Monday, August 6, 2012

Not The Post I Was Planning

I had a post in mind for today. Short and sweet. Maybe something cheesy like "Happy Homeowners" or "Home Sweet Home" with an iPhone photo of our new house. But now if I posted an iPhone photo it would simply be of a condo with box piles as high as the ceiling, some of them re-opened to get the necessities I thought I'd be unpacking in a new home.

Here's why...

I got a call from Steven two business days before our closing. I knew immediately something was wrong because my husband started out the conversation by trying to lead my heart with, "Let's remember that God is sovereign." It turns out that our buyer went through a bank that was backed by Fannie Mae whose loans, since the bailout, the government regulates. And a recently implemented regulation was that any loan given must be for a place in a neighborhood that has no more than 30% renters currently occupying the homes.

Our neighborhood has 30.6%.

Somehow this was overlooked until the very end, and the bank immediately withdrew. Our buyer is now scrambling to get another loan in place, and we're supposedly closing next week. This means my husband has to stay home while we head off to our annual beach vacation. (Is there some sort of bounty price on our beach vacation?!?)

But what was far more upsetting to me was the way I had meticulously organized every detail of childcare for four kids, painting help, moving help, timing of the groceries, packing, etc. And now all my plans were simply blown out of the water. The week we get home from the beach, my family is gone (bye-bye to most of my helpers), my husband has to get back to a full work schedule, and the school year is looming. So when the news came that my organizing and plans had come totally unraveled, I came totally unraveled. Through a tough year, only a couple of things have really, really gotten to me and this was one of them. I shut the door to my room and sobbed.

Looking back it's sort of pathetic. It wasn't the end of the world. We didn't lose the house or anything. But for about an hour, it didn't feel like such a small thing. I just wanted to know why. Why did it have to go down like that?

And it's got me thinking. How many times do we feel like we need to know why God allowed something to happen, be it something truly life-changing or just an inconvenience like our housing situation? If I can see a reason in my own finite mind, I somehow feel better. But a lack of a visible reason? Well, that just makes me angry.

But God is showing me that I must lay my "why" at Jesus' feet. There's nothing to be gained in demanding to know; and to be honest, doing so makes me feel like I'm going crazy. What if simple humility and a more childlike faith is all I should be seeking?

Charles Simeon, a pastor in the late 18th century wrote:
"Repentance is in every view so desirable, so necessary, so suited to honor God, that I seek that above all. The tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit, are to me far above all the joys that I could ever hope for in this vale of tears. I long to be in my proper place, my hand on my mouth, and my mouth in the dust...I feel this to be safe ground. Here I cannot err...I am sure that whatever God may despise...He will not despise the broke and contrite heart."

As I sat going over Scripture later that evening after the fateful call, God's tender love ministered to me as I read beautiful promises like Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

God knows the plans He has for me, I do not. So now to learn to embrace the circumstances in my life that keep me living out that truth.


  1. I'm so sorry your plans fell apart!

    I so love your outlook though! I often find myself getting overwhelmed when my well-laid out plans fall apart only to remind myself of God's goodness and grace. He is sovereign no matter the situation. Sometimes, it's hard to come up from under the weight of the world to see that though, isn't it?!

    Best of luck with all of the details sorting out. I'll say an extra prayer for God's hands to be in the details...beach trip, helpers, child care, school, unpacking. all of it.

  2. Thanks, Jenny. Encouragement and prayers from someone I've never even met is so kind and meaningful.


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