It’s amazing what a difference a day can make.
These past 6 weeks have been a roller-coaster of emotions. First, dealing with the fire, then dealing with the insurance company. Delay after delay about getting back into our apartment. The elation of moving back in, only to discover the work was sloppy and half-done and the apartment was full of mold.
We were given a six hour window to decide if we wanted to stay and fight the apartment to properly do the repairs (my insurance paid more than enough for them to be done the right way) or give a 30-day-notice with no plan B.
We chose to give a 30-day-notice and immediately began a frantic search for a new place to live. Ordinarily, that might not have been an overwhelming task, but there is a billion dollar expansion project happening at a local factory which has brought in thousands of temporary workers. Rental properties are often snatched up sight-unseen, and even most of the hotels are full. And if you DO find an available property, most don’t allow dogs.
I really started to question what exactly God was trying to do to us. Give me a nervous breakdown? Was his master plan that we end up homeless? As we got father into the apartment we found more and more issues, so it seemed clear that we were supposed to go – but go where?
I made an impassioned plea in the form of a Facebook status that if any of my friends knew of a place to please let us know. I received a message from a former client and dear friend of mine. She had moved out of state about a year ago, and I thought she sold her house but instead she had been renting it to some friends. The friends were having trouble affording the rent and had informed her this would likely be their last month there. Perfect!
For a moment, I breathed a sigh of relief. This house seemed to be the perfect fit for us, and we found it less than 10 minutes after giving our notice to the apartments! But days turned into weeks and the current occupants of the house didn’t seem to be moving. That was a kick in the gut. We started looking for something else.
I harassed my poor friend almost every day, wondering if her tenants had given her any more news. In my logical mind, I knew that God had not brought us this far just to watch us fall off a cliff, but those days were very dark for me.
We looked at a few possibilities – one was so small I don’t think our furniture would have fit in the rooms, one was more than I was comfortable spending, and one was rented before we could even go and look at it. Stress does not begin to describe my state of mind.
One of my friends sent me the Jesus Calling devotional. I felt like each day spoke directly to me. It told me over and over again to TRUST. I watched every Lifechurch.tv message I could find about faith, and trials. My faith wasn’t pretty, and my trust was shaky, but it was there.
I finally gave up on my daily stalking/messages asking about the house. We had a good lead on another possibility. Then Saturday night my phone vibrated. “Just heard, they are for sure moving.”
I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry or throw up. “I think we have a house,” I told my daughter. Some of the details (like a solid move-in date) are still a little up in the air, but with the stress of house-hunting off our shoulders we are able to objectively see God’s favor in this situation.
If things hadn’t been as terrible and awful as they were at the apartment, I likely would have never moved. I would have just stayed there, dealing with the little miseries that came with. By forcing our hand, God has given us a house (no stompy, upstairs neighbors), and lovely, fenced-in yard for our dogs, a garage (two, actually), and a nice, quiet neighborhood. We will be able to entertain, our kids can play outside, and we are a short walk from a lot of different things. I was hanging onto my life with such a tight, closed fist that I couldn’t open it to receive the blessings God intended for us.
Our message at church this week was about pride. I was very convicted when he said that one sign of being prideful was being a control freak. I like to justify my controlling manner because there has been so much uncertainty in my life. But, if I have learned one thing from this experience it is that God wants to be in control of our lives. And it is so much better when he is.
Don’t cling to things so tightly that God has to hold your hand over the fire to open it. A friend reminded me of this verse:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28