the sun is shining!

Well, I have to post to tell you that I GOT A JOB! Can I tell you that I am so very excited?  I am working part time at Laurel Christian School in the afterschool program.  What, you may ask, is so great about this job?  Well, allow me to enlighten you - it is at a school which gets my name in the system.  You have to start somewhere, right?  It is a job - which is instantly better than the alternative (being unemployed!)  And it seems like the sun is shining on my life right now.  The first week, I met a young woman who needs tutoring - and hello, licensed teacher - I can tutor! I am beyond excited about this!  It seems like doors are opening where previously every door was shut in my face. 

For the past few weeks we in south MS have had some absolutely beautiful weather.  The sun is out, the temperature is cooler, and fall is here.  To be honest, it feels like God is smiling on me just a bit.  There are still struggles, but just feeling like I have been heard and someone is on my side is so reassuring.  During this time, our pastor has been going through the book of Romans on Sundays, and it is in this book that I have found the passage that has kept me going. 

Romans 5:3-5 states, " we exult in tribulation knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance, and perseverance proven character, and character brings about hope.  And hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given to us."

At first the idea of rejoicing in tribulation made me think that surely the author had never experienced tribulation before, but after reading and studying the passage with our church, I have learned that we are supposed to experience tribulation.  We are to be like Christ, and we know that He experienced the greatest hardships during His life and death.  The tribulation we experience refines us, makes us stronger, and draws us closer to God as it is during the hard times that we must learn to lean on Him and His understanding.  The past few months, I have been leaning pretty heavily on God as He was my only hope.  There are many people who after coming out of trials, look back and are grateful for the trials.  I must admit I am not at that point completely yet.  I understand that I probably never would have learned the lessons without God allowing me to go through this, but at the same time, I wish I could have had a choice.  With all of that said, I am grateful for the lessons learned and for the fact that I know that I can withstand the trials and tribulations that come in life. 

I have been so encouraged lately, and I finally feel like things are changing.  I hope this encourages you!