We haven’t even moved back to the States yet and it’s already happened. I told God he wasn’t allowed to move me back to the U.S. until I was ready to do so without falling back into my old ways. So when he gave us the green light to relocate back to our passport country after more than two years abroad, I figured he must know something I don’t.
Because I don’t exactly feel ready.
You see, I was a Target-aholic before leaving. If you’ve been around these parts for some time, you may recall a post about finding 30 nail clippers in my house. What a perfect symbol of the excess in which we were living. Thankfully, it’s pretty much all gone.
I now realize how little I really left up to God in my Stateside-life. Oh sure, I needed him for the big stuff, but rarely did I seek him first for the minutia. And how many times did I try to force something that wasn’t going my way?
I remember a church craft my kids did a few years back, with the letters F.R.O.G. Fully Rely On God. It was cute and all, but looking back I wonder if I ever really knew what that frog symbolized? Moving away from my home country has taught me so much about trusting God for everything, from how to furnish a house, get around town, and pay the bills, to scheduling my day, parenting teenagers, and a slew of other trivial tasks each day. Now, this doesn’t mean I do any of this well; it just means I seek help because I know I can’t do it alone…
A few weeks ago, I flew with my girls to South Carolina to check out our housing and schooling options. I hooked up with awesome realtors and we spent two days touring potential homes before settling on one. After we made our selection, I figured getting the loan was the easy part. Our income has been pretty steady these past few years, given that my husband essentially kept his same job (even though he went from being a W2 to a 1099 employee). While we were trusting God to find us a house, I think I took for granted that *we* would be able to buy it. I figured we’d do whatever it took to make that happen.
Only we can’t. At least, not yet.
Remember that switch from W2 to 1099 I mentioned? Well apparently that is a pretty significant change when it comes to getting a loan. We just found out the powers that be will not approve our loan until we file our 2014 taxes to prove our income. This puts a bit of a wrench in our plans. Will the house we want even still be available? And where will we live in the meantime?
The girls. Me. The husband. We’re all disappointed. And frustrated. OK, some of us were downright mad. There was a point where I wanted to scream, “Really? After everything we’ve done for You… this is how you help us? It’s not fair!”
I know. But it’s how I felt. We were having dinner guests, so I couldn’t hide in my room like I wanted. While I was cleaning up, I argued with God over the situation, saying, “But. I. Trusted. You!”
And the response was as clear as if it had been spoken out loud: Did you really? Did you trust me with every aspect of that process?
Yes! But. Uh. Well, maybe not every single aspect. The words of the very first bit of scripture I ever memorized rang in my head:
So I did what any reasonable person would do after such an encounter: I moped. I hadn’t been feeling well anyway, so I skipped church and took a day off to reboot. Finally, I picked up my Bible (after a few hours binging on TV) and read the following,
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make profit’ — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.‘ As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:13-17)
As I read those words, I felt like God was again speaking directly to my situation. While we are headed to South Carolina because we feel this is where God is directing us, when it comes down to the details, I’m afraid I fell back into my normal Stateside behavior. I was relying a bit too much on my own ability and not enough on God’s. And, I was allowing my plans to take precedence over His will.
I discussed it with my husband, and he was surprised I had landed on the exact same verses taught in church that morning. Go figure. What are the chances? Clearly God was trying to teach us a little something about trusting Him amidst our weaknesses. I feel a bit like a broken record. (Anyone else feel like you’re learning the same lessons over and over again?)
I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Or the tomorrow after that. Or beyond. If the Lord wills, we will live and move to Greenville and find a place to stay. If the Lord wills, we will even be able to buy our own home. Even if that doesn’t happen, I must trust Him.