Have you ever been asked the question, "Where do you see yourself in five years?" You probably have. More than once, and especially more as you get older. But eventually, the older you get, the less appealing that question is. You realize that all of the plans you had for your life aren't turning out quite the way you imagined.
Me? My plan was simple. I wanted a family, a permanent home. A place where my babies could grow up, living in the same room their whole lives, never having to know what it's like to move from one house to the next. Sounds boring, right? It sounded like bliss to me, back when I was 15 and in the midst of yet another move. I thought stability meant being in one place all your life.
Now, here we are, completely floundering in a world where floundering is not a respectable thing to do. Some say "Good things come to those who wait." Others say "Good things come to those who work for them." I've found that neither are true. Good things come, and sometimes they don't. I'm convinced that what we do doesn't bear much weight in the grand scheme of it all. That's not to say that we don't have any control over our lives- what I'm saying is that the control we think we have isn't always true.
I'll tell you our story.
It all began in January, when we decided it was time to buy our very own house. We figured out our finances and found that we could afford one, after all. Todd's job was promising, the housing market was only going to go up, and we wanted another baby. There was no better time.
Fast forward a few weeks, and we've already hit a road block. Credit score problems caused by idiotic credit card companies and their mistakes, but we weren't going to let it slow us down, no way. We were willing to work hard for what we wanted, and we wanted a house! After phone calls and hours spent over the phone, Todd finally figured everything out, and we began the search again. We had very specific requirements for this house of ours. "Needs" that would eventually get thrown to the wayside. When it came down to it, we were willing to live in a shack of a house if it meant having our very own place.
The longer our search continued, the more discouraged we became. We began to question if we wanted to stay in West Palm at all. Bad schools, high crime rates, expensive. But we persevered, putting offers on several houses only to lose out to cash or a higher offer.
In the midst of all of this, we were trying to get pregnant. Month after month, negative after negative, and I began to wonder. "Are we meant to only have two?" Just as I start to think that maybe it's for the best, there's two little pink lines, disbelief and indescribable joy. In my mind, everything was falling into place. It was only a matter of time before we found the perfect house, the one that God would provide because he gives us the desires of our hearts, right? If only we have the faith to ask for them. If only we believe that he will provide.
Sometimes it still hurts to think that we almost had what I thought was "it all." Looking back now, I can see that it wasn't meant to be. That our path ended in such a drastically different destination.
We lost our baby and a prospective house in the same week. I was angry. I wondered what we did wrong. I blamed myself for losing the baby, I blamed God for taking the baby. I blamed the investors of the house for doing a crappy job, I blamed our realtor for trying to deceive us. It never even crossed my mind that maybe it just wasn't meant to be.
Eventually, the search for a house ended. I like to call the next few weeks that followed the healing weeks. My body returned to normal, the physical and emotional pain lessening every day. The intense desire for a house faded, and when the storm calmed, Todd and I looked at each other and wondered, "Now what?"
We made a list of the things we truly wanted. We set goals. We reevaluated. We came to conclusions. We felt peace.
I set out to find a part time job with the idea that a second income, albeit small, would help with rent. I say rent because we'd decided that we didn't want to stay in Florida- that Todd would finish school and we would go somewhere, anywhere. It was that thought path that brought us to our final decision- the final choice that would bring everything else around us clicking into place like a coded lock that was waiting for just one more right move.
This is where we are now:
I found a part time job working two days a week. A job that provides an apartment, that I can bring the kids to, that allows me to be a full time mom and wife while also helping financially. Todd is continuing his education at FAU in the Geomatics Engineering department in order to join the Civil Engineering Collegiate Program with the Navy come January.
Not more than a few days after all of these decisions were finalized and we were taking the appropriate steps to make it happen, Todd is informed that his current position at work will no longer be available.
God has a funny way of working things out. If it were up to us, we would have a brand new (to us) house and a baby on the way, and Todd would have no job. Can you imagine?
Now, we will have a place to live without the fear of not being able to make rent. It's small, but just big enough for the four of us. We have savings to last us through the year until Todd can (hopefully) join the Navy program, which we wouldn't have had if we weren't trying to buy a house. And eventually, we will be able to move out of Florida and begin a brand new journey, just like we always wanted.
God works in mysterious ways. Thank you everyone who has prayed for us, thought of us, sent sweet words of affirmation and love. We've never felt so wrapped in comfort and reassurance as we do now, despite the fact that we've given up all "control."
Your continued prayers are coveted. We don't know where this journey will take us. All we know is that it isn't about waiting or not waiting. Wanting or not wanting. It's about giving up, hands in surrender, and shouting "Your will be done."