Monday, October 7, 2013

When You Need a Story

Sometimes, we just need to hear the stories of God's grace and goodness in someone else's life. Just to remind us Who He Is and what He is capable of and the He is still listening and moving on behalf of those He loves.

Last week I took a walk with a friend whose mom is fighting cancer. Honestly, I wondered what we should talk about. Are there safe topics? Helpful ones? After awhile, I felt comfortable sharing with her a story of God's surprising goodness in our family business. It was a story of praying at the beginning of the month and asking the Lord to show up in a significant, amazing way that would clearly be HIM. . . and at month end, we were so surprised. HE did incredible things while we were unaware. At the end of the month when we looked for Him, His fingerprints were clear.

The friend said she was so encouraged to know that God is still listening and still answering. When she prays, it seems the words fall flat and she struggles to have hope.

I know the feeling.

The Lawyer and I keep chipping away at the law school debt and yet the situation appears practically hopeless to us. The debt seems insurmountable, our efforts paltry. We would like to have our own home, some land. . . the porch swing from our garage shelves hanging again. . . flowers and berries and fruit trees. . . Our dream feels so far off. It's hard to pray about it. We sometimes feel forgotten. We've asked the Lord to show up big in this and yet we don't feel the burden lifting and we don't see ANY way that we can change things or move or pay off the debt for such a long time. It's terribly disheartening. The Lawyer has been intentional. His accounting is meticulous. His leadership is excellent. He has grown, repented, sought counsel, and is following a good plan. It's just a very long process for us.

Then, our dear friends (who also took Financial Freedom with us) buy an incredibly (huge) beautiful house on 35 acres overlooking the breathtaking mountains- debt free. Yes. Really. We admit our jealousy and the pain of the process stings again. And my friend tells me the story and it's a story I needed to hear.

A year ago, during our class together, this family committed to buy their next house without incurring debt. My friend wondered what kind of house they would end up in, and we laughed over what was surely coming- a majorly uncomfortable downsizing for their family of (at the time) eight. (This was really interesting because their house was about twice the size of ours!) When they actually began preparing for a move and looking at houses, she was unpleasantly surprised by how little they would get for the cash they had. And YET they trusted the Lord.

Over the past year this family has moved from their home here in Woodlake to a rental near Roanoke. Their rental home was larger than their Woodlake home and they paid roughly the same amount for it monthly. It was lovely and amazing and a blessing to their family. Their house here sold after six months. Through various other circumstances, they were able to save enough money to purchase a house in the exact location they desired. . . a bigger house than their rental. . . with more land than they had thought possible. . . with the money they had available. They couldn't do that a year ago, and yet this is the place the Lord has brought them to now.

I needed to hear her story to remember that . . .

1214) The Lord honors our commitments to Him when we are committing to His way. (Thankful for The Lawyer's commitment to honor and obey the Lord.)

1215) The Lord delights to move on behalf of those He loves and show Himself strong. (Thankful that we WILL see Him again.)

1216) Nothing is impossible for the Lord

1217) God knows my dreams and desires, too. (Thankful to be known and loved.)

1218) There are seasons to pass through... rentals and restarts and holding patterns. . . but the destination will be grand. (Thankful for this season that leads me closer to glory.)

1219) We are so blessed with children, our heritage, and our family time together is precious. (Thankful for children and family ties.)

1220) Stories of God's goodness bless us and bless others. The telling and the hearing are good for our souls. (Thankful that I have stories to tell and that there are people in my life who share stories with me.)

1 comment:

Staci Thomas said...

Funny...I come to your blog to hear about how God is providing for you in big ways because I don't see him doing that for us, and you don't see God doing that...six beautiful biological children, the van, the piano, the child pray, God answers. Perspective, I guess. Maybe you needed a reminder that God has blessed you MIGHTILY. It is an encouragement to me to read these stories of yours when I don't see those things happening in my life.