In the Season of Growing

God is able. He will never failSo it’s been a while since you’ve seen me around here.  It’s been a season of growing, and quite honestly I didn’t expect it to be like this.

We have to find a new home.  Our landlord, a good one though he is, has increased our rent to an amount that is well above our breaking point, so we started house hunting in this market where owning is actually cheaper than renting.  I don’t know about where you live, but here, we’ll be saving around $400 a month just by paying a mortgage.  It’s kind of crazy.

We started out looking and looking and looking.  Where could we find an affordable house that would be big enough for our size family, has a yard, and is in a safe neighborhood.  The task seemed more and more daunting as we went on.  I really struggled.  I really found myself being afraid, anxious, impatient.  I knew the Lord would take care of us.  I knew there would be something for us.  I just got…tired…of…waiting.

Being up against somewhat of a deadline was a little tricky, but we still had time we thought.  We started looking early enough.  Surely there would be something for us in time – because our lease was running out.

The Lord encouraged me with songs to remind me of His care for us.  One morning He woke me up with Kari Jobe’s, Lord Over All, specifically the line at the end, “You will never fail.  You will never fail.”  I felt encouraged remembering that the Lord would not fail us.

Then we found it.  A great house in a stellar neighborhood with almost everything we wanted.  We all felt at home when we first walked through it and really rejoiced when our bid was accepted!  This was it!  Thank You, Lord!  We found a great house!  Even the estimated monthly payment was almost exactly what I had asked the Lord for to work well with our budget.

And then, long story short, because of the listing agent’s out-dated protocol we had to walk away from that house after being under contract for almost two months.  We literally tried everything.  We kept asking the Lord if we should keep fighting or give up on this house.  Finally we felt the release to give up on it and walk away.

After losing this house that we thought would be ours, I looked back over the last couple months of searching, praying, waiting, and receiving what we thought of as confirmation…

Didn’t the Lord lead us to this point?

I think sometimes, and maybe this is a western-1st world-Christian thing, we expect God to always answer our prayers in such incredible ways.  We know, as we grow in our faith, that we don’t always get what we want because sometimes God just has something better.  But still.  Are there still places in our hearts where we think that maybe we really should get what we want?  Do we expect God to answer our prayers according to our ideas of what is best?  Sure we do.

I have seen this in myself through this process.  It’s been hard to look at.  I don’t like those places that have come into the light that have shown themselves ugly as they are because really what they reveal is various shades of pride, fear, and lack of trust in a God who has proven Himself time and time again.

Now, before you comment with, “Oh don’t beat yourself up, sweetie,” comments…I’m not.  I am really just recognizing the truth.  I constantly need Him.  I have known this for years, but during this season of growth He has shown me this in new ways.  And praise God!  Praise God for showing me this.  Why would I want to just stay where I am in my relationship with Him?  Don’t I want to grow closer to Him?  Don’t I ask Him for that?

Growth is not always easy.  In fact sometimes it really sucks.  But I know as I lean into Him during this time, He will continue to transform those ugly places for His glory.

Lots of people are reminding me during this time that God has a plan.  He knows best.  He has something better.  If it wasn’t meant to be than you are better off.  I know these statements are true.  However I have a question for you and for myself.

If what God has as His best for me is not as good in my eyes as what I expected from Him will I still be content and praise Him?

What if we don’t get as much square footage in the house we actually end up buying?  What if we don’t find another house in time for us to move out of where we are renting?  What if, according to man’s judgement, the house we get isn’t better than the one we had to walk away from?

I really know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God can do anything at all!  He can move mountains.  He can change hearts.  He can even somehow get us that house we walked away from.  But what if the answer is no?  What if what He has for us is much more meaningful than a big house with a picket fence in a model USA neighborhood?  Will we still trust Him?  Will we still proclaim, “Oh Lord how great Thou art!”

Oh Lord, let us by Your grace still praise You no matter what the outcome of this situation is.  No matter what curb appeal this house that we end up buying has and no matter how many bedrooms or bathrooms, help us be content and worship Your Name, the Name above all names!

When I find myself struggling with this situation I have to remind myself of the truth that the Lord never fails to take great care of us in every way we need.  I have to remember that I need to be honest with others about the struggle.  The struggle is real, folks.  I have four children to take care of, and lots of other things that require my brain to be working well and not be so distracted.  I feel mentally exhausted.

I’m ready to just be moved in to a house, the house God provides us.

But I realize I have to wait still.  So I ask for help to persevere.  I ask for help from my community.  I ask for help from the Lord to be content.  And what did Paul say is the secret to being content?

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12,13 NIV)

We wait to see what God will do.  We wait to see where He will lead us and how.  We wait to see what the rest of the story will be.  But in the meantime, we can praise His name, we can share His truth, we can rejoice in knowing that

Thank, You, Lord.  May Your will be done, and may You be glorified during this season of growth. Amen.

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