Our marriage so far has been truly showing us that the Lord's plans are ALWAYS better than our own. A few months into marriage, we were still trying to wrap our minds around the fact that we'd be having a little one much sooner than we would have planned, and were trying to figure out whether we should stay in Massachusetts (far from family, higher cost of living, unsure about how we would provide for our little family) or move closer to family (without having jobs lined up, but lower cost of living, and me being able to stay home with baby full-time).
During college, a mentor/great friend of mine lent me a book called 'Ruthless Trust' by Brennan Manning. It made a huge impact on me at the time, as one of my greatest struggles is remembering to place my trust in God (rather than myself, those around me, securities of this world, my desire to have control, etc.). When my husband and I were really struggling with our decision about whether to stay or move, and what would be best for our child, we pulled out 'Ruthless Trust' again and started reading it together. We were both particularly impacted by a passage in one of the first chapters:
When the brilliant ethicist John Kavanaugh went to work for 3 months at
“the house of the dying” in Calcutta, he was seeking a clear answer as
to how best to spend the rest of his life. On the first morning there
he met Mother Teresa. She asked, “And what can I do for you?” Kavanaugh
asked her to pray for him. "What do you want me to pray for?” she asked. He voiced the
request that he had borne thousands of miles from the United States.
“Pray that I have clarity.” She said firmly, “No, I will not do that.” When he asked her why,
she said, “Clarity is the last thing you are clinging to and must let go
of." When Kavanaugh commented that she always seemed to have the
clarity he longed for, she laughed and said, “I have never had clarity;
what I have always had is trust. So I will pray that you will trust
God.”“We ourselves have known and put our trust in God’s love toward
ourselves.” (1 John 4:16). Craving clarity, we attempt to eliminate the
risk of trusting God. Fear of the unknown path stretching ahead of us
destroys childlike trust in the Father’s active goodness and
The week that we realized we were clinging to clarity and not trusting
enough, we got on our knees and gave up our control to God. As soon as we were able to give up our desire for God to shout the answers from the mountaintops or give us a huge 'sign' we wouldn't be able to miss, we started getting answers right away. We found out that my husband's sister and brother-in-law would be moving to Texas in early May, leaving the basement apartment open. My midwife asked me if there was any possible way I could leave my job sooner than July, as the stress levels I was experiencing were starting to become unhealthy for myself and the baby. My husband had been applying for full-time jobs in both Boston and Virginia, with little to no success, but for the first time, we sat down to look at our finances and the level of income my husband would need to be making in Boston vs. Virginia in order to meet all of our bills and monthly expenses (in order for me to be able to leave my job and stay home with the baby). The difference was astounding. We started to realize very quickly where the Lord was leading us... and started sharing the news with family and friends that we would need to move to Virginia in the next few months.
It has been scary to step out in faith and trust that the Lord would provide for us, especially in lining up all of the details about healthcare, finding a new doctor 8 weeks before our son is due, the hubby finding a job, and leaving our friends and church community that we'd established over the past few years. But so far, the Lord has been proving His faithfulness and has gone above and beyond in providing for our needs every step of the way.
Which leads me to the exciting news that after MONTHS of applying for jobs and not getting so much as a first interview while we prepared for our move, my husband had two interviews last week, and was offered a job yesterday-- within ONE week of being here. The Lord is so good. It's a full-time barista job at Starbucks, which will be a great transition job as we get settled and need some income to help provide for bills/baby's basic needs, and will enable him to keep looking for more permanent options in the meantime. We are so blessed to get such a quick answer to prayer!
This morning I am reflecting on the passage in Proverbs that reminds us:
To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue... In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps. (Proverbs 16: 1,9 NIV)