Jenny and I have been reflecting on the numerous times in our life that we were confident we had “heard” God give us direction and then, when things got tough, questioned that direction. Here are some examples:
When we were first married (ages 19 and 20), we felt like we should build a house (really Jenny had the faith for this, I was just along for the ride). Jenny was employed in the realty business and had access to research our options. One afternoon she came into our small apartment with an excited glow on her face. She had connected with a realtor and we were going to build our first home. There was one minor drawback, we did not have the money.
We were both employed; however, we were just kids and had recently financed our wedding. It was at this point that we began to question if building a house really was what God had directed us to do. Then, completely unsolicited, a lady in the real estate business loaned us the money (interest free) that allowed us to build the house.
A couple of years passed. We had one child and another on the way, when I lost my job. Jenny had quit her job to be a stay at home mom, so I was the sole income earner. I was devastated. We questioned how God’s purposes could come out of such a catastrophic event. The unemployment lasted for three months, then I secured a new job. That new job would result in an annual salary that was three times what I was earning at the job I had lost. Additionally, I started the job and the family insurance, one month before my second son was born. Phew!
More time passed and Jenny and I both felt that we needed to sell our home and move to Hudson, WI. We were attending a church in that city; however, no one that attended the church lived in the city. Hudson is an affluent community and the high cost of living had prevented some of the church members from living there. Jenny and I felt that we needed to move into the city in order to break what we felt was a spiritual stronghold preventing residents from attending the church.
There was one small problem, we did not have the income to purchase a home and live in Hudson. Nevertheless, we put our home on the market and waited. Nearly one year later we were still waiting. We began to question. God, did we hear you right? We felt like we needed to sell our house and move to Hudson, but our house will not sell.
One Sunday night, on the way home from church, Jenny and I were questioning if we had actually “heard” from God or if we should take our home off of the market. We decided to take it off of the market at the end of that week. Within 48 hours of that conversation, we had an offer on the house. The buyers had offered more than we were asking, with the provision that we move out by the end of the month.
Now we were excited to move into Hudson. We were confident that the perfect home would fall into our laps. Six months later we were, once again, questioning what we had “heard” from God. We cannot afford a home in the city of Hudson and our realtor has explained, numerous times, that the best we would be able to do is move to the edge of Hudson. Additionally, we needed to sign another six month lease, for our apartment, in a few days.
All of this was causing me serious mental stress and one day, at work, I went into a conference room to pray and have it out with God. I told him that I no longer cared if we found a home. We had sold our first home and were now living in the city of Hudson. If we needed to stay in an apartment forever I was okay with that. I returned to my office to retrieve a voicemail from my wife. Our realtor had found a beautiful home in Hudson. It was a 5 bedroom, 2 bath, 3 car garage home that had recently been foreclosed. We were able to purchase it for $60,000 less than the other homes in the neighborhood.
Today more than half of that church’s congregation lives in the city of Hudson.
More time has passed and we “hear” from God again. This time we feel like we are directed to sell our home and move to Tennessee. This blog was created to chronicle that adventure (if you are new to the blog, check out the archive). I can honestly say that I would not have had the faith to embark on this adventure without the experiences above. Each time we have “heard” God’s direction and followed it, we have had no regrets. We are confident that this time will be no different.
I cannot promise you that everything God does will be safe or that it will make sense; however, I can tell you that, in my experience, he is always good.