Last week, on Thursday, September 15th and Friday, September 16th, 2016, our household raised an Ebenezer to our great, wise and merciful God! A perfect ending to a 17 year journey of testing and trial for myself and my family.
The past 17 years have been filled with many trials, much testing, grief, sadness, and sacrifice concerning my side of the family. In short, my mom was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in the year 1999. My dad passed away suddenly in April of 2003. (And, I gave birth to my two children during this time.) We assisted Mom in moving from Virginia to California where we lived together for almost two years. It was two years full of constant drama—anger, resentment, manipulation, lies, hallucinations—and filled with much prayer and many tears.
Mom decided to move to Arizona with her boyfriend, who was really using her for financial gain, in 2005. Mom passed away in July of 2007 leaving me with a mess of financial red tape and a house in Arizona that I couldn’t sell. We subsequently decided to rent the house so we became long distance landlords. Many a headache and heartache occurred during the nine year ordeal of renting including significant property damage and a suicide on the property.
And yet, God has led us on an amazing journey the past 17 years. One of faith building, character building, hope and blessing. He has taught us more about true sacrifice, about the depth of unconditional love, about forgiveness and pure grace. He demonstrated His grace, His might, His sovereignty and His love every step of the way. He has continued to demonstrate His goodness, His sovereignty and His love. And, He has shown us how important it is to reach out to others who are broken and lost.
Here are just a few of the amazing ways He remained faithful in our plight:
- When moving in with my mom, we had to sell our condo—but sold it quickly and at a good profit.
- I was due to give birth to second child while my husband was away on business and my over medicated mom and I were alone in the house. (home birth) The Lord stayed my daughter's birth for two weeks; she arrived less than twenty four hours after my husband came home; she came quickly and he had the blessing of delivering her.
- When we came home one day to a 'For Sale' sign in the front yard and had to quickly relocate and find a home of our own again, He led us to the perfect place just a mile from my mother and worked out every detail from the financing to the paint on the walls in every room and the park at the end of the block.
- When the trials became draining in health or expense, He provided for our physical and financial needs every step of the way through church, friends, new clients and a way of escape. It was during this time that He prompted me to attend my first Community Bible Study class! It was a lifesaver to me in so many ways.
- During the difficulties that arose after her death, the Lord imparted godly wisdom and discern in every transaction and the right words in every confrontation so that it would bring Him glory.
- He used the trials to draw my husband and I closer in relationship to Him and each other showing us what ‘true love’ really is—sacrifice.
but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;
but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
1 Cor 10:13
These were difficult years. He has given us victory through it all. God has developed patience in us and perseverance, trust and faith. He has strengthened our walk with Him as a family. It has been a wonderful witness to His providence and provision for my children. So many lessons learned. So much blessing even in the hard things. We desired that this weight be lifted but, more importantly, that His perfect will be done.
Would we want to go through it again? Probably not. But I would never again want to go through times such as these without Him right by my side.
With the suicide at the Arizona home, we decided it was time to put it on the market again. We prayed that in would be inline with God's perfect timing. In one week and one open house, we received two offers. One dropped, the other buyer proceeded. The paperwork was processed in a month, the loan was approved and funded in three days. We closed on September 15th, my daughter's birthday, and received disbursement of funds on September 16th, our 27th wedding anniversary.
Coincidence?! I think not….! Here I raise my Ebenezer.....