We had moved from our home to another state for job reasons. However, shortly after the barn fire, the job situation turned and we found ourselves in a place of having to decide what to do next. It had been a hard decision to move in the first place and now we were faced with deciding if we would move back to our former home. We had been gone for almost two years and our former house had been on the market for the entire time. We had had a few nibbles at a sale, but they all fell through eventually. Of course, at the time we could not understand why. But when this turn of events occurred, we knew why. We needed that house to come home to and it was there waiting for us. How great is that? To this day I have never forgotten the lesson in that simple event.
Now, in leaving to return to our old family home, we lost many things along the way. The original move that took us away from home was not something that was easy for any of us because it meant leaving old friends and family behind. But during the two years away we made new friends and now we would be leaving them behind. In addition to this, we lost money when we had to sell this second house. Sometimes, however, you will find that even though you are doing your best to walk in the right paths God is leading, you still stray off now and then. When you do, God still guides you back, but there are consequences to be dealt with along the way from those times when you strayed. Personally, I was the one who had pushed to buy this second house in the first place. Renting would have been the better way to go but when we could not find an adequate rental, buying seemed like the only option left.
Did I know back then that taking this faith journey would not only be a journey of learning to trust God, but also end up being a journey of finding myself? Beginning with the me I thought I was and leading to an often painful but always valuable re-evaluation of my thoughts, values, beliefs, early childhood training, and much more, the Holy Spirit used many methods to reach deep inside of me to burn away the chaff and help me find someone I didn't even know was there. The barn fire was just the simple spark that started this fire going. The move back home taught me my first main lesson, that God knows what we need before we do and He will provide it when it is most needed.
Finding out that we needed this home of ours more than what we even thought we did was the last thing on my mind at the time. We had other issues confronting us. One was that my marriage was in trouble over all the different things I thought I needed to be in control of. Have you ever had to pry a little one's fingers off of something they wanted so badly but you knew it was not good for them? They can hold on very tightly when they want to. It has been the same with me and God--me clinging tightly to control and the Holy Spirit gently but firmly prying my fingers away from each control issue that arose over the next 15 years. Ready to take this ride with me and see what happened? I always knew I was stubborn. The Bible uses a word "stiff-necked". Older folks use the term "mule-headed". I had no idea just how stubborn I was. I also had no idea that I was as determined to have control as I was at the time, or why.
Is trust an issue with you? It was with me then, and still can be if I don't stop and think and pray, making sure I am putting my trust in the Lord instead of in myself, or those around me. When I trust Him, I can let go and trust others He puts in my life. But it took all these years to get to this point. And all these years would have profitted nothing but for the events the Lord walked me through--and often carried me through. Time alone does not bring lessons learned. The next 15 years that have brought me to this time period where I can write about it all were nothing I would ever want to go through again, but at the same time, I would not trade these wonderful lessons, or the person I have found in myself that I didn't know was there, for anything else in the world. Come, take this virtual journey with me.