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This past month has been the most difficult of my life. After being displaced from our apartment by fire, and living in a hotel room for a month, we were able to move back home this past week. We were excited to haul in boxes, and even signed a new 12-month lease on our first day back.
But, as we started digging deeper into the apartment we found more and more mold. I shot an email off to the apartment manager expecting them to schedule a repair. I was stunned when I received a response that threatened to hold us personally liable for any maintenance and that if we complained about any more repairs they would declare our apartment uninhabitable and terminate our lease.
Our only options were to stay in a 12-month lease and deal with the mold, plus the possibility that they could terminate our lease at any time, or give a 30-day notice to vacate before our newly signed lease took effect.
I feel like I have maintained a pretty healthy attitude up to this point. The fire was traumatic. The aftermath was delay after delay and battle after battle. But God showed us so much favor and poured out his love through the generosity of our friends. And we always knew we would be coming home.
But that reality has been shattered. We handed in a 30-day notice and just pray that we can find something before then. What happens if we don’t? I don’t know.
The stress of this situation has been indescribable. I have cried a lot – just ask my husband. Or even my insurance agent. My heart races, my mind races. Why is God letting this happen? I haven’t been able to sleep. All I can muster is drinking wine and watching the Food Network. That seems like the logical thing to do when your life has fallen apart.
I’ve had a lot of those sobbing conversations with the Lord, please, just do something! This morning at church, I was mumbling the words to the songs about going where God leads, waves crashing, storms raging and all that jazz.
I think I always believed that trusting in God would be some empowering, peaceful event. I’m here to tell you, it’s not. It is the MOST uncomfortable thing I have ever been through. Why? God could poof a house out of thin air, so why is he making us endure this? Is it really his will that we are homeless?
In my distress, I called to the Lord, and He answered me. – Jonah 2:2
Until my apartment burned down I hadn’t been calling on the Lord a whole lot. I always have the best of intentions, but I’m busy! This situation has jerked me from the apathy of my daily life. He has my attention.
I am a planner. I like to know what is happening, because then I can control it. This situation is so far out of my control that I feel helpless and broken.
My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness. – 1 Corinthians 12:9
Over the past few weeks, Craig Groeschel has taught a series titled “God Never Said That.” One week the message was on the cliche “God will never give you more than you can handle.” I went back today and re-watched that message, and of course cried through the whole thing because that is what I do now. But a couple of his points were so profound that I rewound and wrote them down.
I have the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwelling in me.
You may get to know Him better in a valley than on a mountaintop.
You were not created to have all the power to do it yourself. You were created to need God.
We need Him in our distress and overlook Him in our success.
Never let the presence of a storm cause you to doubt the presence of God.
Recently one of my friends sent me the book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. Tonight my daughter and I read March 1st’s entry together and the last sentence said,
Though you lose everything else, if you gain My Peace you are rich indeed.
I am still in the middle of my storm. I will probably still cry a lot. But I know, I KNOW that God hasn’t brought me this far just to dump me in a pit. Please pray for my family and I as we face this season.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9