Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Sure Thing

Have you ever just known something was going to happen?  Like your best friend’s prom date turning out to be a total dud?  Well, maybe more significant than that… perhaps you just ‘knew’ when you met your husband that he was the one.  Or you just ‘knew’ that you were going to be a teacher some day?  I haven’t had a lot of those assurances in my life.  The only thing I have consistently wanted to be is Wonder Woman and my high school best friend’s prom date I thought she would marry (she didn’t) and my husband and I kept breaking up and getting back together before we finally decided we couldn’t get along without each other.

But I have had a few instances in life where I had an inexplicable peace about a situation that made NO sense.  The first was a job that I quit.  My boss was volatile and moody. Work made me almost physically sick with the stress of not knowing if today everything would be fine or I’d get fired. My husband was going to grad school and I was our income and our insurance.  But after 3 years of this, I finally broke down into tears one day in the bathroom. When I finally calmed down, I felt this strange assurance that I needed to quit.  I would have a hard time getting another job because as an executive assistant I would need a reference, and I couldn’t get a good one from my current boss.  I thought my future was going to be at Starbucks.  But even scrubbing toilets was starting to look like fun! Bring on the Frappuccino’s!  

Long story short, I quit. On my last day I got a call for an interview that resulted in another executive assistant type position (that I ended up having for 5 years until we moved to Spokane).  On my first day of my new job my new boss told me ‘I had an unsolicited reference on you.’ It turns out he knew a woman who retired from the department I’d just left.  She informed him that my previous boss was extremely difficult to work for, and that I had been a wonderful employee to put up with it as long as I did. God had it all taken care of. That was 10 years ago.

Just last summer I had another strange ‘assurance’.   Since we moved to Spokane for my husband’s job at Whitworth we had been renting the top floor of a house.  We LOVED the neighborhood but when we started looking at the houses for sale in it we realized most were out of our price range.  Through some neighbors we found out about a house around the corner that was going to be up for sale.  The owner had recently passed away and his kids were trying to sell it. We talked to them, looked at the house and wanted it even with all the updates and crazy yard work it would require.  But we calculated what we could afford and they wanted about a lot more.  We had calculated and re-calculated monthly expenses, utilities, tithe and mortgage.  This was the most we could afford and we had total peace.

They ended up listing the house for what they had offered it to us for.  We were sad.  It had everything we wanted and such a neat history.  And then something strange happened.  I again had this feeling, an assurance that God was going to provide us THAT house.  It made no sense.  I prayed and prayed and asked ‘God am I really understanding you?  Is it THIS house or just A house?  I know you will provide, you always have. Am I just not letting myself grieve over the loss?  Holding on to some misguided hope?’ 

I was participating in a ‘read through the bible’ plan with our church and each time I would specifically pray about this situation and this strange assurance some passage would JUMP out at me like in John where Jesus says ‘From now on I tell you so that when it happens you will believe Him who sent Me.’  Or in Luke where it says of Mary after she heard from the angel that she was pregnant ‘blessed is she who believed what the Lord has told her.’ Over and over I heard in scripture and in this strange peace of my heart, God had THIS house for us.  So I started looking for that check in the mail.  “Come ON God do you not see all the people coming to look at that house? We need to get going!”  No check arrived. 

Months went by and the house didn’t sell for what they were asking, for what it was WORTH. 
Six months passed. We kept watching the price drop and when it was within 10K of what we could afford we emailed them.  They got back to us and said ‘If you can use our realtor we’ll sell it to you’.  Get this, their realtor?  A woman from bible study!  I hadn’t recognized her picture on the sign because she’s since gone blonde. 

God provided us THIS house.  It still amazes me that He did.  And even more amazing is that He told me
about it before it happened! 

Now before you start thinking ‘how nice for you.’ Let me share that as amazing as this is, I don’t really understand exactly why God would provide a specific house and not do others things.  He has not healed me of my horrible migraines.  He provided this house but I have several family members and close friends who are hostile to the gospel.  He spoke so clearly about this house, but he has been silent on so many other questions: Why did my brother in law die at 29? Why did I have healthy babies and a friend of mine have a baby who will eventually need a heart transplant?

Yet through this strange assurance God has spoken to me in a way that I needed to hear him.  I feel like it was a unique way for Him to speak to the core of me, in a way I didn’t know I needed.  This isn’t just a house, it’s a place where I will raise my children, share my story with neighbors, include people in my life and have more ministry opportunities than I can fathom.  When I walk into this house with another horrible migraine, just getting off the phone with someone I love who doesn’t love Jesus I will remember “God is here, He knows, He is in this life… and this is where I am supposed to be.”

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