Sunday, September 4, 2016

Here I raise my Ebenezer

It occurred to me recently that I should record how I have seen the active hand of God in our lives this year.  After years of waiting and wondering what the Lord was doing, I have been so glad to see Him answer and give clear direction and abundant blessings in ways we couldn't have imagined.

At the end of the book of Job, Job says, "I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
    but now my eye sees you;" and that is how I've been feeling lately.  After a long season of waiting on the Lord and trusting He was there somewhere, now He has answered so specifically that there is no question He was there all along.

For the last 3 years every few weeks I would bring up the same conversation with Pete.  (He loved it.)  "What are we doing???" I would begin by whining, "What are we supposed to do next??  Aren't we going to adopt?  Do we have room?? Shouldn't we move first?  Or should we just start the adoption process?  Which country should we adopt from?  Where should we move to?"  Oh the repetition!  Over and over I asked those same things.... and since Pete didn't seem to have all the answers, I also whined them to anyone else around me who would listen -- including God.

But, no answers came.  I even put a deadline on it after a couple years of the moaning.  2015 would be the Year of Action for the Frank Family.... we would have moved and/or adopted by then.  But, 2015 came and almost went with no real answers... except for the first glimmer right at the very end of the year.

We had wrestled with all the various options, made spreadsheets and pros/cons lists, talked it all to death.  Both questions swirled around geography.... which country to adopt from, and which town to move to.  But we could not rationalize our way to any clear decisions.  Finally we asked for very clear spotlights and signs from God.  

In the adoption decision, we finally just decided to pick a country and move forward, and we did.  Then, a year later, God finally gave us the spotlight we needed, and we found a "waiting child" from a different country on a random list. Here was our answer!    I never would have expected Him to be so clear as to use the name Rayna, or to confirm it in the creative ways He did over the next few weeks, but it sure was clear!  This was the answer we got right at the end of 2015... but it was obvious that our Year of Action would really be 2016.

Now that we know our family would be expanding soon, we felt a greater desire to move... but still couldn't figure out which direction, literally, to go.  Again we asked for a clear sign from Him to just show us, because this logistical problem was harder than our little brains could figure.

The sign came, at first as a little niggle, but then it became more and more obvious.  A house that had many of the (rather specific) features we were looking for was on the market, and unlike the other ones we kept finding, it was not immediately snatched up by someone else before we even had a chance to look at it.  Was God "saving" this one for us?  We finally went to go look at it, and even though it was a very weird house in terms of decor, it looked like it could work for us.  

BUT, the price was still too high.  The sellers had already lowered the price a few times, but we wondered if we could get them to lower it a lot more.  In the current market, that sounded ridiculous -- many houses were in the midst of bidding wars!  But I felt like the Lord gave me a number to suggest as an offer, and then Pete came up with the same number, so we used it.  We officially offered a buying price that was $20,000 below their current asking price.  And the next day, they countered with a price $15K below --- which was still less than the price we were actually willing to pay!  We agreed.  Over the next few weeks the sellers agreed to pay for even more things, which really surprised us.  The Lord was confirming that this was the right house for us!

Then when it came to selling our old house, it was the same kind of situation.  He flew open the doors and found us a buyer within 4 hours -- on Memorial Day.  We kept waiting for something to fall through... but it never did.  He really just made it that easy for us.  After all those years of thinking and wanting and waiting and pushing.....  it finally all came together so smoothly and perfectly.

I also realize that if we had moved when I wanted to -- at least a year earlier -- our financial picture would have been very different.  In those last 12 months, the value of our home went up about $30,000, and Pete received a promotion and a raise, which gave us a better monthly budget for a mortgage.  So when God made me wait, He was also preparing something much better than we would have had otherwise.

Over the last month God has continued to show us blessing after blessing, both with our new daughter and our new home.  As we all know, I tend to be rather pessimistic and angst-ridden, but this season even I have been hard-pressed to find anything negative to fret about! I know it's just a season and new struggles and joys wait around the next bend, but while I am here, I want to record all of the specific ways He's helped us.

This was the second time in my adult/married life I have gone through a long season of waiting and wanting... and for the second time He has given me more than I would have ever conceived.  So I write this now for the next time I am in such a waiting season... to know and remember that I have seen His goodness and His active hand in my life.

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