I'm sitting outside, praising the Lord for this beautiful beautiful day, and taking a break from unpacking, cleaning, and organizing, to tell you a little about just how crazy this past month has been. If you would have asked me a month ago, how the next 4 weeks were going to pan out, there is no way I would have been even remotely close...
As I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I finally found the house that we had been searching for and the closing day was rapidly approaching. Everything was going SO smoothly. Financing fell right into place, packing went swimmingly (thanks to my fab mother and sister who pushed me), our sweet families signed up to be our moving crew, and we were successfully meeting my challenge to move forward in the process with no stress. That is, until the day before closing... During our final walk through in the house, we discovered a flea infestation. Let me tell you it was not the best experience. Finding these not-so-nice, jumpy little insects all over my ankles, our realtor called his pest buddy to find out that not only were our suspicions correct, but that fleas are actually relatively serious because they can be a real pain to get rid of. Our happy-go-lucky, move-in process suddenly took a violent left turn. Instead of being able to move right into our new spot, we were going to have to delay the move about a week, find somewhere to store our belongings, and move in with my lovely sister who so kindly offered us her spare bedroom for the time we needed to be out of the house.
One of the most difficult things for me wasn't just the icky and annoying bugs that we found in our house- but was more about the destroyed expectation. I was so hopeful and trying so hard to make everything joyful and smooth, and to no avail, just like life does- I was thrown a curveball. I realize this is very much a "first world problem," but it seriously took a jab at my joy. One night, when we were vacuuming the house (one of the 17,000 times we vacuumed in hopes of getting more fleas out), I lost it. It was one of those movie scene cries where as I'm cleaning the kitchen floor a tiny chunk breaks off the tile causing me to fall to my knees, throw out a few choice words, and proceed towards a full, wheezy breathing, cry session. In the moment it was both tragic and ridiculously humorous as I pictured what I just did. But overall, I felt like my joy about the house had been crushed. Parts of me wanted to say, forget it- I don't even want this house anymore, I'm too bummed and too discouraged!
Honestly, it was a really challenging time. Something that I wanted to be so monumental and so joyful had turned into what felt like a wreck. The night of the movie-scene cry, I returned back to my sister's house and continued to shed a few tears on her shoulder. She had been reading her Bible when I walked in, and during a cry break- she shared with me a Psalm that had been a great encouragement to her. The chapter is Psalm 91. It is a GREAT chunk of verses that talks about the Lord being our refuge and fortress and God in whom we can trust. But the verses that struck me were 9-12.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
As you can see, the words that specifically spoke to me were "NO DISASTER WILL COME NEAR YOUR TENT." This was the encouragement that I so badly needed. Reading these verses, I took them quite literally and was like YEAH, that's right! With the Lord as my refuge, no matter how many fleas, or how long it takes to get them out, or how many toilets break or how many other homeowner-type troubles plague our new place... through Him, none of these will break or destroy us.
I am so thankful that my sister turned me towards this scripture because it was exactly what I needed to begin to change my attitude, trust that it will all work out, and FIND the joy, even in the "disaster."
3 weeks have come and gone since that fateful day of the fleas. We are now living in the house (not the basement yet- since that was the fleas territory I'm avoiding it until Orkin comes again and gives the all clear) and our joy and excitement continues to grow stronger each and every day. God totally, totally provided for us in this challenging time. Not only did he provide us with a place to stay and the encouragement just when we needed, but He also revealed this icky problem to us before we bought the house. This was a huge blessing, as it enabled us to have the seller pay for the treatments and give us a bit of cash back for the inconvenience. He is most definitely our refuge and fortress.
Looking forward, I can't wait for the day when we can look back and tell the funny story of the fleas with laughter and joy in our hearts. I'm still clinging to those words in Psalm 91, and feel like they're written on my heart as I will most definitely continue to proclaim them as we continue on this new journey as homeowners.
Praying that you might be encouraged as you deal with whatever disaster may be in front of you. Know that He is faithful and will protect and provide for you.