Tuesday, 22 January 2013
Happy New Year!
I cannot believe how much I have slacked on this blog. If you have checked on here at all since MARCH - then I apologize! Our lives got crazy busy.. even more busy than we thought it could have! This post will be a recap on 2012 from where I left off!
At the end of April last year I (Liz) left my job of three years. It was time for a change. Since I'm young now (and want to eventually be a stay at home mom!) I figured it was time to move around and find something else. God put that restlessness in my heart and I needed to follow that! I went to another job for a few months and soon realized it was also not the right place for me. That turned into 5 months of unemployment. It was a very important season of my life. I had some health issues and needed to re-strengthen my relationship with the Lord.This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
In August we were preparing to drive down to Colorado for eMi New Staff and Intern Orientation. We were super excited to have some time together and make some new memories. We love going on road trips together. It would be a very long drive but we were looking forward to turning it into a vacation. A few days before we were supposed to leave, Calgary got a brutal hail storm. Since we were living in our condo, with no underground parking, I sat inside while I watched the golf ball sized hail pummel into our little car. It was a 2004 Mazda3 Hatchback that we had only had for exactly one year. I was praying that it wasn't actually doing any damage. As soon as it let up Braden and I walked into the parking lot. Immediately we knew it was bad. The entire parking lot was filled with other residents that all had a somber look on their faces. Our little car was absolutely covered in dents. There were dents in the dents! Every inch of the car! Roof, doors, side panels, hood - everything. And our windshield had several cracks. We could NOT believe it. We were supposed to be driving this car several thousand km in only a few days. The very next morning I called our insurance company at 630am and they arranged an appraisal of the damage - 2 days before we were supposed to leave. We pulled into the bay where the company was located and both of the men's jaws dropped. We knew it must be bad. The appraiser stopped adding up the damage when he got to $11,000 worth. He told us on the spot that our vehicle would be written off on insurance and that we would receive a lump sum of the value of the vehicle. We were devastated. It was an incredibly reliable vehicle. We told the man that we were taking the car on a road trip down to Colorado in 2 days. He told us to go ahead and take it anyways and that we would work everything out with insurance when we returned in 2 weeks. That was a huge answer to prayer for us.
We went ahead with our vacation/roadtrip/orientation and it was an incredible 2 weeks. We loved every moment of being with our eMi famliy. It was great to meet more of the staff. Everyone had heard about us and was excited to meet us. No one could believe how young we were. It was really exciting for us to tell our testimony about how we had gotten involved with eMi. It never ceases to amaze us how God calls so many of us so differently to the same ministry. We truly did feel that these people were our extended family. We still talk about our time with them and how much we miss everyone. We can't wait until our next get together. It was a huge affirmation of where God has called us.
We had lived in our condo for 2 years and had very quickly outgrown our tiny 500 sq ft condo. In the fall we spoke with our incredible Realtor and decided it was time to put our condo up for sale. Within ten days we had our first showing on the condo and got our very first offer on it. We were over the moon! The next day we were excited to start looking to put an offer on a home. That same day we found out that our pre-approval amount on a new place was significantly lower than what we were told. We were so confused and frustrated. There were already hardly any properties that fell into our budget. Now cutting that down we thought there was no way we would find a house in the part of Calgary where our jobs and church are.
There were tears. A lot of tears.. We were both so upset. How would we find a home? With our condo conditionally sold we were starting to panic! I stood up to take Mellie out and as I was walking down the hall to the stairs I very clearly heard God's voice. "Trust in me. I will provide. I will provide you the perfect house within your budget." Immediately my tears stopped and I could not stop praising God. I kept repeating "Thank you, Lord for your peace." I was immediately filled with joy! I wanted to dance! I ran out with Mellie and ran back inside to tell Braden the good news. He knows that I have the gift of discernment - but in such a difficult moment it wasn't easy for him to jump on the bandwagon. I texted our Realtor and told her that we were ready to keep looking.
The very next day, our Realtor called me. She told me that there was a brand new house in a brand new community (only 7 minutes from where we already were. It was important for us to stay close as our whole family is within 10 minutes). The list price of the home was over our budget. She called the list Realtor and explained our situation. She told her that she was not even willing to bring us to look at the house if they would not bring the price down for us. She hardly hesitated and told us they would take the lower offer. That evening we drove out to the house and fell in love. We made an offer. They accepted it. We were conditionally sold on the house!
Within that next week we were on an emotional roller coaster. We knew that the condo sale could potentially fall through - there is always that possibility. Sure enough, the sale did fall through. We were told that the house sale would now also fall through since we couldn't buy a house without selling the condo. In our hearts we knew that was our home. We should have let go right at that moment... but we really knew that was our house. We kept praying and asking God that if it was meant to be our home we would sell the condo and the house would still be available to us. A few days later we had another showing on the condo. We received another offer.. we accepted it! The house was still available and we made another offer. Many other things happened that were unbelievable. Every single time we started to doubt, God reminded us that he was in control and that we NEEDED to trust him. We would pray and regain our trust in him and he would take control again. It was the most incredible experience of our lives. Our emotions were SO up and down every single day. But God was there in every moment reminding us that HE is the Lord of all. We had stepped out of the boat with our eMi journey. Why shouldn't we have to step out of the boat with our home purchase? (And every other part of our life!)
I'll stand with arms high and heart abandoned. In awe of the one who gave it all. I'll stand, my soul Lord to you surrendered. All I am is yours!
On November 23 we moved into our beautiful new home. It is such a complete blessing from God.
During the process of selling our home we also found a replacement for our hail damaged car. That is also a blessing from God.
Our Realtor has been a huge influence in our lives in this season. We have known her family for many years as they used to attend our church. Her husband is a Pastor and she gave us some great insight on how God was molding us through our home buying journey. We loved every moment we spent with her. She and I spent some time together because her assistant told her that she was pregnant and would be leaving on maternity leave at the end of December. I was offered the position. It is ANOTHER answer to prayer! I am in love with my job, my hours, my boss, the location of my office. I've been working there since December 2012 and I am beyond happy!
Braden is still working at his same position doing new home survey work. We have had a lot of eMi fundraising meetings and are excited to share that we are around 45% fundraised. Over the last year there have been times when we have questioned God's timing. We know God has called us to eMi - but yet Braden is not actually IN his new position there. We were confused. We truly believe God has used all of the experiences in the last year to show us that he is in control. He has a plan and is working behind the scenes to sort out all the loose ends. As much as Braden would love to start working in the office at eMi tomorrow - we know that God's timing is the perfect timing. The last few months of fundraising have picked up. We would love to 'forecast' when Braden will be in his new position. But again, God has reminded us that there is no point in that. When it is time, it will all work out. So we are trusting Him and doing all we can to get Braden fully fundraised.
I know that this has been an incredibly long post. If you have made it to the end - congratulations! We will work harder to keep posting more regularly so you don't have to read a novel each time! If you are a supporter of ours - either in prayer or in finance - thank you so much. God has called you here for a purpose and we thank you for listening to his call! We would not be where we are today without your support. If you are not a supporter - please pray about the possibility of joining our support team - again - prayerfully and/or financially. We are looking for people who have prayerfully taken time and have felt God's call to this ministry. The same way we have.
To God be the Glory, for He is Good. Amen!
Liz and Braden