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The Last Second

My parents gave us 24 child-free hours… and I’m about to use this last one to tell a story.  Life has been hectic and I’m not sure when I’ll have time to sit again, so here we go.

I hope as you’ve had a chance to pop into this story of a girl over the past two years you’ve seen a thread of hope God has graciously weaved through our life.  This has been the most intense season of growth I believe I have ever experienced.  My heart in sharing our story is that it gives you a glimpse into his goodness… and glory.

As we have been in the process of adoption we realized that our cozy little home needed more space.  I’m not saying we couldn’t make it work… but this momma likes peace and quiet… and the size of our home was not conducive to that.  In February I really pressed into the home search and found that everything we touched would close just before we could make something happen.  Then we found something that seemed a bit too good to be true.  It was hard to consider that God might be opening up this door.  As I spent about 5 days trying to make a decision it uncovered some deep questions that I have carried for years.

Throughout our story it has been easy for me to see why God would do good things for my girls… and I just got to be a part of it.  It is much harder for me to believe God desires to do big things for me.  But if I work hard and get things right, then he will come through.  And I tend, in my own fear, to work really hard so things aren’t all dependent upon God.  Because if God doesn’t come through, what does that mean about me?

In February we pretty much jumped off a cliff and started a building project that was bigger than I could dream.  I sensed the Lord inviting me to ask him for more and believe his goodness towards me.  Not because of anything I have done; simply because of everything he has done.

In April I attempted to put our house up for sale by owner and no joke, within days of that God brought two more kids into our home.  All I could do was laugh at the thought of trying to sell a home with 5 kids under 5.  I was simply crazy.

Throughout the summer I continued to softly market and randomly show the house, thinking I was doing my part so God could bring his provision.  Around June he gave me the word “abundance” and I began to pray differently.  I began to believe that his heart is abundant when I was simply asking for provision.  Through this shift in my prayers and a consistent cry to “show me your glory” he just plain showed off in July.  If you remember my post about When God Shows Up , you can see how my faith got a little bolstered.  Even in all that glory I still struggled to believe that God would do that for me.

Around late August we found out that our new home was expected to be ready much earlier than projected.  I was on my way out of town for work and couldn’t even process this information.  While normally that would be a pleasant surprise, it was not in my case.  Our home had not sold and we are required to sell before we could finalize our new one.  Bottom line, we were at risk of losing our new home.

As I drove home alone that Sunday I had four hours of heart-wrenching prayer.  There was a battle going on in my heart for what I believed.  As I began to cry out to God and ask why he hasn’t provided in what seemed to be a simple way I was able to follow my fears and began to ask myself, If God doesn’t come through, what am I afraid of?  One thing I realized is that I am really afraid of being disappointed in God.  So often I hold back because I need to protect him from my disappointment.  I don’t want to step out in big faith – it’s too risky.  As I reflected more in this thought I was able to see that my fear is that if God doesn’t come through, and I am disappointed in him, the lies I am tempted to believe are that I’m just not worth it, I didn’t work hard enough, I was foolish to believe he would in the first place.

Earlier this month I walked into the kitchen and told Daniel, I think we might lose the house.  I explained to him all the reasons why – specific to timing, loans, the closing process and such.  It was a hard pill to swallow but we began processing what it would look like to surrender what felt like our dream.  We talked honestly about the good and bad, what if God was protecting us?  What if God was punishing us?  What did we not get right?  Then What is God saying to us right now?

I think honestly, what I struggled with the most in the disappointment was, did I really hear God?  Did I miss something? How did we end up here?  I’ve had to realize as God is taking us to the next level, there are places of uncertainty, where he is calling us to strengthen our faith.

As we prayed and sought the Lord we just had a sense of peace in the surrender.  The scripture, Be still and know that I am God was a consistent message and we just chose to pause and trust God with the outcome.  It felt as though he was inviting us in to a place of greater trust, like we had not yet walked in, to meet us in a way we had not yet seen.

Every day as I awoke that week I had a song in my heart, It’s your breath in my lungs, so we pour out our praise, pour out our praise…”  In the midst of what felt hopeless I could find hope in the very breath in my lungs.  I sang it over and over.  “All the earth will shout your praise, our hearts will cry these bones will sing… Great are you Lord.”   I had the choice to believe that no matter what happens, house or no house, he is faithful, his heart is good and I can rest.

The week before as I was asking God what he was up to, I just sensed him saying “my provision is not dependent on what you get out of this house. Just trust me.”

The next week I received a call from a very persistent Realtor that had been trying to convince me I needed his help.  He came and met with me the week before and loved the house.  I had tried to put him off, but he kept coming back.  One day he sent me a text and asked “are you ready to let me sell your house?”  At this point I had almost resigned myself to loss.  Daniel and I discussed surrendering the other house and just staying where we are, it was less risky.  So I told the guy, I think we might just stay here.  He asked me what was going on and basically why am I so crazy… and I basically told him of the impending time crunch and that I needed to sell my house in the next two weeks.

Challenge Accepted.

He put our house live on the Multiple Listing Service on Monday afternoon.  The pictures were pretty… the description was simple… the response was immediate.  Within an hour we had people setting up appointments, one asking to come that night.  Everything in me started to freak out.  I have three kids at home, my husband is working 12-14 hour days, I work full-time and people are coming out of the woodwork.  I make the Monday night showing happen, only to wake up in the middle of night to a child with a stomach bug, followed by another child and then the third.  I called my mom and said “I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want me to sell my house.  This is unbelievable.”

Within the first 24 hours we had six showing scheduled.  I probably did 18 loads of laundry on our sick day.  As soon as the girls showed signs of recovery we loaded up and got out of the way for a showing.  By 48 hours we had an offer on the table and on day 3 of showings a second offer upped the ante. By golly, God was moving.  I always thought a bidding war would be fun.  I was wrong.  There was so much pressure and I wanted everybody to be happy.  We spent a lot of time in prayer through the evening for God to give us discernment.  At 9:40 we signed our final offer and went to bed exhausted but in awe of God’s favor.

That persistent Realtor paid off.  It was as if God sent help in my time of need and moved a mountain that I didn’t see flinching.  An answer to many prayers and hope was restored.  We began to dream again.  What if God really is making a way of provision for this new house?  I just imagine him smiling, like he knew what he was doing all along.  😉

Waking up Friday morning felt like turning a new page, entering the next chapter.  We might call this chapter, when crazy gets crazier.  Now we have the adventure of actually moving!

We packed up the girls and headed to Nana & Papa’s house for the weeknd. The girls stayed there and we went off to cheer on our Auburn Tigers as they faced LSU.  Just in case you live in a hole that was a pretty wild game, right down to the very last second.  Considering that we’ve seen how Auburn does with one second, I’m starting to believe God might be an Auburn fan too. 🙂

I’ve often joked that I’m God’s favorite.  As I have wrestled this year through my doubts and surrendered them to the Lord, he’s gone above and beyond to prove to me it’s true.  The good news is that his favorite isn’t exclusive, there’s hope for you too!  Being his favorite doesn’t mean we get everything we want, it means we can surrender to everything he wants… because it is good.  I had to come to the point of honestly saying, God, I surrender this home to you.  If we lose it and stay in our current home, I will thank you for your provision of a home that I have loved.  You are good and I trust your purposes.  I had some painfully honest moments of disappointment, unmet expectations, questions of what I was believing and choosing to trust what God says is true.  It wasn’t always pretty and I’m not sure we’re going to even be able to wrap it all up in a bow.  We still have a few more weeks for everything to play out…. but I’m beginning to understand this trust thing.  It’s really not about me.

 

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