Sunday, August 23, 2009

our time vs. His time

Do you ever struggle with patience or with trusting that God is working in a certain situation? God is ever faithful to do with and for us what He wills - WHEN He wills it. This summer has been one of me, yet again, forgetting that and, yet again, learning to embrace it.
"Even if the message is not fulfilled right away, wait patiently; for it will certainly come to pass - it will not arrive late." Habakkuk 2:3b (NET)
I've fought the battle of my timing in respect to God's timing nearly my whole adult life. Most frequently, it has reared its ugly head in relation to being single. For as long as I can remember, my biggest dream as a little girl was to be a good wife and mother - and yet as an adult, with few exceptions, I have watched all my friends get married and have children. Nearly all of them have two children by now, and several have more. While it has brought such joy to my heart to watch their marriages and families flourish, I'd be dishonest if I denied that there has been a bittersweet edge at certain moments that my own life hasn't yet followed that path.

Still, I know God has a wonderful and perfect plan for my life. As he says in Ecclesiastes 8:6 (NIV) "There is a proper time and procedure for everything." I have faith that He will bring marriage and family to my life when it is right. I've played the game of trying to finagle my way around His timing and instead force my time upon Him. While I have some wonderful memories of that time, I also know that I was not in God's will and as a result, encountered a lot of unnecessary pain and hurt (not to mention, years of time that I can never regain). So most of the time, my patience in His timing where this is concerned remains steadfast and my heart is trusting in Him.

But this summer brought a whole new test to my struggle to live within God's timing. Those of you who know me will realize that I am a little ... hmmm ... shall we just say organized? I like to have a plan. I like to know what to expect. I do not like surprises, unless I know they're coming (kind of defeats the purpose, huh?). I like knowing the processes, the reasons, the method to things - and when I don't, I feel somewhat bewildered and a tad stressed.

Thus began my summer. After several months mulling over and mentally planning my move to a new RENTAL home of some sort, I walked into the first weekend of summer with plans to attack the search on that Monday morning. That gave me most of June and a part of July to find a place to rent, all that time and the rest of July to pack, and if I paid double-rent so I could move in on August 1, I could be moved and settled in with plenty of time before returning to work on August 14th. All planned out and perfect - just like I like it.

Ahem. Of course you see it coming, right? God had other plans. His timing was NOT my own. Even more, His PLAN was not even my own. And He had no intention of allowing me to even put a single foot down on the path of MY plan before completely changing my course. On Monday morning, a few mere hours after discussing my plan of action with some friends at a picnic (while steadfastly defending my plan to rent and not buy, mind you), God orchestrated circumstances so that I was suddenly taking my first steps down the path of a first time home-buyer. By noon that day, I was preapproved for a loan and had an appointment to go look at houses with a realtor that afternoon. (Remember how I said that I don't like surprises - and I like to know what to expect? How I must amuse God sometimes!) Needless to say, I was probably more shocked than anyone at the sudden change in direction.

In my first few days, I was reassured by my realtor and my mortgage guy that if I found a house for sale under normal circumstances by the end of June and had an accepted offer, I could still be moving in August 1st and settled by the time school started. My realtor cautioned me against considering some houses on the list of sales within my price range because they were short sales, whose names are deceptive as they're anything BUT short. Ahem. Yep, you've got it. Despite my adament refusal to consider a short sale because it did not match MY timing, which house did I ultimately grow to love and put an offer in on ? Of course! A short sale.

With an accepted offer from the seller on June 17th, I settled in for a wait that is still not over - you see, the long part of the process is waiting for her bank, investor, etc. to get things all in order regarding any funds she may have available, the comparable prices of homes in the area, and so many other things - and only THEN does her bank decide to accept or reject my offer. 67 days later, and I still sit waiting. Now I know my offer is a strong one and chances are good that this house will be mine - but I do not know that DEFINITIVELY.

The time between about June 17 - July 25th was the hardest span, because in this span I heard almost NOTHING. I wish I could tell you that I spent this time praying and trusting in God's timing. I didn't. Don't get me wrong - I prayed fervently, but I failed to trust. It was so frustrating to sit and know nothing - all the while knowing that my apartment lease ended August 31. On July 1st, I had to give my 60 days notice to vacate without knowing what I would do come Sept. 1 if I was not in a house.

Not having a plan was a challenge ... by July 31st, I knew that I would not be able to move directly into my house from my apartment and had to come up with a Plan B. Something about finally "knowing" that much at least brought some measure of comfort.

But the time since has been the most rewarding to me, because I finally realized that my time is imperfect, but God's timing is absolutely perfect. At the APPOINTED time, each facet of my life will be revealed - and God alone knows when that will be. God will never, ever be late in anything. But sometimes I think we forget that this also means that He will not be early, either. When this phase in my journey to home ownership is complete, God will wrap His loving arms around me and walk with me into the next phase - but He will do it in His perfect time. And for one of the first times in my life, I am truly, deeply okay with that. I'm still the same plan-loving, non-risk-taking, surprise-fearing gal that I always was - yet the last three weeks has brought a peace of mind and a calm that I've rarely experienced. What a lightening of the load it is to know that God Himself holds every single detail of my life in His loving, perfect hands.
But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, "You are my God." My times are in Your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Psalm 31:14-15 (NIV)
God, Thank you so much for being a God of details. I am so glad to know that You care about every tidbit in my life, and that You understand my sometimes untrusting, impatient heart. I am sorry for sometimes trying to force my time onto life's path - please remain with me, helping me to trust in YOUR time - your perfect and loving time. Help us all to do more of that and less of running our own paths, wasting precious moments, fretting over details that You've already worked out.

1 comment:

  1. You're probably not going to be thrilled to hear this, but once you get married, you (I)still struggle with this. My husband and I are trying to conceive, and I struggle everyday with my will v God's will on a daily basis right now.