I remember as a teen, my mum sharing this story with me. Her and God were having a discussion one time. She was asking God about something and his response was something along the lines of “you don’t want to know”. For some time she insisted until eventually God told her what she wanted to know. Her response? “You were right God, I didn’t want to know”.
Sometimes it’s a very good thing that God doesn’t tell us too much about our future. When we’re not ready for it, I think we’re better off not knowing.
At the moment, I’m wondering what God has in store for us with this “big trip” we’re about to embark on. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here before but for those who don’t read my regular blog, we’re taking our children away in the caravan for 14 weeks. It’s something I’ve felt to the very core of my being, that God wants us to do. I’m not sure exactly why but I’m more than happy to “oblige”.
For a long time, I wondered if this was going to be a new start for us. Farming life hasn’t exactly been easy for us. There have been financial hardships and some horrible family conflicts. At one point in during my illness, I was literally begging my husband to take me away from here. I didn’t feel I could bear another minute. My sobbing was so heavy that I broke many blood vessels in my face.
It’s been a difficult journey for us. Many moments of anguish, tears, fears and crying out to God to show us the way through. Should we stay? Should we go? Should we build our own home (without any idea how we would actually PAY for it) and at least get ourselves out of a volatile and controlling situation we were living in.
I WANTED God to say “go”.
I wanted it so badly.
We came to an understanding that we could only be controlled if we allowed someone to control us. That gave us a certain amount of freedom within. But didn’t free us from the conflict and struggles we were living with on a daily basis.
Just when we felt we’d gotten life to a point we could actually live with, we felt God was prompting us to make room for DH’s brother to come home.
That didn’t come without significant sacrifice on our part.
And the conflicts escalated.
And the struggle for DH to spend more time with his family rather than less seemed to become more complicated.
It didn’t seem fair.
Why was God taking away what little tranquility we had struggled to find?
Over time, things improved a little. Actually, I’m not sure they improved but we ended up moving our family out from the centre of them.
Into the house we live in now.
God said “I will provide the finances for your home”. I remember lying in the bath one night struggling with the number of homeless people the money for our home could provide. God clearly spoke to my heart: “Don’t you think I have enough for both?”
I can testify that God has been faithful in our finances. The year we moved here was the worst financial year we’ve had in our farming lives. The years since haven’t been a lot better.
And yet our house is fully paid for.
I’d like to share with you how that happened but to be honest, I’m not 100% sure. Yes, we’ve been careful with our spending. Yes, we sold some investments we had felt led to buy when farming was doing well. But I believe that the bottom line in our finances is a pure miracle. Unexplainable by human logic.
If God had told me that we were going to go through many years of drought and poor profits on the farm, we’d have never built this house. How could we in good logic even attempt something like that? But God knew the bigger picture. He is in control and He isn’t reliant on the seasons to bring his plans to fruition.
I know I’ve shared with you before about my anguish when DH’s brother left farming late last year. We had felt God prompt us to get him into farming. I felt responsible. But I don’t know the complete picture. All I can do is trust God to lead me in the way He wants me to go. The rest is up to Him. I may not ever know the reason DH’s brother was meant to be here for the 5 years he was.
There was more than guilt though. There was jealousy. My brother in law and his wife prayed fervently for God’s leading in whether they were to stay or go. They felt God was saying to go. Why hadn’t God told us we could go? I wanted go too!!!! It wasn’t fair!!!! Hadn’t we struggled and suffered enough?
Through all of this, the light on the horizon was our plan to do a “big trip” with our kids. Much as I wanted to do the trip for the experience and the family bonding, there was this secret hope harboured in the depths of my heart that it might provide our ticket out of here. That God would show us something else he wanted us to do.
A few months ago, DH and I were talking and praying as we drove along in the car. I couldn’t get over the fact that God had taken his brother out of this situation and that we were still here. God gave me the revelation that what he had in store for us was GOOD. The future was something we could look forward to with hope.
I wondered if perhaps it had to do with our “big trip”. Maybe God was going to show us where he wanted us to be. And that place would be anywhere but here.
We do believe that this trip is something God wants us to do. It isn’t something I ever thought I would get my farming husband to agree to. And yet one day he went from “it’s a nice idea” to “we’re doing this”. Getting away from the farm is no easy task. It has taken years of planning and preparation.
Some things have fallen into place in a way that could only be divine intervention. There have been other things that have been a real struggle or sacrifice. An indication that Satan really doesn’t want us to do this trip.
We’ve experienced another miracle in our finances. When we ordered our caravan, we had a deposit saved up and were hopeful of a good harvest (finally) that would help us pay for it. Over the decade we’d been planning, I’d managed to save the money for our trip – a bit at a time. We decided that rather than get a loan for the caravan, we’d use that money to pay for it and redraw it when the time came for the trip.
Last week, DH and I were discussing finances for the trip. I was showing him what money we had and he was “where did that come from?” I flicked back and forth through the pages of my book. We have a separate account for savings and I keep track of what is what in an exercise book. “Well, umm…there’s…ummm…” Eventually I had to concede that I couldn’t really explain where the money had come from. A bit here and there. Some money the government has been freely handing out in recent months (which I’m sure putting back into tourism will be a great way to stimulate the economy).
We were looking down the barrel of yet another miracle. There’s no other way to explain it.
Another confirmation that God wants us to do this trip.
I don’t know what God has in store for us with this trip. I am no longer desperate for Him to use it as a way to get us out of here. In fact, I feel quite at peace with the thought of coming home.
I do know that He has good things in store for us. I believe that he’ll use it as a growing and bonding time. What else is anybody’s guess.
I think for now though, I’m quite happy NOT knowing.
“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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will isten to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
Thank you that you know everything about us. You know the struggles we face and the joys we experience. You are with us in everything we do and for that my heart rejoices. Thank you that your plans for us are to give us a hope and a future. Thank you that even through the struggles, you are victorious and nothing is wasted. Please take my life and make it yours. Direct my paths in the way you would have me go and use me to bring glory to you. Amen.