Here to Help

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.” Psalm 28:7

Lately I feel like God grabbed my ankles, flipped me upside down and shook me until all the loose change of MY priorities, expectations, and unbelief has fallen out of my pockets! “Why?” you might ask. It’s simple. I moved back overseas.

I’ve moved back overseas before, but this time it’s to a TOTALLY new place – Papua, Indonesia. New routine (or lack of it), new colleagues, new people group, new climate, new, new, new. Can you tell I don’t really like change? At times, I find myself depressed because life’s just plain hard right now.

Linda Ringenberg and C.J., her son, in front of his schoolC.J., my 11 year old son, just started school at a “new” school, and was struggling with his math homework. Sensing his resistance to my efforts to guide him through a long division problem, I exclaimed in frustration, “C.J.! I’m right here to help you!”

“But Mom,” he moaned, “It’s just TOO hard! I can’t handle this! Why does God make us do things that are hard?!”

Stunned, I realized that he had voiced the same issue that I was struggling with. Now I was faced with having to explain to my child the answer to the question I didn’t want to face. I swallowed hard.

“Well, C.J., God loves us SO much that He wants us to grow – and sometimes growth only comes through hard things.” I paused, surprised at my words. “But I’m right here to help you! All you have to do is trust me, and we’ll walk through this together.” God had given me a glimpse into how He must desire to do the same for me!

Later, after C.J. had allowed me to help him through his homework, I chuckled to myself. “You’re funny, Lord! But I get it. You just want me to trust you. You CAN help me through the hard times – if I let you. Even if it is harder than long division!”

13 Comments

  • Jen says:

    Linda,
    Thank you for sharing your heart here. I’m struggling with the same feelings right now in the ministry God has assigned us too. It’s nice knowing I’m not the only ministry wife that isn’t thrilled with the location God has taken her and it’s good to be reminded that God goes with me! May He continue to encourage you and I both!
    Jen

  • Cindy says:

    Linda,
    I hear what you are saying. Boy, I have been at the place of hard living. I have felt like Job in the Bible.
    Your words for your son are true. God will never leave us or forsake us. I’m on the other side right now and feel great joy and peace. God will bring you to that place of rest Psalm 23 gives a great visual: green pastures,peace,loving God, refreshed.
    I’m praying for you girl.

  • Christine says:

    Faith in God. FAITH….and TRUST………phew!
    Having been a Christian for over 30 years, faith and trust are still very challenging to understand and to just step out and do! Thanks for sharing, Linda, you face to face encounter and challenge in this area. It is amazing how God uses children to teach us adults the very simple things we need to know or be reminded of, about Him.

    Joy in your Journey, Christine 🙂

  • Darlene Barber says:

    Dear Linda,
    Thank you so much for your e-mail this morning.
    It touched my heart!
    The truth of His Word never returns void.
    I will choose this day to Trust–“…sometimes growth
    only comes through hard things.”
    Also,”But I am right here with you.”
    Bless you for being an encourager today.
    In Him,
    Darlene

  • Henk Vigeveno says:

    Where do the answers to our children’s questions come from? The Holy Spirit! That’s something to think about. God is at work in our lives in many ways, often through and with our children. It’s good to think about this. The Spirit strengthens our faith and those who are close to us. Linda, your willingness to share is an encouragement for all who read this! The Lord continue to give you wisdom, grace,peace and joy. Henk

  • Shirley Heathman says:

    Dear Linda, and family, such a great lesson you have shared with me, too. My life is in a stable mode, but you help me to think more on trusting the Lord with all the details, now and for the future. Thank you dear sister.

  • Shirley Peters says:

    Hi Linda: So happy to get your blog messages. This is new to me but I opened a blog yesterday myself. My
    blog is http://mygracenotes.weebly.com

  • Jim Manley Jim Manley says:

    Linda,

    Your 1st paragraph word picture will stick with me for a long time. And the hard things? Our presumption that “easy” equates God’s favor is like old pennies and gum mixed in our deepest pocket lint. So glad He shakes us upside down until it all comes out. Jim

  • Dawne Smith says:

    My Dear friends,
    You are so precious! To Him and to me! I agree with Jim – I like your description of God shaking you out. It reminds me of a song I know that describes us as scarecrows who need God to shake out our old straw to replace it with the new straw that fills us with the mind, heart and life He wants us to have. Keep struggling, Linda, it is never in vain with the Lord at your side making you new! You’re growing spiritual muscles. 😉

  • Lori says:

    Hey Linda!

    Thanks for sharing. I’m thinking I’ll be feeling the same very soon and wonder what I can do to help myself have an easier time. I appreciate how well you voice your feelings. Great visual description! It helps me put words to mine. I love you and you are in my thoughts and prayers!
    Lori

  • Hilda says:

    Thanks for reminding all of us that God is with us! I’m so glad you are writing. Great job!

  • Colleen says:

    Linda,
    Thank you for sharing such a difficult time with us so that we can learn about God’s great love for us. He wants us to live abundantly and He doesn’t say it will be easy. Especially to get out of our comfort zone! I don’t like change either and since I lost my job I find myself wondering what God is doing with my life so I appreciate your word picture more than you will ever know. With lots of love and many prayers for you and your family,
    Colleen

  • Chanyce says:

    Linda- Thanks for sharing your encouragement! I have recently moved out of my parents’ house to finish up my last few years of college in a new city, and it has been really hard, but I totally agree- sometimes hard things are necessary to shape us into the people God really wants us to be!
    I’ll continue to be praying for you and your family, love you guys so much! Say HI to C.J. for me!

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