When Life Feels Like A Seesaw

This week has been filled with many ups and downs, kinda like a seesaw.

Up went my heart when I saw Kim on Monday and she looked so much better than I expected. Down went my heart when her mom called to say her lungs are filling with fluid. Up went my heart when we were assigned a travel date to Ethiopia. Down went my heart when I realized I’d have to miss the D6 conference. Up went my heart when we JJ told me there’s another date option that gives us an extra week to get our shots, plane tickets and plans in place.

Up and down went the seesaw of my emotions, and then God reminded me of something I’d just read on the blog of my oh-so-wise friend and assistant, Leah. She said I could share it with you. I pray you’ll be as encouraged as I was.

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Summer break ended this week. At 6:00 am Tuesday morning, my children tumbled out of bed, my husband got dressed to take them to the bus stop, and I stood in the kitchen making breakfast and packing lunches. Thinking about it makes me a little sad. The last three months have gone by so fast and, as I take time to reflect, the best words to describe our Summer break would be a wild seesaw ride.

When I think of the word seesaw, I imagine two children riding up and down while seated on opposite ends of a plank that is balanced in the middle. Webster’s dictionary offers other definitions for seesaw:

1. an up and down, back and forth movement or procedure.

2. to keep changing one’s decision, opinion, or attitude; to vacillate

Our family experienced “ups” this Summer that have been exciting, joy-filled, and left us with wonderful lasting memories. We’ve also had some “down” situations and circumstances that were extremely difficult and challenging, leaving us discouraged, fearful, and questioning God’s plan for our lives. Here are just a few…

Up: Our nephew, David, decided to come live with us during his college break. He’s been such a joy. Somehow he has this amazing way of keeping Brody and Carson from getting on each others’ last nerve.

Down: Two days before school let out, I hurt myself playing tennis and tore a bunch of ligaments in my foot. I spent the first four weeks of our Summer break on complete bed rest, crutches, and visits to my physical therapist.

Up: Our oldest son, Brody, went on a mission trip with a city wide youth choir. While on tour, he had some incredible life changing experiences and spiritually grew closer in his relationship with God.

Down: My husband, Keith, didn’t get that really big construction project he had worked so hard on. The potential client picked someone else which meant no income for us…. again.

Up: Our son, Carson, went on his very first away camp to Look Up Lodge. Although he was very hesitant about being away from us, he returned home with a huge smile on his face and said he wants to go back next year.

Down: A couple from California is interested in buying our home. I know this sounds like an “Up” but it’s not really. This was our dream home and secretly I prayed we’d be able to stay here for many years. Our family has so many wonderful memories and te thought of leaving brings me to tears.

Up: My sister flew in to stay with me for a week. I was so excited and loved our time together.

Down: We had to cancel our family trip to Washington D.C. because I wouldn’t be able to walk around on my injured foot. This decision left me with serious mommy guilt that I’ve had to work through.

Up: We rented a mountain cabin with friends and went to the Biltmore Estate. We had a fantastic time, relaxed with friends, and saved a LOT of money too.

Yes, it was a see-saw Summer for our family. We’ve gone back and forth on many big decisions that will drastically effect our future. We’ve been guilty of changing our opinion about people and things. We’ve had good and bad attitudes and vacillated multiple times on what direction we should go. But…God never changed His opinion about us and never vacillated in His plan for our future.

Something wonderful came out of this See-Saw Summer. Through all the Ups and Downs, I can honestly say that we did see the hand of God move in our lives this Summer. We have watched as He has orchestrated our circumstances for good. In the center of this crazy ride, we saw doors open and situations unfold which confirmed His love for us. God’s daily provision guided us through some very rough waters.

Yes, it certainly has been a See-Saw Summer.

One that has brought our family closer together.

One that has strengthened our marriage.

One that has drawn us to a place of total dependence on God.

One that has lead us to the feet of Jesus where we have found rest, renewal, and strength.

One that our family will never forget.

Lord, who am I and what is my family that you would have brought us this far? 2 Samuel 7:18

Don’t you just love that verse and what God showed Leah through the ups and downs of her summer? It helps me to “see” what God is doing and believe that one day I’ll be able to tell others how I “saw” His faithfulness again and again.

Thanks Leah! And thanks for choosing the winner for me of last week’s give-away for my “Beyond the Shadow of Doubt” message on DVD. Congratulations Monica!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. I can relate to this post so much. If you don't believe me, look at my user name (seesaw faith). I was watching my hubby and baby girl play on a seesaw one day and I got to thinking that my relationship with God is exactly like that. I am flighty and unstable, always journeying to another high or low, with an occasional time of holding steady in between. God is unmoving, unchanging and through it all, supporting me with not even a hint of weakening.

    I always want my life to be in that steady space, but then I think, how much more can I glorify God's unfailing and unchanging love then by showing how he works in all my highs and lows?

    I pray that you find God's steadiness reassuring in this time of ups and downs.

    Hugs.

  2. Renee,
    I've been praying ever since you said your travel date to get Aster would be in September. I felt in my spirit that the dates were going to conflict. Of course I would never mention that for the sake of discoragement so…I've been praying, praying, praying! Our God is so cool! It's all going to work out, I just know it! Can't wait to see you in the Big D for
    D6!
    Paula G.

  3. Thanks Leah for letting Renee post this! And thanks Renee for thinking of us!

    I've never looked at a SeeSaw that way… but I will be from now on.

  4. Ah – I just love the seesaw analogy. I am joining you on this up and down month, but my "up" will be seeing you at Lysa's conference tomorrow. 🙂

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why does God bring us through the see saw times? Or is it just us? I believe if we truly have solid faith, we will not see much of this see saw effect. If we totally rely on God in a steady steadfast manner, then we will have less lows and waver from up to medium most of the time. Still a see saw effect, but not so extreme. Lord, help us to trust you at all times, even when it appears to be a low, give us that super strength faith to know you are in control and we have no need to fret. Lord, we give it all to you and let you take control. We ask this in Jesus precious name. Amen.

  6. So many of us have been riding the seesaw lately. Jobs, houses, uncertain future steps…yet what a gift it all is to know that God never changes. He is worth more than all of the events and stuff this world has to offer.

    When we begin to feel the winds of the ups and downs; we can simply slide back to our center and rest in His presence.

    Praying for you!

  7. This is such a cool post! What an awesome way to think of a see-saw. I have had a see-saw life too lately, sometimes more downs than ups, but I can see God working in the circumstances. Thank you for sharing! Still praying for you.

  8. Renee, I'm just getting caught up on some blog reading here tonight. Oh, what a "seesaw" summer I have been having as well. Just today I was reading in Ezra 3 how "joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance" (3:13).

    Joyful shouting – UP – and weeping – DOWN – mingled together. I've likened that in the past to two songs being played over my life at the same time. (I wrote about it here: http://princessjoyful.blogspot.com/2008/03/now-and-not-yet.html)

    Renee, those two songs are being played right now. There is much for which I'm thankful, yet my family is also going through the darkest time ever and although we know God is with us, we are questioning and searching. That seesaw is providing a pretty bumpy ride.

    I've been praying for you my friend. Your name has been on my heart so much lately. In fact, just yesterday I was sharing with someone about you – all good! 🙂 Your life has made such an impact on mine. Thank you for sharing His love so faithfully.

    Love ya Renee! Sending hugs,
    Joy

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