When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.Isaiah 43:2
So, our home still hasn’t sold. If you’ve been following our progress at all, you’ll know that it’s been listed for two months now and other than one lowball offer early on, we’ve had no others. We’ve lowered the price $15,000 and we continue to have regular showings but the right buyer just is not materializing. To say that we are frustrated is an extreme understatement. As I’ve explained before, the plan we made back in March of this year was to sell the majority of our belongings, purchase an RV and spend a few years being snowbirds, travelling during the winters and living a more free and meaningful life. We’ve accomplished every single goal we made in fairly short order and now that we’re at the very last step, we’ve reached a complete standstill. We can’t move forward and purchase the RV until our house sells because we’re not willing to take on any debt as part of this plan. The plan itself consists of ridding our lives of debt and giving ourselves the freedom that comes along with that. So, all momentum forward has halted and now as the winter is looming right in front of us, we are faced with deciding if and when it’s time to put our plans on hold until next year. Ron took winter layoff assuming we’d be leaving and if we do stay, we’ll have to figure out what he’ll do for work the next several months. So not only are our plans not working out, we’re facing the added stress of heading into winter with no significant means of supporting ourselves. Fun, right?
Of course, we’ll figure it out. I’m not as concerned with that, we can figure out the means to stay afloat for a few months if necessary. The part we’re having such trouble with is accepting that the plan we made and worked so hard toward does not seem to be working out. We’re trying to stay patient and focused, to have faith that everything is happening in exactly the way it’s supposed to. But I’d be lying if I said that keeping that faith is an easy thing to do. It’s not. We all tend to believe that our plan is the right one and when we’re faced with obstacles or closed doors we have a terribly hard time accepting that God’s plan, though different from ours, is best. As I wrestle with my own expectations and ideas about how things should go, I am doing all I can to lean on God’s goodness and faithfulness, to remember all of the past struggles I’ve faced and how the circumstances I thought so painful or difficult ended up bringing me to a better outcome than I could have imagined.
When I placed my son for adoption and sent him home with his new parents knowing I may never see him again and if I did, it wouldn’t be for at least 18 years, my heart shattered into a million pieces. Over the next 18 years, I second guessed myself more times than I can count, wondering if I had made the wrong decision. I beat myself up mercilessly and felt awful that my bad decisions led me to having to make this terrible, tough choice. I did what I thought was best for him and for Ciara but the pain and heartache and anguish that I felt daily never stopped, it never even lightened up. Now all these years later, Cameron is back in our lives and the pure joy of spending time with him and knowing that he had an amazing childhood that I could not have provided makes all that pain worthwhile. My son is wonderful and the relationship we’re building together as a unique kind of family means everything to me.
When I left my first husband, I left everything along with him. I gave him the house and everything in it, I just took our personal items and Ciara and I moved into a little apartment to be free from him and his abuse. I lost my job because of him as well and at our lowest, we were subsisting on ramen noodles and hand-outs. We had no furniture, just an couple of beds and an old 19-inch TV with a rabbit ear antenna. And when I asked my family for help, they suggested I apply for government assistance. At the time, I was outraged, furious and appalled that despite their ability to help me they wouldn’t. But because of that, I picked myself up by my bootstraps and got to work digging us out of the mess we were in. I found in myself a strength and resilience that I didn’t know I had and looking back, their denial was the best gift they could’ve ever given me because it taught me that I CAN do it myself.
Just this morning, I was reminded that exactly five years ago today I found out that my husband was having an affair. To say that I was blindsided doesn’t even begin to describe it and at the time I felt completely eviscerated. We split up, he moved out with all of his belongings and I was facing divorce and being completely alone as Ciara had just started college hours away. I recall that time viscerally even now, thinking about it causes my chest to tighten and my breathing gets shallow. At the time I couldn’t eat or sleep, I couldn’t stop my mind from replaying every real and imagined scenario over and over again on a non-stop loop of horror.
I can remember the middle of one of those sleepless nights when I couldn’t breathe. I was reeling from this pain and all the horrible pain in my past and I didn’t see how things could ever be good again. I got down on my knees in the dark of my own bedroom and talked to God. I cried and gave all my pain to Him and then with my palms held up in front of me I prayed over and over again, giving up control of my life to Him. I didn’t want to be in charge anymore, I was completely at a loss and I needed Him to take over. This went on for some time and though I didn’t realize it at the time, this was the moment that I began my journey to being saved. After praying, I can remember feeling lighter and less suffocated. It wasn’t gone completely but it was measurably more bearable. From then on any time I felt that overwhelming pain threatening to overcome me again I would stop and pray, giving it all up to God and asking Him to help me get through it. And He did. Ron and I were able to work on our marriage and over time we decided to recommit and move forward together. I didn’t tell him about my prayers at the time but about a year after we reconciled, we both felt compelled to start going to church and in 2017 we both gave our hearts to Jesus and were baptized together. Now five years on from that dark time, I am happy to say that we are doing better than ever.
There are so many big and small circumstances that God’s hand is busy working on in our lives. The trouble is that most of the time, it’s only in hindsight that we can see and understand the struggles we faced and how God was at work. And hardest of all, sometimes we never get to fully understand them. The most important thing to remember is that no matter how difficult things are, no matter how impossible they seem, God can and will ALWAYS make a way. We just have to put our full faith and trust in that and in Him and He will show us mercy and grace and glory that we could never imagine for ourselves.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.Proverbs 3:5-6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Phillipians 4: 6-7
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