Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God's Plan for My Home Sweet Home

by Jen AlLee

A place of one's own to call home. It's a simple dream, an attainable request. At least, that's what I thought until my family embarked on the treacherous road called "Buying a Short-Sale."

Months ago, when I signed up to write a post during Home Sweet Home week, I thought I'd be sharing good news. I was certain we'd be in our new home and I could tell you how God moved on our behalf. But here I am, five months after having our offer accepted and signing the contract, and I'm writing this on my laptop in my old apartment.

So what happened? Well, we're still in the process of buying the house, but short-sales are known for taking forever and this one is definitely living up to that reputation. Someone looking at our situation from the outside might think, "God certainly let you down." But I don't see it that way. Oh sure, I've had my moments of doubt. I've had times where I wanted to hit some inanimate (and hopefully soft) object. But overall, I am constantly reminded that God's timing is perfect, and mine is not.

All of us are important to God. So much so that He has our futures all planned out. But He doesn't want us to worry and obsess over what will happen tomorrow.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

I think most of us are familiar with the above verse. It's a great reminder that God wants only good things for His children. Of course, what we consider "good" isn't always the same as what God thinks is "good." Here's another one that really nails the futility of worrying about tomorrow:

"Now listen, you who say,
'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city,
spend a year there,
carry on business and make money.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.'
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while
and then vanishes.
Instead you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will,
we will live and do this or that.'"
James 4:13-15 (NIV)

If nothing else, this house experience is teaching me patience and trust in God's plans for my family. I still feel, deep in my heart, that the house we're buying is the house God wants us in. He'll get us in there when the time is right. And then I'll be right back here, sharing the good news with y'all!

Question: Have you ever had a time when something didn't work out when you wanted it to, but God's timing was even better?

Photo credits - www.dreamstime.com


  1. Wow! Thanks for sharing, Jen. You exude His peace, girl!

    Sigh. Yep. When I prepared to finish up my master's, a door slammed shut. I had asked for a sign as to whether I'd write profs' papers or my "paper" (aka novel).

    God whispered, "I made it so clear. Why are you bitter?"

    That next morning, my writing career took a BIG detour--in the right direction!


  2. Great story, Patti!

    God's timing is always perfect, isn't it, Jen? Yet we have to maintain that position of both moving forward toward our goals and still being free enough go in whatever direction He'd have us go each day. I suppose there's a comparison to sailing in there somewhere.

    I do hope you get into the new house soon!

  3. All this talk of houses reminds me of when we bought this one. On one hand, the house purchase went very smoothly. We had only a one month window that we could terminate our rental lease and move, and it aligned perfectly with when the renters would be moving out of this house and it would be available. Everything was in order by April, and the moves planned for July.

    But then my husband didn't end up getting a new job he was expecting, and we really couldn't afford the house. After a lot of soul searching, we decided we couldn't send the kids to Christian school as planned. Then I had a very bad feeling about sending them to public school. Although I would have a new born baby soon, we decided to homeschool. We stuck with it for five years and it was perfect for that season in our lives.

    Now all of the kids are in public school and happy, but looking back, there are clear reasons why any traditional school setting would have been a disaster for my middle son in his early elementary years. Also, I think homeschooling really helped me get through those baby and toddler years with my youngest, who is hyper social and wants to be with people all day.

  4. Excellent post, Jen, and I've loved reading the others' comments too. God's timing is so perfect, and these situations are reminders that He is in control.

    When we moved to our new town almost two years ago, the market was terrible (still is). We sold our old house fairly easily and bought a place in our new community which every member of my family loved. The day before signing final papers, however, our buyers backed out. So we had to back out. It was devastating, but when the entire experience repeated itself with a second round of buyers, we were left questioning whether we'd discerned God's call to move correctly. What a desert experience.

    When it was all said and done, we sold our old house three times, started and stopped the buying process on three different houses in our new town, and looked at over 80 homes. God put us in this house 4 days before school started, which was rough, but at least we had a home of our own. I know that the entire time, God was with us, teaching our family to rely on Him.

  5. When we came back from our first missions trip I applied for a bajillionty jobs. At last found one that I thought was perfect. I went through a couple rounds of interviews. Then had to go in and take a test. I aced that sucker. The HR person commented on the high score. I went home secure in the knowledge that the job was mine for the taking.

    And then... crickets. I never heard back from them.

    A few weeks later I got a phone interview on a job I couldn't even remember applying for. In the end that was the job I wound up with. A job I absolutely love and that was a sort of safety net when our lives were put through the wringer and I needed employment again.

  6. We have our house up for sale, and had a signed contract to buy a smaller house. : ) Last weekend our realtor told us the owners of the smaller house received a better offer.
    BUT... my husband tells me he had a "check" in his spirit about the other house anyway, and he feels relieved, and now a whole different plan is coming up, something I don't think either of us would have even considered without that little bump in the road.
    I think sometimes those "faith detours" can be God's way of bringing us around to what He has planned for us, especially when we might have missed it or ignored it or been too afraid to even consider the possibility!

  7. Jen, thanks for sharing your inspiring story. During our early years of marriage we tried to sell our tiny apartment, and it just wouldn't happen. An investor backed out because his wife didn't like it - it's not like she was going to have to live there! Anyway, a few years later, in God's timing, it sold for an amazing price and, with the benefit of hindsight, we felt so blessed and thankful that it didn't sell a few years earlier.

  8. Hey ladies! Sorry I wasn't around today. So many things going on at home! But it's been great to read all your comments and share in your stories. God has great plans for us all! Thanks for your encouragement and prayers. This really is a fabulous community of women :+}

  9. I am learning to see everything through the lens of God's sovereignty, Jen. So many of these situations where my timing would have been a disaster, though on the service it looked perfect but HIs timing, although feeling like a disaster, turning out perfectly. I know the same will be true for you and your house!


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