If you follow me on social media at all, you’ve seen that the past few days I’ve posted some pictures and updates about my upcoming move. Tomorrow is that day. This week I’ve been taking smaller items and boxes that can fit in my car to the house, and tomorrow (Saturday, December 9th) all my furniture and anything else that has not been moved there will be taken to my new house, and I will officially begin living there.
This week, the idea of the move has been overwhelming. A few days ago I was unpacking dishes and putting them in the cabinets in the kitchen, and I sent a text to a friend about how there is more cabinet space than dishes I have to fill them…the space is overwhelming. As I’ve moved things to the house and made decisions on what furniture would go into what room, I felt so overwhelmed with how much space this house has…and how little furniture I have to fill it. Last Sunday my kids and I had our first meal in the house, we prayed to thank God for blessing us with this house, and then they picked their rooms and made signs for their doors. It was a great day, and very overwhelming.
It is all overwhelming because for 2 years I’ve lived in small spaces. I briefly had a small 1 bedroom apartment, and the rest of the time I’ve lived with different people who allowed me to stay in a room in their house. I’ve grown accustomed to having very little furniture and living in a small space. When my kids came to stay with me, they would all sleep in the same room, because it was the only room I had for them. And now, this house I’m moving into has a kitchen with more cabinets than I can fill, more rooms than I have furniture for, and enough bedrooms that the kids can have their own rooms (Hope and Kate chose to share a room).
Today as I was making a couple trips to the house with more boxes and smaller items, I began to think back over the past 2 years. To be honest, my life today looks absolutely nothing like I expected it to look like just a few years ago. A few years ago, I was married with 4 children, living in a nice house with my family, working in a ministry I loved, and honestly just enjoying my life, thinking I had it all.
And then 2 1/2 years ago my world began to come crashing down as I discovered I was about to lose it all. After months of doing everything I could to try and hold it all together, my biggest fears happened. I lost my marriage, lost the ability to see my kids everyday, lost getting to live with my family, and lost the ministry I loved. My world came crashing down hard, and I was broken. It was all very overwhelming!
For 2 years since all of that happened, I have been wondering what my future would look like. What would it be like to live in my own house again, what would being in ministry again be like, and even the idea of what a future relationship might look like. Just thinking about it all and not knowing when or how it would happen, as well as still questioning at times why I was in this place to begin with, would just get overwhelming to think about.
Then, after a long time of waiting and wondering, God began to lead me into my future. 4 months ago I began working in ministry again. It started off a bit rocky, but I quickly settled into doing what God has given me a passion to do again. What a blessing that was!
And then, I was offered the church parsonage…a house! A house I can call home. Where my kids can come and spread out and we can be a family in our own space. What an incredible blessing!
I’m overwhelmed by God’s blessings! And excited for the future that God is leading me into!
I have also come to realize that God never stopped blessing me and taking care of me during the 2 years prior to this.
- For 2 years I have not been able to afford a place to stay, yet I have not been homeless even one day.
- For 2 years I have struggled to make ends meet, yet I’ve always had food to eat, gas money, jobs to make money, and several people have been generous to me through financial gifts.
- For 2 years I have had Christian brothers and sisters take care of me, provide for me, help me, and be there for me in ways I didn’t even realize I would need.
- During those 2 years, men stepped up to disciple me and council me through the darkest days I have ever experienced…sometimes days that were so dark I just wanted to give up on everything.
For 2 years as I wondered why my world had fallen apart, God was working in my life to teach me, equip me, restore me, and prepare me for the future he had in store. And while the past 2 years have been by far the hardest I’ve ever experienced, the truth is God was blessing me the whole time while preparing me for my future. God has had a plan for me all along, and he has continued to bring that plan to fruition while walking with me on the journey.
So as I begin to step into what God has next for me, I would be remiss if I did not also remember how God blessed me and took care of me during the past 2 years.
- to all who provided me a place to live
- to all who helped me with financial gifts so I could continue to cover basic needs
- to all who have provided me with a job
- to all who provided a listening ear for me to talk to
- to all who reached out to me and my children
- to all who challenged me to live for God even when I was struggling in my faith
- to all from my former church who continued to stay connected to me and my children
- to all from my new church family who have made me and my children feel loved and accepted
- to all the new people I have met through different circumstances and for different reasons over the past 2 years that I probably would not have met had I not been in this position
- and to all of those from my childhood whom I have since reconnected with during this time
I will never be able to say thank you enough for allowing God to use you in my life to be a blessing. God has truly been good to me by bringing each of you into my life, and I am beyond thankful. God has used you to teach me what he wanted me to learn through this, and to bless me as he carried me through the storm.
As I move into the future God has for me, I look forward to seeing what God will do next. I have learned through all of this that I can never imagine what God has in store, but if I just seek to follow where he leads, he will continue to lead me step by step in the direction he wants me to go. It might not be what I expect…but after watching God provide and care for and bless me during these past 2 years, I know that wherever he may lead, he will be there with me for each step of the journey. And after the past 2 years, I’ve learned that if it’s God’s plan, I want to be a part of it…and if it’s not God’s plan, I don’t want to waste my time.
God’s blessings are truly overwhelming!