There are times in life when we just simply have to step out on faith.
Twenty years ago my husband and I did just that. I was seven months pregnant and we had prayed and prayed for God to bless my husband with a position making more money so that I could stay at home with our new baby that was soon to be born.
After many prayers God blessed him to receive a new position within the same company that he was already working for. We had no clue that an unexpected move would come with this promotion. Wow! Be careful what you pray for. After accepting the reality that a move was inevitable we actually started to look forward to the adventure of it all.
Initially this was a hard decision because we knew we would have to leave our friends behind. We both loved our church family and literally all of our friends were members of the congregation there. Another reason this was so hard, was that I had lived in that area for 20 years. I had moved there the third week in August 1974 to attend college and upon graduating I decided to continue living there, little did I know that exactly 20 years later, the third week in August1994 God would say time to re-locate.
We knew that clearly God had answered our prayers, it was just not as we had anticipated that they would be answered. Just remember, sometimes to receive your blessing you may have to make a shift, whether mentally, physically, spiritually or even financially, going to the next level always requires that something shifts.
Ok back to the story. We were actually given options of four different places in four different states to live, but three of these were major cities and after twenty years of living in a major city I had grown tired of the fast pace of city life. I was hungry for a slower pace and a little more solitude.
I just couldn’t see raising my child in a major city. I guess if that were all I had ever seen or known it would have been okay, but I was a country girl. I was raised on a farm and I knew the value of living in a small town where practically everyone knew each other. So with that being said, we decided to choose a smaller town in a totally different state. I would actually be moving back to my home state, it was a different part of the state than I was raised but still it would be like moving back home.
Once our location was decided, and we knew we would be closer to family we started to get excited because we knew this would be the best decision for our little family. The scary part was that my husband accepted the position before we had a chance to visit the town that we were scheduled to move to. It had been about 25 years since I had been in the area and the town had definitely changed a bit, but there were still so few conveniences, compared to a major city. I had become so accustomed to things being right at my fingertips.
I truly think that God allowed my husband to accept the position before we had an opportunity to visit our new town because he knew we would have not made the right choice if we had come to view the town first. We would have foolishly based our decision on what we saw and not on the wonderful experiences that we could potentially have, the people we could potentially meet or the sweet relationships we could have.
In the city our home was near an abundance of stores and several large shopping malls. Fancy restaurants for fine dining were everywhere, or if you just wanted a drive through there were plenty of those too. I was definitely exposed to all of the modern conveniences and trappings of city life. Wonderful concerts and fabulous plays were always available for those who enjoyed the Arts, and I was definitely in that group. Although I was a country girl I quickly realized just how accustom I had grown to the city life. Boy this was going to be quiet a transition for me after 20 years in the city.
One weekend we decided to drive to our new home town and look for a place to live. We were in town for three days and found nothing. The one place that we did find was quickly eliminated when we arrived and the lady told us that she had just leased it. So back to square one. I remember going back to our hotel room thinking we have no place to live and my husband would have to be in place soon to start work. I guess my hormones were all over the place by this point; I sat on the side of the bed crying and looking at my husband asking” what have we done?” After his words of encouragement I quickly got past that and after a much needed nap we began our search again. Our weekend passed so quickly and we had to return home with nothing in place. We could not lock down a thing.
On our last day we decided to drive by and look at some duplexes we had spotted from the freeway coming into town. They seemed to have been a great size and they were brand new, several were actually still under construction. Initially we could not reach the owners, finally we got a return call. We went by and filled out the necessary paper work, however the couple we were talking to still had not decided what they really wanted to do. They did not know exactly how soon their place would be completed. We would just have to wait to hear back from them.
That Sunday before leaving town we decided to visit a church that we had heard about. We knew if we could plug into a great church family we would at least be able to have a place to worship and be able to make some new friends. While at church that Sunday a very kind man came to welcome us to the church and thank us for choosing to worship there that Sunday. He started to inquire as to why we were in town. My husband told him that we were re-locating with his job, and came up for a few days to look for a new place to live but had not found anything as of yet. This man who was a complete stranger to us responded in a way that we would not have expected in a hundred years. He told us that we would be welcomed to stay at his home. He told us that he and his wife lived in a two story house of which the entire top floor was not being utilized and we were welcome to live with them until we could find a place of our own. We did not take him up on the offer, but his kindness spoke volumes to us. My husband did however, take his phone number. He told us to call him when we had a move in date and that he would be happy to help round up some guys from the church to help us unload the truck when we arrived. Everyone was so friendly to us that Sunday. God encouraged us that Sunday through the people we met. We left feeling more confident about the decision we had made. We also left knowing that at least we knew where we wanted to worship when we returned and we actually did come back and place our membership with that congregation, and we have been members there for 20 years this August.
Back to the story:
We left town with nothing in place just as we had come.
Now for the faith part, we knew we had no place to live but we got home and started packing. Boxes were everywhere and every evening when my husband got in from work we packed until 11 or 12 midnight. We prayed together every morning before he went to work and every evening before bed asking God to bless us with a place to live.
I called and shared with one of my brothers that we would be moving and he called an old friend who was a truck driver and asked him if he would move our furniture and other belongings, in his eighteen-wheeler and he agreed to. My brother and his sons had also agreed to come and help. At this point everything was in place, but a place to live. Two days before the truck was scheduled to arrive, my brother called and said the driver wanted to map out his route and wanted our address. These were the days before GPS. When I told him we had no address he could not believe his ears especially since the driver was coming from out of state to move us. My brother said, “You mean to tell me, you have a truck coming to move you and you don’t have an address?” All I could do was tell the truth. I had no address. But in our hearts we knew that if God provided the job he would also provide a home and He did. The day before the truck was to arrive we received a phone call from the couple we spoke to right before we left town and they said “we checked everything and you have been approved if you still are interested”. I wanted to shout for joy and burst into a loud “if we are still interested?” but I was calm and told them thank you and that we would see them within 24 hours. My husband jumped on the phone right away to contact the gentleman that we met at church to arrange for help to move us in. I was seven months pregnant so there would be no lifting on my end; he was definitely going to need their help.
The day the truck came we loaded all day. Several men and women from our local church family came to help us. Afterwards there were lots of hugs and tears as we said our goodbyes; after all we were leaving our best friends.
We drove that same night and arrived at 3am the next morning, and as promised there were about twenty men that had been waiting several hours to help us unload. We were a little off schedule due to an unexpected detour by the truck driver, so some of the guys had left before we arrived. The next morning the wife of the gentleman from church came by and brought a huge meat and cheese tray. She said she knew I would be busy unpacking and would not have time to cook. To this day she and I are still friends and she and her husband will always hold a special place in our hearts. We saw God working through their example that weekend and during our move.
Once again, God had answered our prayers, in His time and not ours and in his way and not ours. He showed us once again that He completes the work that he starts and in ways that are far better than anything that we can ever imagine or expect.
Today if you are unsure that He will come through for you just know that real faith will trust even when there is no evidence. He is a God who works many times behind the scenes as well as through others on our behalf. Our part is to continue to trust, pray and move forward. He will certainly do the rest. Have faith and keep moving forward one step at a time.
” ‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.” Mark 9:23
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)