We lived in South Carolina for over 2 years and we loved it. We already could see our children growing up there and us growing old in a beautiful home surrounded by mountains and colorful trees.
When we made the transition to Arizona, we thought it would all be setup for us. I mean, we obeyed God, so we should have the red carpet rolled out for us and since this wasn't our first transition, we would have a smoother ride than the last one. Yea.....I guess God had other plans!
We got to Arizona with a lot of expectations and none of them were fulfilled. We dealt with disappointment and anger daily. We went from a small town where everyone was friendly and loving, to a large metropolis where we were surrounded by a whole new breed of people.
I cried every morning for the first two weeks. I'm serious! I would literally wake up and take a breath and just start crying. First off, we moved in the middle of a heat wave where lows were in the 80s and highs in the 120s. How is that even possible?!
As time went by, we ended up staying with someone with whom we're still staying now. It hasn't been perfect. We're a family of 6. It's never comfortable on any side for a family of 6 to live with anyone in their home. Add on top of that the fact that my health went haywire the moment we got here and I went from no doctor to five doctors within a month's time.
I felt useless, hopeless, and flat out angry.
The last few months have felt like the hardest months of my life. I had days that were bearable and others that felt like I was one step away from walking away from it all. I've cried myself to sleep more nights than I care to admit.
I've screamed and cried to God asking why we're still here and not in our own place. Why I have to explain to my kids why we have to live with someone under their rules and not in our own place. Having to explain and even try to understand for myself why things have gone the way they have when we were obedient to the call of God. Things should have gone a lot smoother right?
As I sat in bed last night crying and talking to God about my disappointments and frustrations, He began to take me down memory lane. This time, from a different perspective.
He showed me the van that had given us so much trouble in South Carolina that miraculously took me, my husband, and our 4 kids across the country with not one issue.
He showed me the church member who just so happened to be a manager at a resort that hooked us up with a ridiculous discount to stay there the first two weeks in Arizona. Did I mention they had a pool, hot tub, laundry area, and complementary breakfast and dinner buffets?
He reminded me of the fact that a total stranger opened his home (and continues to do so) to a family of 6 which is something not many people will do. Did I mention this guy lives in what's known as the hidden gem of Phoenix in a Title 1 level school district?
He also reminded me of the mere fact that even though we only have one income, we've never gone without food, gas for my husband to get to work, and clothes and shoes for our children.
I sat there like a child, "But God...when will we have our own? When can we actually get settled?" His answer was simple....a bit annoying to be honest, but one I can understand.
He said, "One day at a time. There are things you and your family need to learn in this season in preparation for what's to come. If I gave you everything you wanted right now, you would break. You wouldn't be able to handle what I have for you now. There are things, like your attitude and emotions that need to get under control so you can be ready for the ministry and people I have coming your way. Great responsibility requires an even greater level of maturity. As Your Father, I can't release these things to you prematurely. I created you to be victorious and you can't be that if you haven't gone through the tests. I know it's hard, but these tests are meant to grow you and prepare you for something greater than you can imagine. Pass the tests and trust that I have the best in store for you. When it's all said and done, these trials will be but a distant memory."
You see, the Lord had to remind me that He's been here all along. We're so used to getting things quick and easy. When things don't happen as soon as we expect them to, we think it's never going to happen or something must have went wrong. The Lord had to show me it was neither of the two.
Things have actually been just how they needed to be. God has done things little by little all while teaching me some life lessons and showing me, ME. I've learned a lot about myself and people in general since being here. My husband and I have grown closer and have learned to respond differently than what we used to.
The greatest blessing is that our kids have had a front row seat in it all. They're getting older now and are coming to understand who God is for themselves. They've seen our ups and downs and have had a few of those themselves. However there's something so great about it all.
What's great about it all is that when it's all said and done, my husband and I will not be the only one with an amazing testimony. Our marriage will be stronger because we made it through this ordeal and grew closer together as opposed to breaking. Our family will be closer because we chose to be honest and talk through our frustrations. Our children will be wiser because they've seen for themselves what it is to be kept and sustained by God in the midst of our greatest struggle both financially and emotionally.
Our family will be stronger as a unit and ready for whatever God has for us.
So don't despise small beginnings. Don't freak out when things aren't happening as fast as you want or even expected them to. Don't get so disappointed when the very people you thought would be there to help disappear on you. Why? Because this is a God thing. He won't always do things the same way He always has. Give Him more credit than that! He's a creative God!
Just know that God works ALL THINGS out for the good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose(Romans 8:28)! He will do exceedingly, abundantly above all any of us could ever ask of think according to the power that works in us(Ephesians 3:20). If God can clothe the lilies of the fields and feed the fowl of the air, SURELY He will take care of His children (Matthew 6:26-30)! He will provide ALL OF OUR NEEDS according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
Remember, Numbers 23:20 says, "Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it." NKJV That means when God blesses His children, NOTHING OR NO ONE can reverse it. Not even time!
So trust God! Know that even when things don't happen when you think they should, there's a reason. Ask God what He wants you to learn in this season and pass the test! Learn to be content in whatever situation God has you in. God has great plans for my family just as I know He has great plans for each and every one of you.
Let's learn enjoy each day and the lessons and blessings that come with them.
Until next time, Be Blessed!
Mrs. Ishah Whipple