March 8, 2024

Annie Ward
"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Romans 12:1-2

My husband Josh and I have had a carpentry business off and on for the bulk of our marriage. Our hope has been that this company would provide a quality product to customers, provide jobs for people in our community, and set up a life of flexibility and freedom for our family. It was a hard pill to swallow, but about three months ago, we hit a very obvious wall. It doesn’t look like our plans for this business are going to work out the way we had always hoped. Instead of freedom, we have experienced financial burden, and instead of flexibility, we have experienced long hours away from one another.

Both Josh and I have known Jesus since we were children, and both of us can share story after story of God’s faithfulness to us individually and as a couple. We have had moments of deep connection and faith, moments of fear and sin, and moments of dangerous indifference. We have gifts and talents that went unused for years that are finally starting to blossom. Right in this very season of life, when it looks like everything is falling apart, all of the pieces of our story are actually colliding.

In the midst of the collision, I am realizing that there is very little that I bring to the table. All the accomplishments I hoped I would have today are nothing in comparison to the simple worship that I can do with my life daily. God has inspired a very simple plan that the rest of the world would say is foolishness. Our plan is to wake up every day and ask the Lord what He would have us do, quite literally. So far, each day is different — unexpected work has shown up, everything we’ve needed has been provided, and we have time for new things together. This plan is working. Through our submission, renewal and direction have come every day. It makes me think, what if this is what God has wanted all along?