Friends, I have to tell you that the story I wrote nearly five years ago, called A Pillar of Fire by Night and that I had thought I'd seen the end of when I wrote Mysterious, is only now truly coming to its glorious end in our lives.
If you'd like to feel the full weight of the journey of trust that our family has been on, please take a few minutes and read through both of those entries linked above. Read them now, before you read on. But if you're in a hurry, let me try to briefly recap, so that you will understand the stunning realization I had today.
In 2009 Matt and I lost our jobs and our housing at a little Christian boarding school when the economy plummeted and the boarding school lost most of its students. In November of 2010 we had been living with our four small children in his parents' basement for nearly a year and a half. The economy was horrific in this part of the country, with not even the fast-food restaurants hiring. Things were desperate. God was silent. We felt very alone, really for the first time, in our spiritual lives. We wondered where God was.
Matt was briefly offered a job, and we were happy for about 2 hours, until that job offer was reneged. It felt cruel. And with that fresh salt in the wound, Matt and I took our kids out for a night-time walk around the neighborhood one evening and talked about shooting stars, and the first shooting star we had seen together as a couple. I looked up at the sky and longed for the time when God used to miraculously show up in our lives, and then right in front of us, a bright fire-ball of a meteor streaked down from the sky and disappeared just above the ground. I knew in that moment that God had everything under control, that he was with us, and that I just had to trust him.
One year later, I looked back and realized why that job offer had to have been offered to us and also taken from us on the same day. It wasn't cruel, it was a necessary step. Matt had to first get an awful factory job so that we would be desperate enough to take the dirty house in the middle of a dumpy mobile home park in the little town to the southeast. After we were settled in that house, Matt was able to get that phlebotomist job he had been offered several months earlier. This job trained Matt with the skills he would need to land an even better job at the Red Cross just a few months later, which happened to be just one mile away from the house we were now settled in.
Even more amazing, God had planned for me to become the manager of that little mobile home park--an amazing work-at-home opportunity that gave us enough of a financial edge that we were able to eventually buy a home of our own. A home of our own, friends, like we had been praying so earnestly for back in 2010, back when God seemed so distant.
And this is what I realized today. Please don't miss this.
Do you know where Matt and I were standing when God sent us that shooting star to show us that he was still with us, that he was still working?
We were walking in Matt's parents' neighborhood that night, because that is where we were living at the time. That moment is so burned into my memory, I have an exact picture in my mind of where we were, so I went back on Google maps, on the street view tonight and found that spot, then I turned the view to the right. And guess where we were? We were on the corner of the street that we will be moving to just one week from now, less than one block from our new home.
Five years ago, God let me know that he heard our prayers for Matt to get a job and for us to have our own home. He let me know when I was standing just a block from the home he had all picked out for us. He asked me to trust him and to follow him, and it has been such an amazing journey. The story of how everything has fallen perfectly together for this home is amazing in itself: the great deal on a perfectly maintained house, the school system (hopefully) allowing us to keep the same braille teacher, even across school district lines, and the items that need to be changed in my new kitchen (for my super-sized cooking needs) suddenly appearing on craigslist at half the price that I would have had to pay for them new. God didn't just pick out this new house for us, he also picked out a new huge kitchen sink, and an almost new convection oven with just the five-burner configuration I needed. He has been in every detail.
Friends, he is real. He hears your prayers.
The writer of Hebrews tells us, "without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Hebrews 11:6)
While I know all Bible passages need to be read in context, I think God works much the same way in our lives as when he told Jeremiah to tell Israel this, "Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:12)
Friends, pray to him. Seek him with all your heart. He promises to listen. He promises you will find him. Finding him is the reward for earnestly seeking him. There is no greater reward than to know he is guiding your every step, for his own honor.