I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart...

Peace that passes all understanding. There are many biblical examples of calm and peace that don’t seem to make sense. That peace is unexplainable and goes against the grain of how most people would feel and what most people would do.

As many of you know, for the past few years, we have been mostly living on the savings from Chris’s job as a police officer as we follow God’s leading in His call for us to start a horse ministry. Twenty years of savings have supported our family for 2 ½ years but the savings are almost gone. In just a couple of weeks, our bank account will be at $0.00. For normal people with five kids and Christmas right around the corner, this would be a tremendously stressful time. Not to mention the fact that, in order to not wear out our warm welcome here, we need to find a new place to live. We have certainly had our moments of fear and doubt. I’ve written about those moments and they have been dark. Praise God that He has grown us into a new season and what we are experiencing now is a peace and joy that flies in the face of rationality! Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. I feel like we are living this verse right now. Against all reason, as a family, we are happier than we have ever been. My head is screaming at me to worry but my heart is light and full of joy.

I was sharing my thoughts on this blog post with someone this evening prior to posting it and in doing so had a realization that this unexplainable feeling I'm having is familiar. The day that God pulled the veil away from my heart felt the same! I grew up in church, said my prayers every night before bed, and thought that I knew God. One day, in my early 30's, I went to church and came out a new person. Very unexpectedly and completely out of my control, God reached in and removed the veil from my heart. In an instant I knew Him in a way that I never had before. This happiness that I'm experiencing now is similar in that I have no control over it. I can't claim to own any part of it because it is not from me at all.

We have been seeking Him throughout this journey and He has guided our every decision. It seems that we need Him now more than ever and that is exactly where He wants us to be. It would be easy for me or Chris to get a job. We are well qualified to work and earn a decent living. We could even be working while we’re waiting for the ministry to get up and running but God has been consistent in telling us to hold on just a little longer. This has been spoken to us, not only in our personal prayer time, but through others as well. Believe it or not, it’s easier to be doing something. That is the problem! If we were doing something to provide right now, it would be in our own power, and not the Lord’s.

God has sent us encouragement through lots of prayer, connections that have been put in our paths, and the generosity of our friends. We are so thankful for the way He lovingly guides us!

Please join us in praising God for the spirit of joy and hope that has surrounded us like a hug from our Heavenly Father and in praying for clarity as we seek the Lord’s guidance moving forward. Pray that we will continue to understand and give our children an understanding beyond their years, that He is refining us through this trial, that His plans are for our good, and that His promises are true.

The picture below always makes me laugh. In the interest of keeping things real, many days I can relate to the photo!

Risen Ridge Ministry