See What's Possible

When Should We Do Something and When Should We Wait?

I have moving on the brain.  I’m fully engaged.  We found a place right on the beach, larger than we thought, close to a quaint restaurant and gym and grocery store.  It felt good to be in the space and I could watch a sunset from my couch every night with views of the Queen Mary.  It just seemed ideal to me.  We filled out the application and heard back the next day that we would be required to pay a hefty fee for a pet deposit in addition to an already steep security deposit.  But we have money saved up, so we said yes.

Then we heard nothing.  I emailed the realtor asking what we should do next to move forward and she told me the owners were balking at idea of our dog.  Now it’s been two days, and I’ve heard nothing else.  I sent them a cute picture of Lucy and a description of her sweet nature, but still nothing.

Slightly bummed, I’ve learned since my divorce, not to hold onto things too tight and not to push too hard when it seems as if God is closing a door.  So I’m patiently (in theory) waiting to hear back from them and am looking at other rental properties in the area in the mean time.  In looking, I find there are other options that would be different but possibly even better fits for us.

Sometimes having options is not a bad thing.  And sometimes its best to wait to commit until you have true peace in your heart about your choice.

This goes for all big life decisions.  Marriage, dating, moving, jobs.  Anything we have control over.  That is why God gives us a free will.  So that we will exercise it when it’s the right time.

It’s kind of like when I wanted to get married so bad to Harry.  First, let me say I’ve been close to deciding on marriage three times in my life.  And only once did I have true peace about the WHO I was marrying.  Not with my husband of 18 years, and certainly not the second time that thankfully I recognized and ended it.  But with Harry – total peace.

The WHEN was a different matter.  We targeted April, then September, we fantasized about running off to Vegas and eloping.  We were unclear about which option was best for us.  Then in October we settled on New Year’s Eve which has always seemed like the perfect anniversary date to me.  And when the timing was right, everything fell in line.  We had the money, we got a beautiful place with a setting we’d dreamed of.  We even had couches at our wedding, which is an inside joke because we sort of fell in love with each other sitting in my living room, talking on a couch.  It was near perfection and I couldnt have asked for more.  It was my favorite day I have ever lived.

As much as patience is not part of my DNA.  I’ve learned to hold myself back, and remind myself that timing in this life is truly everything.  What we think of as a missed opportunity, or a regretful choice…if we let it…God really does mold these pieces of our lives into lessons and texture for the good.

So, regardless of this delay, and possibly not getting the place we thought we wanted.  I’m confident that we will be moving on up very soon.  There is a home waiting for us.  And when its the right time, it will all fall into place.

But here is a little piece of wisdom I’ve learned about waiting on the Lord and the thought that good things come to those who wait, and God will provide and all those other Christian things we say to make us feel better.

We have to do our part.  We won’t get the place of our dreams if we don’t have the money.  We have to work hard and save.  We won’t find the man of our dreams if our own life is  a mess.  We have to be someone you’d choose to be with, not someone you’d run from.  God gave us skills, a brain, and a will for a reason.  And when we either misuse or neglect to be diligent with these things…life is simply harder.

I don’t expect a smooth walk in life.  I know better now.  But I can do what I can to make it the smoothest possible.  That is our part.

I have Facebook friends who are hardcore Christians and I know they love the Lord with all their hearts.  But what I see them do often is extend themselves to the edge of reason with finances (especially) and with huge things they take on (like adopting too many special needs children that they can’t afford) or the wife choosing not to work (at all) because they want to homeschool when they simply can’t afford it and are not paying their rent because of it.  And then they expect God to swoop in and save the day because their choices seem noble.  And they are noble choices if you can afford them.

But to me, and this may sound controversial, but it seems that these people are treating God like a helicopter parent and they are still behaving like children who want to be rescued every time they get in over their heads.  I think God wants us to do service and work and good for the Kingdom.  But I think he also wants us to be wise, and shrewd and good stewards of the things he’s given to us.

Faith does not replace good planning or wisdom.  It’s just that we need to be sensitive that our plan isn’t always God’s plan.  If it’s true that God wants to bless his children and that he wants us to be at peace and content with what we have.  Then why over-extend yourself in the name of “faith?”

And oppositely, why sit and do nothing with a life you’ve been given to live?

There is a pastor who I respect.  But he often preaches to sit under the weight of a trial to see what God will do in it instead of skirting around it.  And I wholeheartedly agree with him except that he extends that philosophy to nearly everything.  As if, when we find ourselves in a very bad situation, we should grin and bear it – every single time.  In marriage…yes.  With children…yes.  With family…all yes.  These things are not choices but often times burdens for us to live through.  But with a job?  Heck no.  Find a better one.  With where you are living?  There are millions of places to live.  If you have not made a commitment of marriage to a boyfriend or girlfriend and they are clearly not bringing goodness into your life?  Now is the time to leave because the right person may be the next one.

So, my hope for us all, is that we recognize when we need to do something and when we need to be patient and wait.  It’s not always easy to know the difference.

For me, if I don’t feel settled, or if I feel confused…I usually choose to wait until I feel like I know the clear direction I should take.  If I feel conflict in my heart, I usually know that I should go in a different direction.

Marrying my Harry was brave.  He and I came from very different worlds.  His life is still chaotic as he toils to get his company off and running.  On paper, he looks like a risky bet.  But in my heart, I’ve never felt more at peace.  The risk associated with Harry is almost soothing to me instead of a negative.  Because at our age, it seems that if we are still willing to take risks with each other, if the laundry list of hopes and dreams for security and safety aren’t quite there…then we know we are choosing each other for the right reasons.  Like two kids who have nothing yet.  The girl doesn’t choose the boy because he has a good pension plan, great job, and owns a home.  NO.  She chooses him because of his spirit, his heart, and his soul.  That is why I chose Harry.  Not for what he could give me in life, but for who he is with everything else stripped away.

Does that mean I’ve over-extended myself in faith like I’ve accused others of doing?  I don’t think so.  I think this is the kind of faith God requires from us.  Take the raw materials, take what you know, put them all together, and ask yourself if the risk is worth it.  Can you handle the worse-case-scenario.  If Harry’s company fails, what then?  We will move into a smaller place, he’ll get a job as a CFO and we’ll live a smaller life. But we will survive and it will be no less rich.  Because the kind of rich I want, can’t be bought with money anyway.  But if that happened.  I know us.  We’d land on our feet.  I know we would move every rock to survive and thrive before we took a dime from anyone else.

I hope for more though.  I’m human.  I still hope we’ll get that place on the beach.  But if we don’t.  I hope for a will that will seek after something else that is better and a heart that can embrace whatever we do get.

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