Do your planning and prepare your fields before building your house. Proverbs 24:27
Disclaimer: This post is not me trying to compare my life to anyone else. This post is not me saying you need to live your life like this. This post is not me at all. This post is all thanks to God. This post is a testimony to God’s faithfulness, provision, and blessing.
I remember laying on my bed reading Proverbs in my tiny 1 bedroom apartment shortly after marrying my husband almost 5 years ago. We were fresh out of college with enormous student loan debt and officially on our own in this journey called life. This Proverb jumped out at me that day and struck a chord. At the time I was feeling impatient with things. I wanted a house and all the stuff that goes in the house. I felt I deserved it after the 6 years I went through in pharmacy school. You see we live in a society where everyone wants, wants, wants…and we all want it now! It doesn’t matter if we cannot afford it or will not be able to sustain it once we have it. We can put it on a card or depend on family or the government to bail us out. It is all too easy in our society to fall into this category of want and greed.
God gave us great guidance with this short and simple verse. I took it to heart that day and promised I would lay the groundwork for a strong foundation before jumping into building my house…both my physical house and the family that makes the house a home. As I meditated on this verse that day I envisioned the life God wants for each of us. He wants us to be blessed, worry free, happy, comfortable…the list goes on. So I decided to be content with what I have and trust in God to lead the way while trying not to worry or want for more. I am not going to say it was or is easy. I work on it each day. I repeat phrases like “Good things come to those who wait.” and “Patience is a virtue.” in my head. It is so tempting to worry and to want stuff. I worried all through my school years…which made me study….which made me get good grades. My worrying was reinforced by a positive end result, and I was used to it working for me. It is also easy to think stuff will bring us happiness and to calculate our self worth by what we have. Unfortunately, that is what our society as a whole does.
My husband and I lived in our tiny apartment for 2 years, and we were genuinely happy! The apartment was nothing to write home about, but I remember it fondly. We spent our newlywed years there, and it will always be special to me. About a year and a half after being married we decided to buy a house. We had already started preparing our fields when we put college before being together. We spent 2 years living 1000 miles apart and seeing each other about 6 times. We talked on the phone everyday though and got to know each other really well! We had faith in each other, and our love held us together. Thanks to that preparation, we both had good jobs. It was time to buy a money pit (that is what our accountant told us anyway). We went into serious saving mode for the down payment. Our apartment backed to a cluster of pine trees, and we often had visiting squirrels on our balcony. They liked to tease the dogs through the sliding door. I remember joking to John that we were like 2 squirrels saving up our acorns for the winter. That winter I did not shop for 5 months straight besides the bare essentials and groceries. That is harder than it sounds and was quite an accomplishment for me…I love to shop! John and I played World of Warcraft (I got up to level 55 on my blood elf demonology warlock…hey!…don’t judge…if I’m playing a fantasy game I’m going for the complete opposite of myself…and the demons were so cute and kept me company!). We also watched a lot of movies at home and caught up on some reading. It is amazing how much money you can accumulate in a short time by doing this. We also skipped our vacation that year. We were planning and preparing our fields. It was all worth it though and God rewarded us.
Homes where we lived at the time were much more expensive than where we grew up and where our family was. It made sense to move back home. We were nervous about the move home because John would lose his job. We prayed about it and felt led to make the jump though and trusted God would provide for us. I started planning for the move and studied/passed the pharmacy law exam to get my license to work. I found a better paying job with a solid company within a month of passing the test and had to move home a month before John to start my new job. Since then my previous employer went bankrupt, and the pharmacy I worked in closed…God provides!
Once I passed my test and we knew we were moving, we set up an appointment to go out and look at homes. We looked at 8-10 homes. The last home on the list was about $20K above our price limit. I almost skipped over it when browsing homes online but something (God) told me to put it on my list even though it was pricey. None of the homes that day seemed right. We were down to our last stop for the day. When we walked in the front door we just knew it was our house. It was a short sale home that had never been lived in. Some wealthy men had built it for fun when the market went sour. It had been on the market for 3 years…waiting for us it seems. The day before we went to see it the sellers lowered the price into our price range. The house was even in walking distance to a community dock where we could kayak. It was a blessing and was meant to be.
Once we moved, John’s employer said they could no longer use him. About 4 weeks later they contacted him and asked if he could work 10 hours a week from home. They couldn’t get by without him. He agreed. This turned into 24 hours a week over time. Eventually, his employer sold to a larger company, and they hired John full time with benefits to work from the comfort of our home. His benefits kicked in the same time we found out we were expecting our first child. Instead of having to pay 20% of the cost of labor and delivery with my benefits we found out his benefits would pay for the complete pregnancy, labor, and delivery! God provided.
Our biggest blessing came with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl, Clover Jane. We planned our pregnancy which my doctor said is rare these days. Her exact words at our first appointment were “Oh, wow! A married couple who planned to have a baby…we don’t see that much these days.” I find this to be sad, but I digress. I planned for the pregnancy…started my prenatal vitamins and gave up caffeine. We got pregnant the first month of trying. We found out we were expecting on Christmas morning – best gift ever! I had a smooth and easy pregnancy. I thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience.
When Clover was born, she did not breathe for about 5 minutes. Talk about a test for my worrying problem! Whenever I watch a movie or reality show with births I hold my breath and freeze until I hear the baby cry. My baby did not cry. I was so tempted to lose myself with worry and become hysterical during those 5 minutes. Instead I prayed. I told God that I knew He would not let anything happen to my baby girl because He had never let me down. After being suctioned, beat up, pounded, and given a ventilation mask Clover cried. I had to ask if she was in fact a girl. The nurse had to look…she said she had been too worried about her other end. My Mom later heard the pediatric nurse and nurse practitioner talking about how they didn’t expect to have to do all that work. I am so grateful God was with my baby girl just as He has always been with me.
Five years later, I am so grateful I read that Proverb that day. I am so grateful God used it to guide me to where I am today. I wanted to put this all in writing to express my thanks to God for always being there for me and as a testimony to others. God will never let you down. Sure, life will throw us curve balls and there will be hard times. It is reassuring to know that even in the hard times God will be there to help us through it. It is never too late to accept Jesus in your life. Now that I am a mother it amazes me that God love me more than I love Clover. It doesn’t matter what Clover ever does or what silly mistakes she makes I will always be her number one fan. God will always be your number one fan. People say you have to give up too much stuff to be a Christian. I disagree. When God leads the way life is so easy and so sweet. I figure God is all knowing so He knows the best path for my life…I only get one life so I want to live the best one for me.