Where I'm At

After nearly five months of relentless searching, my husband and I finally found the apartment we knew was meant for us. We knew it the moment we opened the door. The process of obtaining a co-op in New York City is excruciating, and it took over a month for us to complete it. The 14 page application, 8 letters of reference, credit checks, tax returns, bank statements, a meeting before the board, and even an inspection of my husband's current residence. The stress of it all took a heavy toll, but we kept our faith throughout the process: this place is ours, and we have God's favor.

The moving company was scheduled to come in 8 days. Then we found out that our application was denied. No reason was given.

I think "stunned" is the word that best sums up our initial reaction. We knew, we just KNEW, in our heart of hearts that the apartment was ours. And then...it wasn't. What now?

I was waiting to post here on the devotionals site until after things were settled down. I wanted to share with you the amazing story of how God had shown us the perfect apartment in New York, and found us renters for the condo in Florida, and how I transitioned seamlessly to my new life. And yet, here it is nearly May (3 months after I quit my teaching job), and none of those things have quite come to pass.

Apparently, that's not the story I'm meant to tell. We don't have the 'happily ever after' yet. But here's what I do have...and I suspect this is what I should have been sharing with you all along:

The satisfaction of doing the work God has called me to do. I've posted more information about my educational consulting jobs here on my other blog, but the most important detail is that I love my work and I know I'm making a difference. It's satisfying and challenging and fulfilling and I can't believe this is really what I do for a living now. Though it requires flying back and forth to New York, quite honestly, I've been doing that for years in order to see my husband, and I'm thankful that I no longer have a full-time job in Florida that's continually pulling me away from him. We are together most of the time, and when we're not, I get to be with my best friends and family in Florida. It's the best of both worlds in a way, and it's clearly what God wants me to be doing for now, so I'm content.

A new appreciation of both my husband and the spiritual growth I've made through our relationship. Curtis is the person you want in your corner during tough times, the one who sees the big picture and is unwavering in his belief in God's faithfulness and provision. That side of him has been profoundly evident over the last few months...and it was even more amazing to see how he's helped me become that person, too. After the apartment debacle, I was not the blubbering mess I once would have been, requiring his encouragement while I played the self-pitying "Why, God, why?" card. This was our first major blow as a married couple, and it truly made our bond stronger. We came together on the same level spiritually to support one another, and that was POWERFUL.

A deeper understanding of the character of God and faith in His ways. We've spent hours talking about who God is and what He's done for us, reflecting on how He has always provided, and sharing the lessons He's taught us in the meanwhile. The catalyst for those conversations was something the enemy meant for our harm, but the resulting spiritual growth is irreplaceable. There is nothing, NOTHING, no material possession in the world that could replace the fullness of knowing God...not for a moment would I trade that apartment for the deeper relationship I have with Jesus. I truly count it all as loss compared to knowing Him.

A feeling of peace that I can only describe as supernatural. I know that I'm following God's plan for my life. I'm committed to serving Him, and I trust Him completely. My soul is at rest.

Sometimes it's more encouraging to hear from other Christians who are IN the fire and storm, rather than just those who have come out on the other side. So if any of you are waiting to see what God has in store--trusting Him to give you a spouse, or a child, or a home, or a job--please know you are in good company. The tough times are always the opportunity for the most growth spiritually, and if you can connect with the Lord in the middle of it all, the rewards are beyond description. I'm not sure that I can yet count it ALL joy like Paul did, but I'm closer to that understanding than I've ever been.

Thank you all for your unwavering prayers. I'm going to continue posting teacher devotionals, now that I've broken my little streak of writer's block. And in God's perfect timing, I'll post back with fantastic news on the housing/moving front. The awesome thing about serving our God is that He can change any situation around on a dime, clear out of the blue. There WILL be an upcoming post that includes the phrase "But suddenly, God...". You can count on it. :-)


Amy said...

I'm so happy you posted today. It is reassuring to hear others are "in the middle of it" and yet are still at peace...thank you for writing today.

Stepping in Faith said...

I must just say...Amen. This is on time and an encouragement to me. My favorite part about your entire thought was
"Apparently, that's not the story I'm meant to tell. We don't have the 'happily ever after' yet. But here's what I do have...and I suspect this is what I should have been sharing with you all along: The satisfaction of doing the work God has called me to do."
I pray God gives me the faith as I finish my last year teaching and go where I feel God is leading.

Sassyme said...

I pray that God continues to keep and bless you. It takes much faith the quit a sure thing and move so far away. I will be quitting my job as a teaching assistant to do my student teaching after the 2010-11 school year. I have two teen boys I am raising by myself. I have no idea where my money will come from during my leave of absence. I do know that God has my back. I pray that the peace that you have will be with me when I leave my job.

This is my first time commenting, but I have been a fan for a couple of years. I found the Ms. Powell site through an assignment for a class. It has been a great source of help. I have BOTH sites bookmarked.

Thank you so much for your devotions. With all of the layoffs in my district, these are much needed.

Angela Watson said...

@Amy: Thank you for taking the time to comment. I often wonder if what I"m writing is really speaking to someone. I'm glad God used it for your benefit. Whatever you are going through, know that it's in His control. :-)

@Stepping in Faith: That was my favorite part, too! I think I get caught up in the story *I* want to tell instead of just letting God write it. I'm working on that. Congratulations on finishing your last year of teaching and stepping out into something new. I'm excited for you, and will keep you in prayer!

Sassyme: Thank you for that encouragement! I appreciate your taking the time to comment. Student teaching will be a big leap of faith for you, and I know God will provide both the peace and finances that you need. Please check back in and let me know how you're doing. :-)

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Anonymous said...

Hey, Love your show! (website)So right on the "God is in control" than, girl! Anyway,I can relate. I suddenly got the news of changing grades after years of being in the same one. Of course, at first I was footfire mad. I think then I went into denial. I have come to the realization that it's not all about me. Or maybe it is. When you acknowledge to God that it's all about Him and His plan, then He is gonna make it what's best for you. With that attitude and understanding, life's seemingly "horrible" changes turn out to be just what we needed. As a matter fact, this website was just another little gift from God. Something I needed at the right time. Keep doing what you are doing 'cause it's great! Can't wait to read more of your stuff!
Praying for you,

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. I am not a teacher, but a credentialed school nurse. ( BSN plus master's degree to obtain my credential). I just wanted to share how important teachers are & how you may impact a child's life. In first grade my son had an assignment to interview "an older family member" & ask a series of questions. My great aunt at the time had just turned 100! We interviewed her. When asked who her favorite teacher was and why? She responded that it was her first grade teacher, Miss (I don't remember her name, but my aunt did), because she had a terrific sense of humor, made learning fun & inspired her whole class to want to learn. Aunt Harriet went on to become a teacher herself. So... never forget that 94 years from now, some student may remember your name and what you did for them!