We have been married for 44 years come this December, and we met in ministry…
We all have plans we believe are brilliant. If we are honest, we think the wisdom of our plans ought to impress God to work them out just as we envision. We believed this with the sale of our house. We were convinced God had led us to move closer to my (Bill’s) parents, so we concluded the sale would happen quickly. We prepped the home, put it on the market and thought, “Of course,” when the first offer arrived the very week it was listed. That offer fell apart, however, and ushered in an intense year of growth for us. We know that our personal progress is one of the vital skills that make relationships work but we weren’t quite prepared to spend a year in limbo.
One of the most intense lessons of life is learning to trust the sovereignty of God. He is in charge, which means He makes the decisions in life, He sets the agenda and He determines the timetables. From our perspective, we were selling a home. From His perspective, He was guiding the lives of numerous people in a network of experiences that included us. Some of the key activities in our year of waiting included:
- 22 years earlier, God led a couple to move to San Diego as part of early retirement to move onto a boat.
- One of that couple’s sons followed the call to become a church planter. In 2016, he and his family (Eric and Staci Beeman with their four sons) took the lead to plant a church in La Mesa, CA (convergencesd.com) – the 4th church plant they have been involved with.
- Eric and Staci decided they needed to move out of her parents’ home somewhere close to the church they were leading. Staci’s mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and needed a quiet environment to heal.
- Pam’s friend Linda joined the community of people who were praying diligently for us and the sale of our home. Pam’s friend Catherine brought Pam a vial of oil from Jerusalem with a note that she too was praying for us. We used that oil to “anoint” each space of our home to seek God’s favor on this new venture.
- Pam spoke at a MOPS meeting in Murrieta, CA where she met a young mom named Bria and quickly became Facebook friends. It turns out Bria and Staci are friends. Bria asked Staci if she knew anyone who wanted to buy a house and introduced her to our home. Eric and Staci had no plans at that time to buy so she didn’t think it applied to them.
- When Staci’s mom faced breast cancer, Staci called Bria to inquire about the home.
- Pam rediscovered a series of postcards she acquired from a Christian Nunnery in Germany which the nuns had rebuilt after World War 2 to establish a place where love could be proclaimed. These postcards were instrumental in refocusing us.
One of the most important lessons we learned was that events in life often happen quickly even when they don’t happen fast. We waited most of a year for our home to go into escrow when suddenly it happened, and it was time to go. As we look back, we can see God used events that span two decades to accomplish His will in the present.
Psalm 71 :5 says, “For you have been my hope Oh Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth.” Honestly, we didn’t enjoy the year it took to sell our home. We experienced disappointment and some pretty high stress. It was a huge challenge juggling our travel schedule, the need to have the house “sale-ready” at all times, responding to the needs of my (Bill’s) parents and keeping our office running. We value the experience, however, because it made us stronger and revealed a new level of diligence in both of us. It forced us to decide if we were in this pursuit together or would we settle for blaming each other for a tough year.
We know that growing people have better relationships, so we are glad for the process. We are even more glad we are now on our boat.