Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing through Trials

(This is Day 11 of my Journaling through January series)

I chose not to post day 10, because the prompt said to write a thank-you note to someone who impacted you last year. It said you could either leave it in your journal or tear it out to give it to the person you were thanking. I chose the cyber "tear-it-out" version, and decided not to post it. But I did write it, and I will deliver the card today!

Here's today's prompt:

Write about an experience that was particularly tough. But more importantly, write about how that experience made you stronger.

During the first half of last year, we were living in my in-laws basement, paying a pittance for rent (thanks very much, in-laws!) an saving a lot for school and our baby that was due in June. It was a pretty sweet deal. We were hoping to have enough money saved to buy a house within a year or two. Tyler's family then began making plans to move, which meant we had to move, too. We considered renting another place, but after looking a bit at our options we decided to buy a home instead. We felt sure that we would find a good house and buy it within a month and a half. We applied for the loan and started looking for a house sometime around the end of March.

Here's where the "tough" part comes in. I really, really, really did not want the stress of moving while 8 1/2 months pregnant. It was important to us that we move before the end of May. We thought this was a highly achieveable goal. But because we had a low budget, our options were more limited than we thought. There were a few good houses that were in our price range, but once we made an offer on any of them, we would find out that someone had just barely beaten us to the chase. It felt like this happened a million times, when in reality it happened about three. Personally, I think every little inconvenience feels a bajillion times more dramatic when you're 8 months pregnant. But that could just be me. Let me just say that there were many frustrated tears and breakdowns during this process. Each time we started getting a good vibe about a house, it seemed like the Lord answered with a resounding, slam-the-door-in-your-face "no!" I did not do very well accepting these answers, especially the third time around. Deep down, I knew that we would be taken care of and the right thing would happen. But I couldn't convince my emotions, laced with crazy-pregnant-lady hormones, to accept this.

By the time we actually found our house and followed the necessary procedures to purchase it, I was--you guessed it--about 8 months pregnant. Moving so close to our due date really stressed me out as well, but it started tapering off since I knew that we'd at least have a place to set up our baby's crib. All in all, despite the difficulty and stress, we were blessed to work with great people who pulled a lot of strings to get us into our house by the end of May, leaving us just enough time to settle in a bit before our baby was born in June. Our families also did a fantastic job of moving us in and cleaning our whole house. I barely had to do anything. (Thanks, Bailey and Maloy families!!!) Looking back, I thank the Lord for His providence and wisdom in saying no all those times, because none of those other houses were really all that great compared to the one we bought.

This challenge made me stronger because it taught me that I need to really trust God more. Sometimes I'm not very good at letting Him be in control without wanting to know just what is going to happen. I like to make plans, and I like to stick to them--which can't happen sometimes. I learned from this experience that Heavenly Father really does know what He's doing, even if I can't see it. I am grateful for His patience with me as I learn these things in my own roundabout way!

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