Thursday, November 15, 2012

We're Getting Out of the Boat Today

Several weeks ago Jamy was reading the story of Noah to the kids for family devotions. You know the story: the godly man, the ark, the animals two by two. But this time he read the story in a fresh way and he shared it with me later that night.

We see Noah's story as a happy one with animals and a rainbow. You could even throw in a pair of unicorns if you believed they lived back in the day. Noah took a nice cruise with his family, had a pet bird, landed on the top of a mountain with a nice view, and went on to populate the entire earth. Lovely story.

But Noah's family lived in chaos for about a year in that boat. They gave up their old lives, did crazy things to ensure the safety of their family, lived in misery on a boat for a year waiting on God to move, and had to begin a brand new life. Noah had his wife, kids, and God (with a few animals scattered in there as well).

If you're familiar with our story, you know we've been living in chaos for the last year. The analogy doesn't last long between the VanSyckle's and Noah (not to mention Jamy can't grow a beard), but stick with me.  

November 15th is a big day for us.

One year ago today I got the worst news of my life.

One year and one day ago I left our house with the kids and knew when we got back home my husband would have moved out.

One year and two days ago Jamy and I sat on the couch with our kids and had to tell them that Daddy had some work to do on his heart and would be gone for awhile.

This began a separation that lasted almost three months. Since that day, our entire family has been through months of counseling. We've lost relationships and had hard, honest conversations with  those closest to us.  We've had to stop everything to ensure our family was safe. Sins have been exposed (in both of our hearts) and we've walked through repentance and forgiveness. We've celebrated reconciliation. We've had to lean hard on each other, our church family, and on Christ. We've had to rebuild our family. We've learned a ton about humility and love.  We've learned to find our identity and hope in Jesus.  

This past year we've been on a "boat" that God has been using to literally save our family. God took us to a place where all we had was Him to rescue us.  When Jamy shared this with me it changed my entire perspective. It's been easy to think of this past year as hellish. And in many ways that's absolutely accurate. But this was God's divine and sovereign rescue plan for our family. Had we gone on as if nothing happened, had Jamy not had the courage to be honest, had I given up, our family would have crumbled. But God had a bigger, grander plan for our marriage and family. The boat got messy, the trip was bumpy, and the journey was (and will continue to be) long.  

God used this past year as a vehicle to rescue and redeem our family.

So today we're ready to get out of the boat, knowing that He has promised to be faithful and celebrating the new start we have with our new view. Today there is a tension between the real grief over what sin has done to our family and the celebration of the power of God's work in Jamy's life and our family. I've decided to embrace all of it.

And I am secretly hoping I'll spot a rainbow today.  


  1. Ooooohh! I'm praying for a rainbow. A literal one. I know you can see the figurative one. But a literal one?? Today. That would be unbelievable. And it's kinda cloudy. Just sayin'.

    P.S. Random side note. . . . I got a huge stack of paperwork today from Susan Timmons!! Woot woot!

    1. Yep - a literal one would be straight from the heavens. And yay for paperwork :)

  2. WOW! Some of our story....has been similar this past year. Hard roads, tough decisions, returning to Christ, returning to each other, working hard.....finding that God has a plan. Even when it seems like a disaster. We are imperfect, but our God = OUR GOD IS PERFECT.

  3. It's almost too easy to use the "we're in the same boat" saying isn't it. Not that our boats were the same....I'm not good with analogies...or proverbs, but sometimes you have to "bring the rain" because "a house divided itself cannot stand" but I'm glad you started this blog because "a problem shared is a problem halved" and you've taught us to "count your blessings", "home is where the heart is", "faith will move mountains", and "honesty is the best policy"! And most importantly "DON'T ROCK THE BOAT"


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