Relocation this time around was a test of faith of a different variety for us. God in his mercy protected us, carried us, and continues to go before us. So many prayers were answered for the sale of our house within the window needed, for our finances as we juggled two house payments, for our travel, and for our health, mine in particular. Prayers even for the howling cat we brought with us on the plane, who did not howl. Prayers for a home, for our family, for a timeline that accomplished all of this, for a church. An abundance of prayers.
So much grace! So many answered prayers in the ways we hoped and prayed.
The history behind these answers is significant. When we last faced these same circumstances, these prayers were not answered as we thought was best. We had a set idea of what would be good for us, but God’s better intention was that calamity would assail us. We judged God by his providence as circumstances launched a decades long journey away from legalism.
We lost the first relocation house a quarter century ago. We faced frozen wages, collapsing economy, and one disaster after another within our family. What was best for us was to learn that we cannot earn our salvation through good works or rule-keeping. Sadly, trials were required to teach us this. It was a tough lesson, because we like keeping rules. It makes us look good, but it’s much harder to recognize our brokenness and sin while legalistic.
This time around, God showed us that, not only can he cause everything to work together for good in ways we don’t expect or desire, but he can also do so in ways we hope and pray. He alone knows what is truly good for us, and because he loves us more than our comfort, he will do what is truly best. He always does.
So here we are settling in. This time around, we have only the two of us and I have a chronic illness. Searching for a new team of doctors in an unknown city has been my focused purpose since we found out about our move back in November. The procuring of radiology reports, blood tests, records, and doctor’s notes has been a high priority for the past months. The process is still in the works.
I’ve prayed as I’ve sought these professionals, and I’ve been astounded by God’s provision of specialists who are taking my diagnosis and its care into all the places we hadn’t yet figured out in Michigan.
The people I needed to see, it turns out, are here. That’s a surprising discovery, for the Lord relocated us when we had thought we were settled in for good.
Today I’m recovering from the surgery that should have been done in Michigan in November. The doctors there missed some serious diagnoses that the doctors here saw immediately. Because I’m drafting this the week before I go “under the knife,” I don’t know yet what the Lord will bring me through as I face three different operations all at once. But, knowing his record of faithfulness in trial and in blessing, I know it will be for my good and for the good of my family, whatever it is.
Whatever it is, I say by faith before my surgery, he will work together for good.
That is an enormous lesson, and it took me almost half my life to even begin to comprehend it. Do I ever push against it? Sure, I do. I forget, and I assume I know what should happen. But God is patient, and he continues to gently teach me to trust him. Knowing what looms ahead for me, this is a lesson I want to learn.
How about you?