And if not, He is still good.

2 May

We were recently told that we may, at some point, be faced with an unbelievably impossible situation. There have been many times in my life I wished I had a warning when something horrible was about to happen. I was wrong. Having this big hairy, horrible monster lurching around every corner is possibly the worst thing we have ever faced. You may or may not be able to relate and yes I am being intentionally ambiguous. This is one of those keep you awake at night, just the thought of it makes your stomach immediately upset, suck the life out of you situations.

So I did what many of us do when we are in crisis, I reached out to some friends for advice. When talking with someone who has been in a similar predicament, she suggested something that I thought was completely ludicrous. She told me to imagine the worst possible outcome and try to come to grips with it. I instantly rejected this idea. First off, I felt like even thinking about this happening increased the chances of it coming to pass. I know that doesn’t make sense in real world logic, but when you are faced with this kind of scary stuff, logic is far, far away. Secondly, just thinking about thinking about this happening literally made me want to die.

Despite my instant dismissal of this suggestion, I couldn’t help but feel like the Lord kept bringing this idea back to me. It was around this time that I was reminded of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego while scrolling through my Facebook feed of all places! These men were sent into a blazing furnace for refusing to worship an idol (aka doing what they knew was right). Before they were put into the fire, they told the King, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” (Daniel 3:17b-18)

Whatever you’re facing, first and foremost, I want to tell you that God is bigger. HE CAN DELIVER YOU. He can deliver me. And while it takes trusting God to speak that as statement and not a question, I believe true faith begins when we can HONESTLY say, “but even if He does not…”

I am sure these gentlemen were not thrilled about being thrown into a furnace so hot that it killed the guards putting them in. Still they moved forward.

If I am being completely honest, I am secretly hoping to share a similar outcome as these men. (There was a “fourth man” in the fire with them, and when they came out, they didn’t even smell like smoke).

I cannot imagine what life would be like if God doesn’t intervene in my life, but I can say, I am getting to the place where I can say that even if He doesn’t, I know He is still good.

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My name is Missy, and I am a control freak.

5 Apr

But I am getting ahead myself.

As Julie Andrews so wisely sang, “Let’s start at the very beginning. It’s a very good place to start…” (You’re welcome for the Sound of Music soundtrack now reverberating in your brain).

I am a planner. When I was a kid, I had my whole life planned out. Now there have been minor deviations from said childhood plan (replace pediatrician with an emphasis on emergency medicine with pastor and that pretty much sums up the big stuff) and for most of my early twenties, I stuck to the plan.

When Jay and I got married, I was a meager 22 years old, and we, of course, made plans. The biggest plan was kids. We would wait five years before having kids. We would “create” two and adopt one all before I was 30. Yes, that was a tight turnaround but if we stuck to the plan, we would be empty nesters before 50! Sounds dreamy, right? We laughed when people told us, “We had a five year plan but then came Sally after year two.” Suckers. We were serious planners…that ain’t happening to us!

As we were nearing our 4 year anniversary, we felt like God was stirring our hearts to join a church plant in Bradenton, Florida. To be honest, when I left Florida at 18, I did not see myself moving back to the state of stifling humidity. But truth be told, it did seem to fit the “plan” pretty perfectly. Move closer to my family. Slow down our work pace. Sounds like the perfect preparation for getting on the train to baby town. Don’t get me wrong – we clearly felt God call us to Bradenton, but the alignment with the plan just seemed like an additional confirmation.

So we packed up our lives and moved to a studio apartment/in law suite. This was just a temporary solution until a house we were going to rent became available. Not to complain, but this studio was not up the living standards I was accustomed to, but it was only for 3 months. I remember sitting in that nasty bathroom the first night and crying to Jay as he showered telling him I think we missed God. This was a “giant leap backwards” in what the world says “adulting” should be like. The shower curtain smelled like feces and dirty feet. The carpet was full of compacted dirt. The blinds were covered in caked-on nastiness not to mention our entire living space was 300 square feet. I think that day is the moment I can pinpoint that the plan began to unravel.

We lived in that studio for 3 years as opposed to the three months we originally planned on. During that time, I faced some of the hardest obstacles of my life. From salmonella poisoning to a cancer scare, it was like every time I got over one problem, another one was there. It was in that studio I had to drag my husband out of bed when depression seemed to overtake him. It was in that studio I dressed for my retail job praying to God I wouldn’t run into anyone from high school.  It was in the bathroom at that studio apartment when I saw my first and only positive pregnancy test. It was in that studio that I curled up in my bed and mourned the loss of a tiny human. So much life lived in 300 square feet.

When we left that studio for the last time, I remember feeling this weird sense of freedom. Have you ever just carried something so long you forgot how heavy it was until you put it down? It was like that. I was free. In that moment, I think I felt free from the room. Now I know better. I was finally set free from me! God brought me into the desert to speak tenderly to me (Hosea 2:14) and set me free from the expectations for my life I had placed on myself.

It has been two years since we moved but I couldn’t help but think about that studio apartment this afternoon while the littles were napping. I was praying and reflecting, and I realized the most constant struggle I have had with the Lord has been my need for control. When I look back over my life I can see this unending pattern:

1. Me freaking out about something not happening the way I wanted or expected

2. Me taking control and trying to make things happen the way I think they should

3. Me handing the mess back to God and asking Him to fix it

Then repeat.

We are in the middle of some pretty scary things right now, and I find myself having a hard time knowing what is me “taking control” and what is me doing everything I can do so God can do everything I can’t. Does letting God have control mean sitting on my hands? I don’t know the answer. This is a real-time struggle I am working out in my own salvation. I can tell you where I am so far…

1.      I can’t be ruled by fear. Fear is not from God so any decision or action I take out of fear is not from God.

2.     First comes trust then comes direction. Trust in the Lord….He will make your path straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

3.     God doesn’t need precedent. Just because people say this is the way these things go doesn’t mean it will. God is full of surprises.

So here we are. I just turned 31 last month, and legally we do not have any children of our own even though we are currently raising two beautiful kiddos. We have tripled our living space (we now own a 932 square foot home), and we are still working for the amazing church God called us to help plant! While there is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t ask God why I couldn’t have squeezed these little miracles out my body so that things could be less complicated ultimately I am right where He wants me. I can guarantee I would not have the level of trust I have in God today if I didn’t have to put my hopes in His hands daily. So here’s to the struggle.

 

 

 

Mucho Gusto

12 Nov

So I have completely falling off the blogging wagon; however, Jay and I wanted to take some time to introduce our new home to you all. Many of you are bundling up, pulling out your scarves and boots, and enjoying the leaves change. While fall is not quite the same here in Sarasota…it does have its perks.

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All photos shot yesterday, in my flip-flops and shorts… 🙂

Apr 19 BIG NEWS!

19 Apr

We are so excited to finally be able to share this news with you…

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OasisChurch.ag

Want a .pdf version of our newsletter? Email me: missy.parmenter@gmail.com

 AHHHHHHHHHHHH! We are so excited!!!!!!

 

Apr 15 International Delights

15 Apr

My husband has giving me so many great things but one the best would have to be introducing me to some of his favorite Canadian candy…

1. Sour Keys- wayyyy better than sour patch kids

2. Mars bars – if a milky way and a snickers had a baby girl it would be a mars bar

3. And last but not least….Aero Bars.

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Hersey tried something like this but it wasn’t the same…chocolate with air bubbles. So fluffy.

Thank you Publix for carrying two and three as “ethnic” food. Yum.

Apr 14 Sunset

14 Apr

In my pajamas and in bed before the sunset. So great. I am as happy as a clam. 🙂

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