The last part of the year passed so quickly that I hardly was able to take a breathe. God moved in significant ways through our family and we are blessed by it!
I didn't start this year anticipating the changes that we encountered. I wanted to change, but didn't expect that my external would as well.
On November 1st we put our house up for sale. It was a hard decision, but it was something that God clearly marked for us on our journey. The housing market was such that we would never recover from in our little home. I didn't know what next to try, then God stepped in and called us to something better.
In four days time we had five showings and an offer. I was blown away! Given the type of sale, I didn't expect that we would see any interest for some time. God was definitely in this process! At the same time we had a home drop into our laps that would double every little space we had and for less each month than what our current commitment was.
What an adjustment!!! We spent Thanksgiving truly thankful for the work God was doing for our family. It wasn't because he had never worked in our lives before, but this instance was so clearly directed and orchestrated by our Father! When I handed the paperwork over to our lawyer to handle the negotiations with banks, I hadn't realized at that moment I handed my trust entirely to my Creator. I have been overwhelmed with peace about where we are.
Our home is not constructed of wood and drywall, but of the memories and people within those walls. God cares so deeply for us that even the walls He will provide! I never expected that walking away from "home" would lead us to HOME but within the structure and within our hearts. What hope we had to look forward to as God continually opened doors for us!
He provided a washer and dryer for us so we could leave our old set for the new owners. He took care of bills that needed to be paid off for the benefit of the sale. He negotiated with the banks and gave them courage to release us from the residual loan. What a gift that was. It felt as if all that I had put into the home and to save it was acknowledge and gently taken from me to rest. God is so gracious to our family.
It has been a humbling experience to be still and watch God work. When I walked into our new home, I was met with fear that changes were not good and I was going to be sorry we made this decision.
My Father left me love notes all over. The kitchen was just as I had in the other house only bigger! (those who know me know what a huge deal this is for me) The upstairs was just as it was in layout as we had before. THEN He alone blessed us with so much more!
My heart has swelled many times in the last month just from being blessed and gratitude. To hear laughter from my children and their friends while they enjoy the bonus room downstairs makes me praise my Father for His goodness. In the little things I have been overflowing with praise for God's grace.
During this time, God showed me something special in His word. Sitting in church one morning, the sermon was from Colossians, but my eye was drawn to the previous page.
Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
We all know this verse by heart. I often sense that it gives us somewhat of an invincible feeling as a believer. I can do anything when Jesus gives me the ability and strength!?
What spoken so clearly to me was not just in that verse, but in the verses before as well. The caption of this section of scripture is labeled God's provision.
10 "I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have LEARNED in whatever situations I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have LEARNED the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need."
Paul had to LEARN to be content in his circumstance, whatever they were. It wasn't something that he just did. He had to learn it. You can only learn those things while going through trials and blessings. More than that, I believe Paul learned that God will sustain him during those times until the provision comes.
What stuck out to me is God's sustaining power outside of our own. God will bring the provision, but during our circumstances it is HE alone that keeps us holding on until we see God unfold his plan in our situation.
It isn't that because God is on my side I am invincible. I don't think that anymore. Sometimes our circumstances demand us to be broken so that God can build us up. Sometimes our circumstances dictated that our belief in God's provision is the testimony to others. Not every circumstance, in need or not, is bad. I have been in both, and I have been blessed in both.
What I see, when looking back at where we have been, is the sustaining power of a God who cares deeply for me. He desires to give his children His best. It doesn't mean what we want, but what is good and perfect for us.
It isn't that I can do anything because Jesus makes me strong. It is Christ that IS our strength. It is true as well that He sustains us until HIS provision comes. Can we stay faithful to Him as well?