Monday, June 27, 2016

Refining Fire

Truth is, the only word to describe our lives as of late is stressful.

You may know that we have been on the house hunt for quite some time, but the Lord just kept pressing on our hearts that it was time to go "home," as in our home town. Although it seems we barely just got here (even though it's really been a year and a half), and we've made some really great friends and love the church we attend, it just became quite clear to us that if we don't let go of here we'll never be able to see what it is God has for us there. So, after a long house hunt here and many closed doors, we started pursuing the house in our home town that Jake and I have been in love with for several years. Truth is, it's been on the market for quite a long time and every time we'd pass it, we'd dream that we could one day live there. It seems that day is almost here. We're currently under contract and have a closing date. The move is bittersweet, but I'm so ready for it to be over and done with. We'll miss our friends and church family here, for sure, but we're confident this is what is "meant to be."

All that being said, if you've ever purchased a home before, the process is stressful. And since we are self-employeed, the process of applying for a mortgage loan is extremely complicated and frustrating to say the least. I certainly pray that this is our forever home and we never have to go through all this again! No joke, it's taken months to finally get here, to see the finish line, and I'm honestly still holding my breath afraid that something will fall through. I know it's all in God's hands, and we're quite confident He's been leading us here this whole time, but that doesn't mean going through it is a walk in the park. Far from it!

So here we are, about to move. The beginning stages of packing have even begun. All the while, we've got several big commitments and obligations we're trying to work around, and we're also trying to homeschool and keep a somewhat legitimate schedule. There's so much on my plate right now, I could just topple right over any minute, figuratively speaking.

This isn't a complaint or rant, though. I've told you all this because I wanted to let you know that God's grace and mercy are getting me through. I struggle with feeling guilty, as if I don't have any right to feel stressed out. I know how blessed and privileged we are to even get to walk through this. Some people may never own their own home. Some people would love to be able to have three precious children to stress them out. Some people would bend over backwards to be able to own their own business no matter what a headache it causes at the bank. I know all this, and it keeps me at times from honestly letting go and give these problems to the Lord. I feel like I don't deserve to be worried or stressed over these situations because other people have it worse than me. Am I the only one who feels this way? Friends, here's what I've realized. Other people's struggles and hurts don't mean our own has to be discredited. The Bible says, "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you (1 Peter 5:7 NLT)." It doesn't say, "Give only your worries and cares that are tougher than someone else's to God." He wants all our worries and struggles and fears, even the smallest ones, because He loves us. All that I'm going through, it's just refining fire. He's teaching me to draw near to Him, get on my face before Him, even for the smallest of cares, because He wants a deep, intimate relationship with me. He wants me to know Him and truly rely on Him in everything. I'm learning, too, that by not bottling up my stresses and pretending that I'm "fine," I have more peace and joy, which is exactly what He wants for me, and for all Christians. 

Isn't it awesome, that no matter how long you've been a believer, He is still continuously teaching us? This scripture is one that I've known, even memorized, for YEARS, but today it speaks to me in a new way, and I'm so very thankful.

Here's to learning something new. 

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