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  • Ashley Thomas

To complain or not to complain.



I found myself unexpectedly in the office alone a couple days this week. I wasn’t concerned, I’ve been at Hope Street nearly a decade, and filled every “role” at one point in time so it wasn’t the multiple hats I would have to wear that worried me, it was trusting that I would have enough time to do the things that needed to be done.


Being in the office alone, meant that members had to stop by my office if they needed something. What was most enjoyable were the moments where I was invited in to celebrate recent discoveries or victories. The one that stuck with me the most?


One of our new moms, (we will call her April for privacy’s sake) stopped in to share how things are going. I asked about something she has been most surprised by. She quickly lit up, and said, “last night I got to babysit my great grandson. Can you believe I can be trusted once again to care for someone else?” We then spent the next few moments talking about all of the cute things babies do, and I saw life slowly come back into her eyes. A reminder of her worth, had been restored, and in the constraints of our building. Trust was let into the room.


This past Tuesday, I was invited to hear Pastor Jeff Manion teach at Spring Creek Church. I debated on whether or not I was going to show up, I asked myself “do I really have two hours of time to spend when our main Hope Street event (Family Reunion, small plug) is just two weeks away?” The verdict was still out, but I found myself walking through the doors anyways. I quickly realized Jeff is the author of a book that was very transformative as I maneuvered through one of the most difficult transitions in my life: The Land Between. I was captured by his whole talk, each word a reminder of things I had forgotten or deliberately chosen to ignore…because they were too difficult or inconvenient. One statement stuck with me, and I didn’t know how instrumental it would be over the next couple of days: Trust and Complaint can’t be in the same room. Both are continually trying to push the other out.

We can trust that God provides the daily grace we need to live in His will, or we can complain about how He chooses to do so - to throw the “manna” back in his face.


While I’m completely capable of managing the office on my own. It was the last thing I wanted to do this week, in fact it was very easy for me to complain. To be angry. To be frustrated with God, as if he doesn’t know how important I am, and all the work I have to do (insert major eye roll). In my complaining I quickly opened the door for Him to exit.


Thankfully, April’s story put things back into perspective. I realized more life comes from trusting, then complaining. I realized my complaining may have made me miss out on celebrating with April the work God is doing in her life. And that is the most important “work” I can do. His “manna” was exactly what I needed in that moment.


I don’t know about you, but maybe you are in a season where you find yourself frustrated by all that everyone else is NOT doing. Maybe your load feels heavy, maybe you feel forgotten, unappreciated or simply stuck. I know how easy it is to pick up the phone or send off the quick text to a close friend…to complain about how hard life is - (and I’m not questioning just how hard it is) but consider before that, asking God where you don’t trust Him. Maybe try praying that you would trust him more; as the lyrics of one of my favorite songs states: give me grace to trust you more.


Life is a whole lot more full with Him in the room.


Whose turn is it to exit?



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