Life Along With Us: Not What We Expected

These “life along with us” posts are a tiny peek into our lives to see how we are being stretched and grown by our loving Lord. We don’t always stretch happily, but God always finds ways to teach us more about Himself through it by leading us back to the truth in His Word. So, welcome to our life!

At the moment, we are not at all stretching happily. We had so many beautiful plans and dreams that we put together about living here, and not a single one is actually happening. Sigh.

We thought we were being pretty noble, leaving the city we loved so much to come to Casa Grande with no job prospects. We were patting ourselves on the back for our marvelous trust in God. These past two months, though, have proven we still have quite a ways to go…

Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” We’ve seen that to be true! The goal now is to learn to see the joy in it.

I think in the end, we’ll look back and see that the growth God produced in us and the blessings that He is giving us were worth some of the frustrations. We just have to hold on tight to those promises from God about His faithfulness.

The House That Just Won’t Close

At the moment, we are waiting for a house to go through, which means we are living with my parents. (I’m sure this is stretching my parents quite a bit too, what with the extra cooking needed, and their living room looking like a storage unit.) We have lived here so far for 2 months, and it looks like it will be about another month before we get the go-ahead to move into our own place. We can’t wait!

Our housing for the time being!
Our housing for the time being!

It’s not that it’s all that difficult living here — it has been fun to get to spend so much time with family — but there are lots of little things that we do differently that we miss. And we are just excited to have a house for the first time, rather than an apartment or a bedroom!

Added to that, the house we are trying to buy has been such a frustration. Our original closing date was August 22. Now it is in mid-October. That should give you a good idea of how the process has gone.

Don’t you love our decorating style? I wonder what’s in these particular boxes…

But it really has been amazing to see God’s hand working in all of this — to provide us with a great place to live while we wait and to keep seeing the house deal through even when it seemed certain to fall through.

To Teach or Not to Teach…

It also turns out that God didn’t want me to sub this semester! I graduated with my teaching certificate this past May and was planning to come here and substitute teach for a year, but it turns out with Benjamin’s great new job at our church here, it would actually disqualify us from our insurance. So, there will be no substitute teaching for me. Time to start pinching some pennies!

But it’s a two-sided coin. It also means that I am getting to spend even more time with my sister, Fida. She moved here from Albania not long ago, so my parents decided to homeschool her. Since they both work full time as teachers, I have the privilege of teaching her! It has been fun getting to know her, and getting to watch her progress. It has also been so good to have this chance to disciple her a little bit.

The messy table and the studying sister that I hang out with all day : )
The messy table and the studying sister that I hang out with all day : )

As for Benjamin, God moved him right into a job here serving in our church. It has been a lot to get used to, but he loves that the work he is doing has real significance.

Benjamin just home from his new job!
Benjamin just home from his new job!

Anyway, there’s a peek into our life situation. We are trying desperately to make ourselves cling to the truth that God’s way is actually far better than any way we would have chosen for ourselves, but it’s kind of hard to believe at times.

God speaks to this so much, though. He says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Then 1 Corinthians 1:25, knowing that God has no foolishness or weakness but trying to describe just how unimaginably wise God is, says: “Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.”

God promises that He is with us, that He is far wiser than us, that His purposes will always stand, and that His purposes are always good. So, despite the cramped quarters, the frustrating houses, and the disappointment about subbing, we really can see the hand of God working in our lives, and our hearts are learning to depend more on Him than I think we ever have before.

Share your story! How is God growing and stretching you right now? How has He in the past? And how did you react? Do you have any encouragement for us in this difficult season?


Linking up on Thought Provoking Thursday!

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