"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
Well, well. Today is the day that I get to write about the thing I've most been wanting to write about for months. Today is the day that I get to give God all the glory and the praise for answering prayers in a way that only HE could orchestrate.
Because my dear friends, God has provided my family with a new home.
But first, I need to share about a dream that I hadn't shared about here yet.
At the very beginning of January, at the beginning of the new year, I had a dream that I received a beautiful necklace. It was unlike anything I've ever seen, it had a large vibrant aquamarine in the center, surrounded by large diamonds in a kind of snowflake pattern. The chain was silver and nondescript, and the necklace came in a flat velvet box. With it came a little note that had some writing I didn't remember when I woke, except for the very end which said Love, Daddy. When I woke up, I knew that was a significant dream, and looked up some things online about aquamarines. It turned out that these are the birthstone for March. I decided that God was going to do something special for me in March, and I couldn't wait. This dream was a message for me to have patience and hold on.
Last week I shared my personal revelation, about how this home searching process has been used by the Holy Spirit to teach me the gift of discernment. I mentioned how with each house that we looked at, there was something in my spirit that thought the house was wrong for us. As the months ticked by and the houses ticked by, I maintained my patience. And when the last house didn't pan out for us in February, there was a growing unease trying to gnaw at us, trying to get us to do something drastic and settle for less than what God has for us. But I kept thinking about this dream I had, and I just knew that God was going to do something in March. I just knew it! So I kept holding to faith and patience, and made a deal with Andy that we would not look for a desperate option until April 1st. We were going to give God time.
As March went on though, something unexpected happened. Something within our church body began shaking loose in March and every single church service we had just got sweeter and sweeter. I watched as precious people that I've been praying for were able to experience a freedom in God that was so wonderful and new for them. Then I had my moment where I realized that I've been learning the gift of discernment, and at that moment, I thought that maybe, that was the gift that had been on display in my dream. I thanked God, and I was honest with Him. I told Him that I'd been expecting something different, but that I loved Him and that I was so thankful for what He'd given me in March and I also told Him that HE was enough for me.
Because God is enough. As long as we have Him, as long as we keep our focus on Him, nothing else really matters. Because something great happens when we focus on God. When we focus on Him, all the other things that we could be focused on seem to take care of themselves. Answers to problems just happen, and God steps in and takes care of it all- to me it's almost a reward for focusing in the first place.
So the last day of March came. My day went on as any other, and it was a church night. At worship that night I reiterated to God that I was so thankful for the month that was coming to a close, and I was looking forward to April. And I did something else. I told God that I wanted to stop being so focused on finding a new place to live. I wanted to be able to just focus on Him, and that I was going to try really hard to just set the new home aside and really focus for a time. Well, wouldn't you know, God doesn't tell a lie. Ever. And my dream in January was significant, because when I got home from church that night there were two e-mails in my inbox from people who had a place for us to look at. It was a God moment if ever there was one. I read them over and promptly e-mailed one of them back, because it seemed to us that it was the better of the two options, only because the other one was so vague.
All day Thursday and all day Friday we were so, so excited, because we had plans to go look at this house on Friday. Neither of us slept much for a few days because we were so certain that God was going to answer our prayers and put us in this house. Our appointed time came, and we went to look at this house. We walked through it, walked through the yard, talked to the owners, and the whole time I was keeping open for that feeling of unease, but at the same time, I was also expecting to have a happy feeling. But that feeling didn't come. And at the end of our time there, that feeling of "something about this isn't quite right" came back. We left, and it took me a long while to be able to voice my concerns, because I honestly didn't know what they were at first. But then they came, and then it came to the point where we really were bummed, and we realized we needed to sleep on it. But at the same time, that negative feeling had been there, and I realized that I needed to give the decision to God completely. We decided to wait until Saturday to make a firm decision, and in the meantime, I e-mailed this second person, the one who had one that sounded less-than-ideal and asked for a location so I could drive by it.
(Oh dear, this is going to be a long one today! I'm so sorry!)
Saturday morning I woke after not sleeping too well. We'd received good counsel the night before on this house we'd looked at, and I was really feeling like I needed to pay attention to that uneasiness and we needed to turn down that house, despite all it had going for it. I had planned to go shopping that day, and before I left, I received a reply to my inquiry with an address for this second house, and I figured I would drive past it and see it from the outside. So I did that. I got to town and found it easily enough. As I was driving past it, I saw someone inside, and then I saw the big backyard. I went to leave and drive away when I really felt that I needed to turn around and look again. I went around the block, got out of my van, and asked if I could take a look.
And the rest is history and a story that God put into our lives that we're going to be telling for some time. Because I walked through this house and looked it over, and I spent a good hour talking to the owners, feeling really, really comfortable. I looked at the backyard and my heart literally leaped. I looked at the massive screen porch and I saw my kids sitting out there doing their schoolwork on a breezy spring day. When I left, I assured them my husband would be calling, and as I drove on, I was filled with indescribable joy. I'm sure I was glowing, and do you know what? I now know what a yes answer from God feels like. I was so delighted and excited that the store I was going to? I passed it by a good couple of miles before I realized what I was doing. I was just so amazed with God! And as I thought over the past few days, there was no doubt that God guided every step, every emotion I was having, and He also made good on His promise to me of the gift- because we'd received the answer on the last day of March, we had just overlooked it for what looked like the better answer at the time.
Yesterday after church we took the kids to look at it as well, and they both loved it. They both got excited about it and seemed to make themselves at home right away. We can honestly find nothing bad about it, and it fits with our perfect timetable as well. God knew what He was doing!! Every time we told someone that we were trusting in God, we were adding to our faith in Him to provide and follow through. This verse in Jeremiah that I posted today has been so, so important to me. Every day as I would just start to feel consumed about the urgency to find a place, I would start to recite to myself "For I know the plans I have for you..." and it would just calm me so much. I would put on some awesome praise music and just praise Him for a time while I did my housework. God knew exactly where we were going to end up. He's been preparing it so that it would be ready exactly when we needed it.
He is just SO GOOD! I can't stop thinking that and saying that!! God orchestrated the perfect series of events to bring us to this place where we are just beyond excited and thrilled. And so amazed. Above all, we are incredibly blessed and in awe of God who really did have plans for us. When we focused on Him, and purposed in our hearts to praise Him no matter what, I think we helped create the forward motion of God's plan coming to fruition. We really were ready to settle if it took us to where God wanted us. Honestly, if it meant moving into an apartment complex with numerous neighbors and no yard of our own, we would have done it if it would have gotten us into the city we wanted to be in. But God had better plans, and when we placed our complete reliance on Him, and praised Him regardless of the outcome, He came through in a mighty, mighty big way.
He loves our family, and we are worth so much more to him that even the sparrows, who he cares for. And God loves you, and your family. Trust in Him. Rely on Him. And He will guide your path the way it needs to go.
"in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:6