I’m going to tell you a little story. It’s one of provision.
And while I hate to dilute the word “miraculous” by applying it where it isn’t fitting simply for the sake of enhancing a story, that won’t be the case here.
Because miraculous, by its first definition, means ‘occurring through divine or supernatural intervention’ but it also means ‘highly improbable and extraordinary and bringing very welcome consequences.’
Both are perfectly accurate in this situation.
When we set out on this journey 11 months ago, the prospect of it becoming a reality looked bleak. We were bogged down in medical debt, we had (and still have) a son in college, a car payment, and a mortgage.
For a family of 10 living on a limited income, eliminating that debt as well as funding the needs of an overseas move was an impossibility.
An impossibly impossible impossibility.
But God delights in proving His promise that“With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26
We worked hard and put every penny we could toward those medical bills. The impact was multiplied and the balances rapidly decreased.
Money, entirely unsolicited, came from family and friends. Practicing increasingly careful stewardship, we tithed it all and gave offerings, and then watched as that pile of debt was eliminated completely.
Our vehicle, which still had us bound by over $7000, was suddenly deemed “totaled” by the insurance company when we took it in to have a little superficial body work done. They paid it off entirely and then proceeded to give us an un-salvage title.
Provision. Miraculous provision.
Our house went under contract the first time and we weren’t ready. We had no money to get passports or visas or plane tickets. We were excited but in a mad scramble.
The timing wasn’t God’s and the contract fell through. Discouragement set in. Not only had we discovered how unprepared we were, but we suddenly felt uncertain that our house would ever sell.
Grace. Undeserved grace.
Because that disappointment, and the accompanying concern for the plan as a whole, served as a wake-up call. God was doing His part faithfully. We were doing ours faithLESSly.
We wanted to see to believe.
And so we began to do what we should have been doing all along. We put our effort into taking our eyes off ourselves and fixing them on God. On His people. On His plan.
On His will that looked so unlike our own.
In September of 2018 we became convicted that we’d be in Thailand in September of 2019. And while we could prepare for it to be so, we came face-to-face with the realization that there was nothing we could do to actually make that a reality. We couldn’t make it happen.
Our house went on the market in March and our realtor warned us to be ready for it to move quickly. She expected an offer the first week.
We got one.
But after some negotiating, the buyers along with their realtor, fell off the radar. Not a word was heard from them.
It was too soon. The time wasn’t yet.
Almost every time a family looked at the house, they were interested and yet it didn’t sell. For 5 months this went on. The house had to remain show-ready and we had to remain surrendered to the “prepare to wait, but wait ready” instructions we were receiving from God.
And so, with no buyers in sight, we clung to the conviction that the door was going to open by September. We sold the vast majority of what we owned. We began finding homes for our pets.
We prepared for rain while standing under a cloudless sky because we knew it’s what was being asked.
And then an offer came.
It was low. Not what we had envisioned. Our takeaway would be much smaller than planned. But we accepted.
The weeks following have left us feeling like a rag being wrung too tight. The buyers seem like beautiful people but the demand of a VA loan has tested our endurance.
They want perfection when imperfection is our specialty.
Money and more money has been put into the house to meet those bank demands. Our bottom line has felt dangerously close to a TKO.
But every time we considered throwing in the towel and giving the contract up for buyers seeking a more accommodating loan, we’re pointed right back to the preponderance of evidence that God is in this.
And He’s providing not only for this kindhearted family of a military vet, but for us, too.
Because by the time we signed this contract, God had provided absolutely everything we needed in order to leave. Through friends and complete strangers, He had supplied us with unsolicited money for the passports, visas and plane tickets we didn’t have before.
The time is now. The door is open.
So wild-eyed and nauseous I stand, tingly with a mingling of nerves and excitement. Saying goodbye to home and all that word has meant.
And yet somehow it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.
Because 11 months ago God whispered September. And now we’re set to arrive with only one day between us and that month.
That’s not sacrifice. That’s the gift of promise and provision.
My only prayer is that we’d be found faithful.