Joel had taken a new position as Senior Pastor at a church located in a small town 50 miles east of where we lived . Accepting the call was Spirit led so therefore, easy, but finding a house to live in was not. Six months later Joel was still commuting and was gone 12 hours days. We were desperate to find a place and bought a house too quickly, putting thousands of dollars into renovating it so it was "safe" for me. I was very ill, home bound and reacted to nearly everything. We eventually moved in mid April 2007, but a hidden chemical spill in the basement and our error in the finish we used on the floors kept me confined to a 9 by 10 bedroom with a heavy foil barrier on the floor to protect me. During the day I would lay in bed or sit in the van at the church while Joel worked. At night we were confined to the small space that held a bed, night stands, radio and TV. It. was. horrible. After a long month we moved back with just a small trailer full of belonging to our former home with where the sale had fallen through. Three months later we brought all our things back and put them in the garage where they had to "outgas" the chemical smells from the other house for several months. We eventually put the "unsafe" house on the market and Joel commuted, one hour each way, sometimes sleeping at the church, for three years.
In May of 2007 I was finally correctly diagnosed with Lyme Disease after 23 years of illness. In June 2007 we were in a bad car accident with both of us taking our first ambulance ride together. In August Joel had emergency eye surgery. After 15 months of double mortgages, we sold the home I couldn't live in at a major financial loss. Lyme treatment was expensive and commuting was costly and lonely. We were so weary, but God sustained us with His love and promises.
"I will heal the brokenhearted
and bind up their wounds, says the Lord."
God was amazing in how He helped us through that difficult season. Without God in the picture the memories are painful, but then we are never without God are we?! This day I was able to look back and give thanks for all the wonderful ways God moved in our lives that year.
"For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord.
Plans for good and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope."
~The people at the new church were unbelievably generous and kind. They helped get our house ready before we moved and were supportive even while unhappy when we had to leave. One couple wanted to pay for my first doctor visit, which cost a few thousand! Several people gave Joel fuel gift cards for Christmas. It filled up the tank when gas was at premium prices. Another man helped us move some of our things back to our former home. People were constantly praying for us. The associate pastor helped a great deal. We are forever grateful to them all.
~Remember what I said about our other home having sold, but then the buyer backed out? THAT was ordained by God. We had somewhere to live and it was wonderful to have a whole house to live in again where I was "safe". We have live here ever since.
"All things work together for good
for those who love the Lord."
~Remember the car accident? We were both okay! We were a bit beat up and Joel had minor neck issues for a few months, but nothing serious for either of us. This was not the driver's first accident with his company truck and besides all medical costs, they wanted to pay us a settlement even though we were not planning on any action against them. That money was such a blessing and also helped to put much needed siding on the house. Only God.
~Getting a diagnosis of Lyme Disease meant many challenges ahead, but it would also keep me in the land of the living. And we were blessed with an amazing Dr. who kept us in prayer during our five years of treatments. We both ended up needing them!
"I will give you back your health
and heal your wounds says the Lord."
~Joel having to commute to his Senior Pastor position at the church was unfair to all involved...us and the congregation. Then in 2009 Joel was also diagnosed with Lyme and ended up on disability for 2.5 years, having to resign from his position. It is not how we wanted things to resolve, but once again God was in the details. The enemy tried to leave us brokenhearted, but God had other plans.
"This is my command ~ be strong and courageous/
Be not be afraid or discouraged.
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
This morning when I talked to God about these memories coming up, I realized it was seven years ago this May that we moved back to our home. I was so thankful for how it all worked out. God had a message for me just a few minutes later when I found myself humming a song I have been singing a lot lately........."The best is yet to come....the best is yet to come.....All of God's promises are yes and amen....the best is yet to come!"
We all have stories to tell of God being in the details. Stories of God rescuing us from the schemes of the devil. Times when we stood on the promises of God. Looking back and remembering, we are able to see how God weaves His blessings into the fabric of our lives, relying on all His promises! We are loved by an amazing God!
I am linking up with Bonnie over at Faith Barista for Whitespace Thursday.