July 31, 2014

Starting a New Chapter

Things have changed drastically for The Ramer Bunch in the past couple of months. We have gone from living in Dothan with Gregg working at BB&T to leasing our house out for a year and temporarily moving in with my parents and being on a job hunt. We decided to take our cross country road trip and I think that was the best decision we could have made for our family at the time. With Gregg's job being eliminated at the bank, he got a severance package and we decided that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to see places we had always wanted to see but never had the time to. With Gregg not working, our kids not in school and me not having a job, we took advantage of the opportunity and spontaneously loaded up our family and headed out on a 20 day road trip in which we crossed 19 states and covered over 7,800 miles. The kids were AMAZING and we honestly couldn't ask for a better family trip. We didn't have an itinerary and no set time frame, but I did want to get back around the Monday before the blood drive so that I would have time to get things in line for it and not feel rushed. We drove 30 hours straight from Phoenix, AZ to Opp, AL only stopping for dinner one night in New Mexico and lunch the next day in Louisiana. The kids slept so well in the car and seriously only cried about 5 minutes total between the 3 of them for the entire 30 hours. I am so thankful that we had a pleasant trip and I really enjoyed all the quality time with my husband. We spent 20 days straight with each other and both came back alive! ;) Actually only argued over whether or not it was legal to turn around in the median of an interstate or not! lol We got along great and it was great just to enjoy our adventure and experience things we had always wanted to do together. I hope that our children remember some of our trip, even if only from seeing pictures and hearing stories through the years. I hope that we are able to do it again when they get older. It was definitely something that I don't regret and will appreciate for the rest of my life.
 So many people keep asking us "what we are doing" "where we are going" and to be honest, we really don't know. Many people then have their opinion of our situation and that is ok, it really isn't important to us what other people think of our "situation" and they are free to form whatever opinion they want. We are just taking our time and praying for God to give us guidance in what He wants us to do and where He wants us to go. Our family is one of our top priorities and we want to be sure that we make the right decision for our family. If it's to stay in Opp and pursue careers here, then that is great and if it is to go elsewhere, then we will go. Sometimes trusting God can be very trying and it's easy to get impatient and try to make a quick decision so that you can feel like you are going in a direction, somewhere, but God has a plan and His timing, although it is not always the timing we have in mind, is perfect. I know in the past God has come through in just the moment we needed Him to, to let us know that our faithfulness to Him did not go unnoticed and that He was going to take care of us as He promised. 
In 2009, I quit my job and started staying home with the twins. It was the biggest blessing EVER looking back, seeing that I got to spend everyday with them for some of the last months that I had them with me on this Earth. Those times were hard on us financially, though, and Gregg's grandmother was our landlord and let our rent hold off for the months that I didn't have a job. It was hard for us though because we felt like we were keeping her of income that she needed herself. We prayed and Gregg came across a verse in his quiet time in Malachi 3 where it talks about robbing God and we decided not to take our tithe money to pay his Granny and trust that He would provide us with a blessing. The next day, I received an out of the blue phone call from someone wanting to know if I would be interested in coming and interviewing with him for a position he had in his office. Now I didn't apply here, and Gregg and I had just made the decision that week that I would have to look for employment soon. It was God calling, opening the door for us and providing our family with the income we needed to help us get through. A job that ,all the way around, was nothing but a God send. My employer was an amazing Christian leader with a wonderful wife and through facing the worst time in my life, they kept me constantly in prayer and were so understanding through the many hard days. I am so thankful for the unexpected blessings God sends. They come in many forms and teach us many things.
 Now skip forward 5 years and where we are in our lives now is different, but also very similar. We are heading in to uncharted waters, the great unknown. We are having to trust God with our future. Turn over our fears, our plans, our agenda and even our finances and allow Him to take care of us. In Isaiah 42:16 God tells us, "I will lead the blind by the ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." How awesome is this promise from God?! I know that He will see us through to this new chapter in our lives and I trust that He know better than you or me in "what we are doing" and "where we are going".  One of my favorite songs is Oceans by Hillsong. It is my daily prayer in this time of unknown, "Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters, wherever you would call me. Take me deeper than my faith could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior"

Such a great song, with a powerful cry to God. If you are reading this, my prayer is that you know God, or that the Holy Spirit has somehow set a spark in your heart that leads you to want to find out more about God. I really cannot imagine my life without His love, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, His comfort. He gives me hope when it seems impossible. He gives me strength when I feel like giving up. He gives me grace when I have been unkind. Jesus emptied himself for our sake, pouring His love over us so that we would be saved. He loved us then and He loves us today regardless of all our mistakes, sins or struggles. 

Please pray for our family as we go through this time of unknown. Pray that we continue to trust God and that we will allow Him to lead us into these uncharted waters with a faith that will not falter and a spirit that will not turn away.

Thank you for your prayers.

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