It was about 3 years ago. I couldn’t process the words I was hearing. I turned down the radio, pressed my phone closer to my ear and exclaimed “WHAT?” “We need to move in 3 days.” is what I heard my husband say on the other end of the line. I could feel my face get hot with confusion, anger, and sheer panic! I was speechless.
“Are you still there?” Jessie said. “…….yes…..” I said. I had no other words. How on earth were we supposed to find a new home, pack and move in 3 days….that’s only 72 hours! On top of that, it was a Wednesday. I had to lead worship that night at my home church, then another local church Thursday night, then Friday morning at another church’s women’s ministry. Not to mention the weekend services at my home church, my daughter’s birthday party, and all my other domestic duties at home! How could this be done?? “It’s going to be OK” he said. “We’re going to be ok, we’ll work it out.”
I fought the tears that were streaming down my face. “What are we going to do?” I thought. My oldest daughter Emi was sitting in the front seat being completely silent. I turned to look at Mia, my youngest daughter in the back seat to find her laying down on the back seat with her hands covering her sweet little face. “Mia what’s wrong sweet girl?” I said, my voice trembling, as I tried (unsuccessfully) to hide the fact that I was upset. “Are you crying?” She sat up with tears streaming down her face. “How will we find a place to live?” she said. She was 7 at the time and I’m sure her poor little heart was overwhelmed. I’m sure she was picturing our family standing on the side of the road with a cardboard sign that said “Anything will help”.
I realized I had a choice. I could choose to be a symbol of fear, panic and uncertainty to my kids. Or, I could choose to be a symbol of solidarity in the promise that God is watching over us. I chose the latter. Here was my chance to show these sweet little girls what faith in God looks like in real life! I confidently wiped the tears from my eyes, sat up straight, sweetened the tone of my voice, and said “We’re going to be just fine girls. God already has a house picked out for us! We just need to find it! And, if we can’t find it in 3 days, we have plenty of friends and family! We’ll be OK. We will have a place to stay. We just have to trust in God”. “But 3 days??” Mia said “That’s like, today, then tomorrow, then that’s the 3rd day?” Fighting back any fear or doubt I replied “Yes, you’re right, but you know what baby girl, our God is really big! He owns everything, so finding us a house is no big deal for Him!”
I was so firm in the belief that God had a place for us, and nothing was going to shake that. I wasn’t sure how it was going to work, but we had moved in less than 3 days in the past and we could do it again! My faith was strong and unshakable until…one house fell through…then another. One didn’t accept dogs, another was too expensive, and yet another was too far, etc etc etc. On it went until I began to lose heart. And I got angry. It wasn’t OUR fault that the landlord was foreclosing! Why should WE have to be so inconvenienced because of HIS problems. I wanted to give him a piece of my mind. I wanted to call him up and tell him that he had the potential to ruin my daughter’s birthday. Momma bear was in the house, and she was on the warpath!
Then came Friday.
We were looking at 2 different houses. One was perfectly in our price range, but the one we really liked was slightly higher in price than we were able to pay. Quietly as we were walking through the home my husband and I had said in passing “I mean, if the rent was lowered by even $100 we would definitely take it!” We didn’t feel comfortable asking though, so we were about to drive away, when the landlord walked up to the car window and said “Look, if it makes any difference, I can knock $100 off the price.” WHAT? That was WAY too precise! Weird right? Or was it? Well, of course we took her up on her offer and thanks to some really great friends, we were able to move all of our belongings with time to spare before our three day deadline! This even gave our new landlord an opportunity to see how the body of Christ cares for each other! I remember her comment “Wow, all these people are your friends!?”
Is it odd that we had three days to move, and we found a house in two? Is it odd that this home was almost the exact same size, but had an area for our new dog? Is it odd that our landlord was a single mom who could use some help fixing up her place, and my husband just happens to be pretty handy? NOPE! This was definitely no coincidence. Because that’s how God works. He doesn’t work on our timetable. He changes things when HE’S ready to change things. All we have to do is be ready to roll with the punches, and move when He says move. (Sometimes literally)
P.S. for a short time you can head on over to my music website to download 5 live acoustic songs! Hurry, they won’t be there long!