Pam Franklin and I met at a writers’ workshop in Saskatchewan several years ago and began emailing shortly afterwards. Last summer she and her family moved to BC. It’s a real treat having Pam live only 20 minutes’ drive from my home now.
Anyway, the transition hasn’t been as easy as anticipated, and Pam has told me of her struggles. She’s also shared some valuable insights learned through this experience. I asked if she’d write about it for the purpose of posting on this blog because I think some of you might find her insights encouraging. She agreed. And so, meet Pam:
I’m reading 1 Peter this month and often end up chewing over just one or two verses. A couple of days ago 1 Peter 1:2b stood out:
“May God give you more and more grace and peace.”
I had just journalled about worrying too much and was needing some verses to counteract the anxiety I’ve faced over the last few months. Let me explain. Our family left Saskatchewan for BC three-and-a-half months ago in two stuffed cars: two parents, three kids, two goldfish and a border collie. Scarcely six weeks had passed since we’d received the email that prompted our move.
“Accepted into seminary!” it read. My husband had made it! We’d pastored nearly ten years in a church we loved, living in a home we owned, close to our families. But then God planted a restlessness in us. After months of prayerful seeking it had finally happened – the green light for “go” appeared.
We clung to Jeremiah Jeremiah 29:11-13 as the pace of life accelerated. Within six weeks, we’d found a house on the west coast, sold our house on the prairies, packed, and moved.
We’d all looked forward to the mountains, the sea, the beauty and milder climate, and the adrenaline rush of something new. But, to put it in my son’s words – we hadn’t realized how much we’d leave behind.
Many mornings in the early fall I’d wake up breathless, a heavy feeling in my chest. I’d drag myself to the kitchen to journal and read with tears in my eyes. In a few weeks I’d gone from familiar roles as a pastor’s wife, and stay-at-home mom who taught a few piano students, to being the only one not in school in an unfamiliar house full of cardboard moving boxes. Overwhelmed, I unpacked and attempted PHT (Putting Hubby Through) job searches, trying and failing to appear cheerful when the kids came home from school missing their friends, family and “home.”
How had such confident trust that God had called us turned into this puddle of tears? Deep down I knew God was still in control. He hadn’t moved us to suddenly abandon us at this end. Still I complained, I cried, I was moody. I was ready to pack up and go back.
I am sure many have been praying for us because, in the past few weeks, I’ve sensed the turning of a corner. Resignation is turning to acceptance. When I read in 1 Peter 1:2 about God giving us more and more grace and peace, I’m reminded of God’s unlimited resources (Ephesians 3:16). When I’m at the end of my limits and unable to cope, or worried about dwindling finances, God’s resources—both physical and spiritual—never end.
As I ponder Peter’s words, I picture a little girl asking her daddy to twirl her “more and more.” She holds her arms up as she begs for “just one more swing,” and her daddy delights to grant her request (again and again) because he loves her so much.
How much more does my heavenly Father give grace and peace when I ask? Here’s a hint: Ephesians 3 says He gives “exceedingly, abundantly, more than we can ask or even imagine.”
I’m like that little girl, holding my arms heavenward and asking my Father, my Abba, for more and more grace and peace. And my heavenly Father, who loves me dearly, responds to my request from His unlimited resources.
Grace and peace—lavished on me over and over again.
Whatever your situation is today, may you discover the beauty of this truth. Grace and peace, grace and peace, grace and peace—ask the Father for them, and He will give them to you.
Grace here again. I trust you’ve found Pam’s testimony to be an encouragement. And now, here’s a question for you. Think about the things Pam said and then fill in the blank: “I need God’s grace and peace today for _____________________________.” Post your answer if you feel free to do so.
I’ll be back on Friday!