We sold our other house! We are now a 1 house...1 mortgage family! We are feeling such relief. It no longer feels like we are in a holding pattern... we don't have a foot in the past anymore...we can live in the present and look towards the future.
We don't know why God allowed this situation in our lives. When Joel accepted a call to a new congregation we felt strongly that God was directing this move. So we bought a home, fixed it up and waited with excitement to move in. We just knew it would all work out perfectly because we were following God's will. When we went through this process two years ago, our home (we live in now) sold in the second week we had it on the market, and we felt like that was one more affirmation for our move...but it took 6 mo. to find a home to buy and when we eventually did find one we bought it very quickly without taking much time to mull it over. During that time the offer on our home where we live now fell through....and the move into the new house was delayed time an time again due to both a sweet smell and a varnish smell that we could not eliminate. Finally, in frustration, we went ahead and made the move to our new home, hoping for the best. BUT it caused me to be very sick~ I ended up living in a 9x11 room with special foil on the floor. I only left the room to go into the bathroom or outside. I tried to spend some of my days in the van at the church parking lot so I could get out of the house into a safe place away from the smells. After 1 month we started looking for options while at the same time trying to eliminate the offending chemical smell. Every door closed, so with disappointment and many tears we took what we needed to "camp" at our old house and moved back there. It was one of the most difficult times in our lives and we struggled to keep on trusting God's plan. We believed God wanted Joel at Trinity Lutheran Church, but what about our living situation? Were we wrong? Had the move been a bad choice on our part?
We spent a lot of time trying to figure things out. We knew that we bought the "other" house too quickly out of desperation for us to both live in the same town Joel worked in . We also knew that we would lose money selling it so quickly because we had updated it and made it safe for my special needs and even with the generous help from parishners, it had been costly. We knew we made a mistake in buying it, although it took us a long time to accept that. We knew God forgave us for that decision, although it took longer for us to forgive ourselves. In a short amount of time and with alot of discussion and prayer, we realized we could never move back into that house and we put it on the market....20 months later it sold.
Joel has now commuted 104 miles to work and home for nearly 3 long years. Our debt increased greatly due to two mortgages, maintaining two homes, etc. We have spent too much time apart and we have greatly missed having our meals together and dislike spending early evenings and sometimes overnights alone. We have adjusted, but not always easily. Those are the "negatives" of our situation.
So what good came from all of this???? Why is Joel pastoring a church in one town and living in another? Why did God allow so many conflicts in our lives all at once? The Lyme Disease diagnosis and ongoing difficult treatment~ my neuropathy that developed ~ the two houses~ the high gas prices ~ a terrible accident involving our van and a loaded pickup~ Joel having emergency eye surgery~ and a few other family crises I chose not to name. All of it greatly challenged us both. Was there a purpose in it all?
Here is what we know and believe about the past 2 yrs and 9 months:
GOD HAS WALKED WITH US. God has a plan for us and that has included Joel working at Trinity Lutheran and living 52 miles away. We accept that and what it means for us. He allowed all this to happen for reasons of His own understanding, but we do see some of the good that came from it all. God kept us afloat financially. Financial blessings came from sources and people that brought us to our knees with humility and gratitude. He was ahead of us, taking care of us with the van accident, the old house still being available to move back to, the surgery helping Joel's eye condition, a wonderful Lyme Doctor for me, and other blessings too numerous to mention. He worked all things out for good....(Romans 8:28) We became closer than ever to each other and to our Lord. We learned a deeper trust in our Lord without always understanding or having the answers. We can look back and see how His guidance and blessings have been interwoven throughout the circumstances of our lives. And as far as our future goes? We know that God will continue to guide us and walk with us as we make the continued effort to do His will. We know that everyone has a story to tell and blessings to give thanks for, and we only hope that by sharing our story it will in turn bless others with encouragement, be a witness to God's grace and faithfulness, and give our Lord the glory for all He is and all He does for His children.
Today we especially rejoice....for once again we are a 1 home ~ 1 mortgage family!