Sometimes it's hard to believe that we have been living in Oklahoma for almost a year and a half. During that time we have made some dear friends, become involved in our church and been stretched and grown in so many ways. We have learned what it means to be a part of a fellowship of believers, and to truly serve within the congregation. We have faced difficult situations, and met them with prayer and thanksgiving. We have second guessed our decision to move so far away from family, and then been reminded of the family we gained as a result of our relocation. To say the least, it has been 16 months of ups and downs.
The most difficult thing with which we have had to struggle was the sale of our house in Texas. We put it on the market in April of 2009 with high hopes that it would sell and that we would be purchasing a new home in Oklahoma within a year or two. But with the difficult economy and the housing market being what it is, the house has been vacant since we moved. We have asked friends and family for prayer regarding this area of worry and concern. We prayed and made all sorts of plans concerning the sale of the house, but sometimes it seemed as though God was completely unaware of our worry.
I knew that God would take care of us, and He did in so many amazing ways. Although we have effectively been paying two mortgages, our financial needs have been met. Sometimes it was an unexpected check in the mail from a forgotten reimbursement and sometimes it was that we had just enough for the month to get by. God has provided for our needs, and shown me the truth of Proverbs 16:9. A man's heart plans his ways, but the LORD directs his steps. And oh the plans I have made! Plans about how to go about selling the house, how much we should lower the price, who should be our real estate agent, and whether or not we should just foreclose and be done with it.
All of these things were discussed at length and a thousand more besides. We vacillated between doing what was right, and taking the easy road and taking a credit hit. I am ashamed to admit that we considered foreclosure or at the very least a deed in lieu, but there it is. We had moments of weakness and despair in spite of our prayers and belief that God was in control and that we would emerge from this time stronger for going through the Refiner's fire. We questioned everything....was this a test? Were we passing or failing? Were we doing enough or were we doing too much? Were we really leaning on Him, or were we just pretending?
I wish that I had the answer to those questions. I often want to know why things happen as though the knowledge would change anything. I am learning that I don't need to know everything. In fact, it's probably better that I don't know more, because knowing why would take away some of the sweetness of trusting in God. I want to trust Him the way my children trust me. They don't need lengthy explanations as to why I care for them and what motivates me to do so. They just revel in the knowledge that they are loved and cared for by no merit of their own, but just because they are my children.
So after all the months of wondering what would finally happen with our house in Texas, we received word last week that our realtor had found a renter. Would we have preferred to sell the house and be done with it? Sure. Do we know that God has a plan in all of this? Absolutely. We made our plans, but God directed our steps. We are thankful for the lifting of a financial burden, and we praise Him for being faithful to us even when we show ourselves unfaithful to Him in so many ways.