Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cora’s Perspective…

So we’ve been quiet on here for a while. Not because there hasn’t been anything happening, but because there just aren’t always the right words to tell the world about the craziness God has seen fit to walk us through. We still aren’t out of the craziness – not by a long shot, but it just seems like time to finally try to verbalize these adventures.
For me, it started around the first of August. I knew that I’ve struggled with stress and worry, and not handling it right. I usually don’t really stew on stuff for very long, but my body knows I’m in a stressful situation, and obliges with sufficient adrenaline to knock my health for a loop. Soooo… I picked up a book that I’d been meaning to read for quite a while: “Anxious For Nothing” by John MacArthur. As I read it, I could never read much more than a page or two, as God was just slamming me with its truths. I’d read a little, then think and journal about it, then come back for more. After two weeks, I had gotten so much out of it, and had changed so much that I thought “Hey! Now that God’s taught me so much, there’s gotta be a reason for it – maybe to teach others or something!” Yeah. Uh huh. It was that same day that we found out that things were about to get very stressful. Duane had lost his job.
Now, we had prayed for quite a while for him to be able to get out of the truck. While Duane had had visions of owning his own truck, we really just wanted him to be able to be home every night. Or even MOST nights. There had been many times that a sticky situation or a cranky boss could have put an end to the job. And we’d had the sense to “fear” that. Instead, God had seen fit to protect that job through it all. And NOW, He had seen fit to drop the floor out from under us. As Duane had planned to clean out his truck for a week-long vacation, his boss told him to just clean out the truck for good, and not come back.
Each of us had our own reaction, but neither of us liked it. Duane was hurt and angered by the situation. I was freaking out that my “security” had evaporated. And we both scrambled to figure out what in the world just happened. We may never know what caused the boss to “snap” that day, but we’ve at least figured out now, as Joseph once said to his brothers: “What you meant for evil, God meant for good.”
But that process sure hasn’t been overnight. Daily we would take turns freaking out – thankfully, most of the time God allowed the other of us to be strong for the weak one. Duane will tell you about surrender. I’ll tell you about patient trust. And we’ll both tell you we’re still learning these things.
Since August I’ve wanted to know – “what’s next!?” I wanted to know how God would provide for our mortgage and other bills. I wanted to know what the next job for Duane would be. I wanted to know how God would provide for our food and gas and basics. And most of the time, I haven’t known any of those. Yet God has provided for every need. Every day.
So far it’s been pretty tight on the mortgage, but God has provided what we needed when we needed it. We have never gone hungry. Not for ONE meal. Not even close. And when we needed it most, Duane had a temporary job driving a potato truck. Unemployment finally even kicked in after three months without a job (another story for another time!).God has proven himself faithful through some crazy, crazy times.
So now… the main question is: “What comes next?” While only God KNOWS the future, we finally have a plan for the next steps. Duane has wanted to attend Bible College for quite a while now, and that’s only intensified over the last years. After his potato truck job, we finally had enough gas money to make a visit to his top prospect for a Bible College, Multnomah University in Portland, OR.
We had checked out a number of schools over the phone and internet, finding some great schools in the northwest, but none had quite what Duane was looking for in majors, etc. When we investigated Multnomah, we found that they had the majors we are looking for, has the reputation of a solid Biblical education, and is near enough to family. The only major draw-back in my view is that it’s in Portland. Ya know how you’re always told “Don’t ever say ‘Never’ to God”? Yeah, I was totally okay with Africa, but Portland? Please, God! DON’T send me to *cue super whiny voice* Poooortland! Yet by the time we were heading home from our campus visit, we knew: yep, Multnomah is the one. Duane plans to double major in Bible/Theology and New Testament Greek.
For the past couple weeks I’ve been alternately weepy and excited about the possibilities as we begin to tell our family and friends about the plans. We know that God can tweak and/or earthquake OUR plans at any time, and I can’t say that it’ll even surprise me, but for right now, it seems that attending Multnomah is in our future.
As it sits right now, the plan is for Duane to attend Multnomah starting in January for the Spring Semester, while I stay home and wrap things up with CEF and the house. Then the thinking is that I’ll move up there with him starting in May, between his terms. We THINK he’ll attend classes over the summer, which starts at the end of May, so it’s a pretty short window of time. I’ll probably still need to work up there part time, and we’re praying about the possibilities – there are definitely possibilities there, but we don’t have any announce-able plans yet.
For right now, we’re getting him ready for school, and then we’ll start getting the house ready to sell or rent. To our Klamath Falls friends, please pass the word that we’re looking for someone to rent, lease (w/ option to buy), or buy our 3-bedroom home in Midland. For our friends in the Portland area, do you know of someone that would have at least an inexpensive room to rent for January through May, and/or a one-to-two bedroom home available starting in either January or May? For January to May we won’t have the three dogs with us, as they’ll still be in Midland with me, but after that, we need a place that is pet-friendly. It is possible that Duane will be able to stay on campus during the Spring term, since we won’t have the dogs up there, but since there’s a no pet policy, we’ll need to figure out something different for May. Confused yet? Join the club!
For those of you in the CEF family, you need to know that the ministry in Klamath Falls WILL GO ON!!! As we discovered over my year-long sabbatical, the committee did a FABULOUS job of keeping things going - the ministry even GREW while I was gone. The leadership is still in the process of organizing the "what's next" specifics, and will let you know as soon as possible more details. Please be patient with them! I'd rather have waited to tell you until that point, so I could reassure you in the same breath that even though I was leaving, we have plans A, B, and C in motion. However, too much was happening too fast, and word was getting out to some people and not to others, leading to hurt feelings and the potential for not-fun rumors. I wanted to make sure that YOU would know as much as I can tell as soon as I can. From here, please just be patient, and know that GOD has a plan for his ministry, and as He shows US what that is, we'll be glad to share that with you!
I was telling a friend this weekend about how much I’ve learned about just waiting on God’s timing. Living in the moment that God has given me, instead of stressing about what the future holds. And later that night I was once again freaking out about where in the world we’ll be living in the next few months, and how miserable it’ll be to be apart from Duane for so long, and, and, and… And again I remind myself “Be still and know that I am God.” Translated into Cora’s heart-language, it probably sounds more like “Okay, Cora, it’s time to just sit down and shut up… I said SHUT UP… and remember that I’m in charge, not you… Did I mention to shut up? No buts about it! I AM in charge! Oh, and by the way, Cora? You DO know that I love you! A lot.” Believe me, I know that God wouldn’t be that crude, but it usually takes Him being that pointed with me. I’m so thankful for his patience with me!
As you think of us, would you please pray for us? Pray for continued peace, pray for clear direction, and pray for me to figure out the right balance of busyness and relaxing (i.e. not to become overwhelmed by all there is to do and just shut down!). Pray for my dear old curmudgeon, er uh, hubby as he prepares for school and the challenges that will bring. Also please pray that we’ll be able to get a computer for him to take with him to school. We have a laptop, but if he took it, then I wouldn’t have one here to be able to Skype with him – a key part of our plan to survive the months apart. Also, please pray for the house situation – pray for favor with the board that decides whether we get housing assistance from the state of Oregon (would pay our mortgage for a year), and for the house to have new occupants, and for us to have the right place(s) to move to at the right time. While you’re praying, I’d be remiss not to ask you to join me in thanking Him for His great provision for us thus far: thank Him for abundant food, clothing, home, time together, growth closer to Him and each other, friends, peace, and relief from a major chunk of the debt!
Thanks for taking the time to read this. We are ever grateful for your partnership in this journey!
for the Tucker Tribe
Oh, and Duane's Perspective is just around the corner! 

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