Daily this past month, my Love and I have been praying to God about our future. We decided we wouldn't pursue all the possibilities and just focus on God's will. We felt that if he wanted us to move, we would move. We have never done this before. God was gearing up to do some work.
The process has been amazing. Mostly because it has been a process. And perhaps because it didn't play out how I first thought. I originally prayed that God would reveal the same answer to us both. I was worried we would come away from a month of prayer and have "heard" different answers. Every morning we would ask God to open our eyes and ears and hearts to however he chose to reveal his plan to us.
Quickly I heard his voice. I shared it with my Love and he interpreted my intention of including him in the process as having "the answer". We learned along the way. Some messages from the Lord were just meant for ourselves.
The message right off the bat that I heard the Lord tell me was "I will be wherever you are!" Breathe. There is peace in that truth.
I thought I was being open minded but perhaps I was praying that my Love would hear the right answer. My answer. Life would stay uncomplicated if we just stayed put. No moving hassle. Not stress with uprooting ourselves from our church and community. I honestly had a hard time believing that God would take us from a church that we have grown so much in and developed so many strong lasting relationships. I wasn't emotionally ready to leave all that.
Days went by and through various means, the Lord clearly told me "I am not going to give you the answer." Wait. What? How can I control it if I don't tell my Love what to do? You aren't going to give me the answer? How will I know we are on the same page or that my Love actually heard the answer from you? Breathe.
The Lord started doing a huge work in me. I realized that this whole process of having to make this decision for our family was foreign to us. God designed marriages and families to have a certain order and it was clear ours was not quite there yet. It was time for a shake up. When I initially asked my Love if we could not focus on the moving part of the decision and just focus on knowing God's will, my reasons were selfish. I believed if my Love started getting online and searching for the perfect home and community he would get caught up in a snowball and we would go rolling down the hill (literally) until the house was bought and paid for. I wanted to put the breaks on that process and control how the decision was made: emotionally by faith. Then one day I realized after God told me that I was going to support my husband's decision for our family, that it didn't matter HOW God revealed his will to my Love. He could just as easily use facts and numbers and finances to make it clear to the mind he created. Just because I didn't need that info doesn't make the process of the decision wrong but just different.
God started doing big things. Later I did come to my Love and told him that God wanted me to let my husband make this decision. I mean, in a very strange way there isn't a right answer. We would be blessed if we moved. We would be blessed if we stayed. The process during this past month became more about restructuring God's plan for our family and less about making the right decision. After several talks, I felt like my Love had heard all my points of view and concerns. There was nothing more I needed to add. The decision was going to be his. And the Lord would tell him in His way and timing.
After a couple of weeks, we put the kids to bed and I asked my Love if we could talk. "Where is your head at? Are you leaning one way or another?" I questioned him. "When are we going to know the answer?" Even though I knew God wanted me to surrender control of making the decision, I was still trying to manage the knowing part. Clearly I just needed to let it go. "It is not like there is a timeline for when I will know the answer," he said. I realized I needed to just keep living my life, connecting with friends, serving my family and Lord. The peace was already there and I was blocking it out. Breathe. This is my life in this moment. Knowing what is coming a few months from now doesn't do anything to change the now.
All that to say, my Love says he is still 50/50 on what to do just yet. These past few weeks, God has brought me from a place of refusing the idea to looking forward to the future with expectation. Because when you are in the Air Force, there will always be another change around the corner.
An interesting thing that God has done this past month is communicate to us that he doesn't want us to make our decision based on any one single thing. He will be with us wherever we are.
Days after we started praying about the topic lots of things started going wrong with our house here. Leaking pipes in dining room ceiling, leaking kitchen sink, mice, mold growing in our closet ceiling from a leaking roof... In some ways you start looking into every situation as a communication from the Lord when you are praying about something really specific. Does this mean we should move? And unlike anytime during the past two years, our landlord IMMEDIATELY started fixing all the problems. Pipes under kitchen sink had been dripping into a bowl since NOVEMBER and was now being completely repaired. Dining room ceiling fixed. Basement carpet was restretched finally after it flooded SEVERAL times last year. Mice were caught (well I guess my Love did that himself). The whole roof was replaced (to prevent further leaking). All the siding was replaced (which looked fine but now looks great). When we came back from Tampa, the mold in our closet ceiling had spread. That was cut out, repaired and our entire closet was painted.
I mean knock-your-socks-off "I will provide" kind of God stuff. OK Lord. We won't make our decision based on poor house maintenance.
We knew we would have to adjust to life with my Love commuting. I feel foolish making a big deal out of this since EVERY ONE commutes in our area. But like my mentor/friend told me recently, "but this is new for your family," and I liked how that sounded. That is right. Others might be used to it, but this is new for us. My Love has never had to drive more than 15 minutes to work in the 8 years we have been married. We have lived through all kinds of work schedules (long hours, lots of traveling, deployment, nights, weekends...) but he has always been close by. We are still adjusting. And of course our gas bill will go up. His commute now takes an hour one way but since it is against the flow of the direction most people are going he thankfully doesn't have to sit in stop-and-go traffic. It is just the sheer amount of time he is driving on the road that stinks. With family visiting, we still haven't really got into a groove yet, but I know we could if we stayed here. Anyway, he is having to fill the gas tank more often. But God had a timely answer for that too. As of July 1, today, we have paid our LAST CAR PAYMENT on the Volvo. That is right people. She is all ours. Six years later and she still looks brand new-ish. Good thing I love it because I will be driving that car into the ground. So what that means is now we have a car payment to put into savings every month to offset gas prices. I mean, we could use it for that if we wanted. Isn't God's timing perfect?! OK Lord. We won't make our decision based on a stressful commute or an increase in gas money. You have provided.
See what I mean. There really isn't a right answer. He will bless us if we stay and he will bless us if we go. I just needed to learn what it means to surrender my will for the Lord's and trust that my husband is capable of making a life changing decision without me controlling it.
Through this process I have come to know the Lord's peace unlike I have ever known. How is that even possible? Giving up control is actually more freeing? Definitely. God is healing wounds in our marriage and moving us into positions that I think we both longed for but didn't know how to get to exactly. Had it been by our own effort, God wouldn't have been given the glory and it most definitely would have faded. It has in the past. I have also come to have a contentment in this home (enjoying the neighborhood and property more than ever before) but equal excitement about the possibility of making a new and different home our own.
As of right now, our current landlord wants us to sign another year lease after we explained to him our situation. I think we are OK with that. When my Love gets orders for the job he is already working at, we can break our lease and move with 60 days notice when the time is right. Please continue praying for us. The Lord is faithful and I know he will lead us by the hand to wherever he wants us to be. Today we are enjoying the sunshine and low-ish humidity. We are expecting more family to visit this month and my Love has work trips planned all over the world throughout the summer. We are thankful for the now. The tomorrow is in His hands.