(As we continue to discuss this idea of journeying with the Holy Spirit, I want to invite you to read the first part of this series here if you haven’t had the opportunity.)
“Part of being on a journey in your spiritual life, and a physical journey, is that you have no view of what lies ahead. You surrender control to the Lord, trusting that in any difficulties you encounter, He has His Hand over you” (taken from my first blog referenced above).
We spend so much of our life on a journey. We are always moving toward a new goal, trying to achieve greater accomplishments, and/or looking for the next green pasture that the Lord has for us.
Part of our journeying involves a willingness to forge ahead regardless of what we know or do not know.
Not Knowing What Lies Ahead
So much has happened since my last blog post. When we first moved into our townhouse, we had believed that we would only be there for a few months.
However, after weeks of looking for our dream house, the frustration started to settle in. How were we supposed to find a house in this crazy housing market? Multiple offers were coming in, often times before we had even scheduled a visit, and the number of houses with four bedrooms were minimal. We had a nice profit from the sale of our home sitting in the bank and we wanted to move into someplace nice.
So why was this so difficult?
How can we truly what I like to call “trust-fall” into whatever plans God has for us?
I believe that the answer is in the “not knowing” – the inability to see what lies ahead.
God, in His wisdom, shields us from the knowledge that He has about our situation, because we lack the faith to see what He sees.
We need to learn trust. We need to accept faith that He will see us through.
I believe that if God revealed his whole plan to us that maybe our “yes” would not be yes.
It might be more along the lines of “whaaaaaaaat????!!!”
When I look back over the past few months, I have to ask myself…would I have sold my house and uprooted my family to live in a townhouse with half the square footage for months?
Surrendering Control to the Lord…
In early February, I remember coming to my husband after a time of morning prayer. The Lord had revealed a deep truth to me over the weekend. He had showed me how much of my encouragement to my children had sounded like this: “well, when we move to the new house, you will have…(fill in some blessing). I was frustrated by the lack of luxuries that I had enjoyed. I missed my large bathtub. I wanted more space for quiet and prayer time. There was no beautiful playing of the piano, or quiet time when the girls were riding scooters in the basement. Here, in this townhouse, I was reminded of how loud all of us are. My frustrations over the lack of quiet led to more resentment.
When my children were coming to me sharing their own feelings of frustration, the guilt of making the decision to put us on this journey was often too much. I didn’t like seeing my children missing their old rooms, their neighborhood friends or not having space to entertain. My desire to console them left me belittling our life here in order to promote what God was preparing ahead of us.
I was denying the present blessings because they were not good enough.
Pride was starting to seep in, and the Holy Spirit shows us that only gratitude and a humble heart can combat the vice of pride.
One day in my prayer time, I heard these words enter my heart:
“You are spending so much time imagining what your Canaan will look like that you are missing what I am giving you now. You are losing sight of the journey.”
The Lord was asking me to once again remember the journey that He had me on. He was inviting me back to the journey. He was refocusing me. Calling me back on the path as His faithful companion. Challenging me to once more be willing to learn and to be taught how to be a disciple.
Trusting That In any Difficulties You Encounter, He Has His Hand over You
It seemed like everywhere I looked I could find difficulties or frustrations. All of our summer clothes are being stored with our moving company. More times than not, the door handles in our home will come off in my hand. The dryer needed to be replaced, and then the refrigerator decided not to work. Somedays I can have no hot water, other days I can burn myself in the shower.
Our internet is shotty, and I’m sure our TV is going out as well. A few weeks after living here, I took my minivan to be serviced for a weird noise that it was making. The mechanic told me that it was the engine, which he also said was not worth replacing in my 2008 Honda Odyssey.
One week shy of her driving license test, my oldest fell on the ice outside our townhouse, and sprained her ankle really bad, sending her into weeks of PT with no license test date in sight.
My husband and I would shake our head and laugh, “Seriously, Lord…what else?”
However, I knew the Lord was asking me to look at this differently.
Where is the manna that God was sending me? Where was He sustaining my life here and I was missing it? How was I resenting what He was giving me because it wasn’t what I wanted?
I prayed for eyes to see what God’s tangible grace was doing in my life here.
One sign of this tangible grace came as a knock on the door – the little girl next door coming over to see if my girls were coming outside. Everyday I watched as her siblings knocked on the sliding glass door to see if they could play with our dog or see if my two youngest could play. My girls would quickly plow through their schoolwork, trying to line up their break with the next-door neighbor’s cyberschool break. I could hear the laughter as they ran with their friends. They delivered cupcakes, and we returned the favor with rice krispie treats.
Our new location, in the middle of a suburb, was completely different than the life we had in the rural area of our old home. My teens quickly assimilated to quick walks up to Dunkin for coffee, working out in the community gym together, shorter commutes to youth group and hangouts, and now hanging at the pool.
Our physical proximity to other family members also has my 11-year-old working once a week as a mommy’s helper to our pregnant niece, and my other 13-year-old daughter helping babysit for another young family. My daughters’ look forward to these playful times with toddlers and young children.
And when our family had Covid come through our home in May, His tangible grace came in the form of countless meals, groceries and GrubHub deliveries that would not have been available at our old residence.
Lastly, His tangible grace was flowing when we received an answer to a long-time prayer intention. For years we had prayed about starting a business, leaving a legacy to our children so they could financially succeed.
This answer came posed as a question from my husband one afternoon. Would I be willing to take the proceeds from the house sale, and invest, with other family members, in a family business? Could we truly hand over all that we had, trusting in God’s hand over us?
The same “yes” to this journey became the “yes” to becoming business partners.
“There is freedom when we live with open arms, when we give God permission to control our lives and the mission of our families.”
“Yes” to this journey in business with the Lord. We have already seen His handiwork and anointing over it.
“Yes” to new chapters, and new missions for our family.
Our journey is far from over. In two months, we will move to a beautiful rental home along a lake.
We will awake to the sunrise over that lake, and we will have the same grateful hearts that we do now.
God has shown us over the last few months that He is a “way maker.” He is always mindful of the deepest desires of our hearts and, when given control, He can perfectly execute His plan for us.
As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”