Good day friends! I pray your week and week
end went well!
Last week I shared a devotion with the theme of taking life changes to God and waiting patiently as they unfold in his timing. I shared with you my desire to move to the lake someday; a desire I have always had and a devotion I penned two years ago. Well let me share with you what has transpired over the past few months….
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
One of the activities I thoroughly enjoy is dragon boating. Not only is it a great team sport, but the practices are in the best location – on the water! Towards the end of the season of 2017, I remember being so overwhelmed at the beauty of the river we were paddling through, that after practice I searched the real estate app for homes or lots for sale in that area.
As it so happened, there was a lot for sale in the river community by which we had just paddled . It had water access and was listed at a very reasonable price. Even though Rick and I had never really put much thought into purchasing a lot before, the more we thought and talked about it, the more desirable it became for many reasons. So, the next morning after much prayer and contemplation, we decided to call the real estate agent.
As it turned out, we were a day late. The lot had just sold. Yes, we were disappointed, but this process put us on the road to seriously keeping our eyes open for a lot on which we could some day build our retirement lake/river home.
Since we were in no rush to move, and we loved the farm, we were not going to settle on certain things that the lot needed to have like price, lake/river view, lake/river access, and size (big enough for a workshop). I knew we’d have to compromise on some things eventually, but like I said, we weren’t in a rush and we loved where we were living. We had a decade to find our lot, sell the farm, and build our home.
Well, during the next couple of months, while we were driving by and praying about a few different lots, we were also inquiring about purchasing cemetery plots at a cemetery in a lake front community I had fallen in love with, about a 10 minute drive from our current home. We had visited the community a few times as we have friends that live there. The cemetery is old with lots of history, and it is lake front. I would tell people, “I finally have my lakefront p-lot.” Well, towards the end of November, while we were at the final meeting with the gal that cares for the cemetery -let’s call her the Cemetery Queen- to finalize our plots, my husband asked her, “Do you know of any lots in the community? We have looked at a couple empty lots at the top of the hill, but with no avail.” The Cemetery Queen responded, “There are a couple lots down around the bend towards the lake. I’m not sure if they’re for sale or who owns them, but the people in the little gray house beside the lot would know who does.” We thanked her and headed to the lots she spoke of.
Sure enough there was a piece of vacant land down by the water and a humble gray house stood right beside. There was no ‘For Sale’ sign posted but if you’ve been reading my blogs from the start, you will know that I am not afraid of the word ‘no’. If God guides me somewhere or places someone on my heart, I will address them/it even if the possible response is ‘no’, and I end up looking foolish. So, Rick parked out front of the gray house. I walked up the driveway, knocked on the door, and waited. An elderly woman came to the door, and the following conversation unfolded:
I began, “Hi! My name is Brenda Ryan. My husband and I live in Forest and are looking at purchasing a lot. The Cemetery Queen mentioned that you may know who owns this lot. Would you happen to know who owns it?”
The woman answered, “As a matter of fact, I do. I do!”
Excitement began to rise from the tips of my toes. I continued, “Have you ever considered selling the lot?”
Again, the woman responded, “As a matter of fact, I have. I would!”
Oh my, my excitement was escalating. I pressed on, “Oh wonderful! Would you happen to have a price in mind for the lot?”
As previously rehearsed, she announced, “As a matter of fact, I do,” and she stated the price. I was through the roof with excitement. The price she stated was in the ball park of what we had said we would be able to pay. I immediately called Rick up from the car.
After much conversation between the three of us, Rick and I finally stated that we would love to purchase the lot, and would have our real estate agent do up the offer. She then dropped a bomb, “You can submit the offer, but I have promised the fellow, who purchased the lot on the far side, that I’d let him know when there is a serious buyer and give him dibs at it. So, I am going to contact him.”
A woman of integrity….now? Things were going so smoothly. Although I didn’t want to go through this little glitch that could break the whole deal, I knew that there was a bigger picture occurring and somehow we and our wise new friend were a part of it. She needed to stay true to her word and we needed to respect the process. It’s in these times where trusting the Lord is all you have. If this was to be our lot and our future home, then it would be ours, and if the other party purchased it, than it was not meant to be and we would trust God to continue guiding the process.
Well, I cannot tell you the prayers and concerns and conversations that Rick and I shared over the next few days as we waited for our new found angel to get back to us about the offer. My prayer was always, “Dear Lord, you have guided us to a perfect place for us to settle. If you guided us to it because it is to be the location of our future home, than it will be. If not, give us peace and guide us to where you would place us. Give us patience! And in all cases, please be with all those involved; the current owner and her family, the other lot owner, and Rick and I. Thy will be done!”
Well, on December 14, 2017, we took possession of what we feel is the most beautiful lot in the whole wide world. Although we walked through the opportunities that he placed before us, there really was nothing we did to obtain the lot. In fact, there were many times I couldn’t imagine a lot that met all our conditions existed. God did it. He guided us to it and I continue to be in awe of him. He has also given Rick excitement towards our new future home and a peace towards leaving the farm, which will be occurring in 2019. We are so thankful to the Lord and believe all these things are truly gifts from him…in his time!
God can bring to pass situations that seem impossible. Although at times it may seem easier to deny the possibility of them ever occurring, than to continue trusting that it can happen. However, God can do the impossible. Trust him. It doesn’t mean you will get exactly what you want, but in God’s hands and in his timing you will get exactly what is best for you, as a gift from him. Then, when things come to pass with his guiding hand, give him thanks, praise, and share your story of his presence in your life.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, you know me and you love me, you care for me and you desire to bless me. You have blessed me with the ultimate gift – the gift of Salvation. Praise be to you! Every good and perfect gift and positive outcome comes from you! Help me to give you all my needs and desires. Help me to trust you to guide my life according to your will and in your timing. Help me to be a blessing to those people in my life, wherever you would have me go. Thy will be done!
Reflection: Again, reflect on the decisions and desires in your life. Take them to the Lord. Be patient and open to his guiding. Watch as he works. Then, give him all praise and thanksgiving!