I inherited my Dad’s inclination to mix up words. During a sermon one Sunday morning he MEANT to say “stress and pressure” – instead he kept saying “Press and Stressure” without realizing it.
How ironic. We often get things all mixed up when we’re stressed. Don’t we?
Last month it occurred to me that we’ve been through quite a lot of stressful and pressure-filled life events in the last 12 months. And it was a timely reminder for us to give ourselves the space we need to adjust to some MAJOR life changes. And I mean, major.
In the past twelve months we’ve gone through the following stress-filled life events:
- Sold our first home (I bought the home in 1999 well before Lee and I married.)
- Packed up our belongings, moved 75% of them into a storage unit and moved into an apartment.
- Acquainted ourselves with a new neighborhood.
- Left my 20+ year career in the investment industry.
- Moved again, this time out-of-state. And at Christmas time.
- Moved into a house with a month-to-month rent because of so many unknown factors.
- Left my home church, which meant I was also stepping down from several ministry involvements, etc.
- Moved away from our closest of friends… friends that were more like family.
- Moving also meant my husband was to give up a career he was really enjoying.
But one thing rings true – we are where we are supposed to be.
Maybe I am writing this again to convince MYSELF of this truth – God was literally pushing us out of California.
You see – our home was not on the market. It flat-out was NOT for sale. We had known for a long time that it would take the right buyer … there were so many “interesting” things about that home that would require someone to fall in love it as much as we had over the years. Plus, we weren’t in a place to paint, replace carpet, fix cosmetic issues, etc…. and we certainly hadn’t been budgeting for a realtor.
And on the very day the potential buyers came to look at the house the orange blossom smell had returned to the backyard. The scent stopped me in my tracks. Call it weird, call it prophetic – I don’t care. Just don’t call it coincidence. I had known for a long time that our home would sell in the spring (when it did sell) and that there would be a smell of orange blossom in the air. (I am not kidding you!) And there it was: I love that orange blossom scent…
It was a God-wink. The scent of the orange blossoms carried an acknowledgement from God that spoke to my soul: “I see you and know you and want great things for you. I am in even this. Trust me.” Yes, the orange blossom scent was full of wisdom on this beautiful spring day.
But, still there were a lot of questions. No pressure. (Sense the sarcasm there?)
Fast forward to our out-of-state move that evolved over a very quick 5 week time period. Wow! So much “press and stressure” in those weeks. We’ve now been in our new home for almost 4 months. We are slowly settling in. We are meeting new people who are being added to our treasure chest of friends. We are enjoying time with family again. I am learning to rest… a lifelong struggle of mine. We are working on us. We are pursuing personal interests and dreaming some big dreams. We are slowly finding our new groove.
But I won’t lie. From time to time I’ll get in a funk and be a tad discouraged – what felt like a freight train pushing us out of California seems to have lost its steam and left us stranded just outside the city limits.
I won’t lie. Some days are emotionally rough. Some days are spiritually rough – some times there’s more questions of God than other days.
I won’t lie. We don’t have it all figured out.
I won’t lie. I want to feel more secure in our financial future – who doesn’t?!
I have submitted dozens and dozens (and dozens) of job applications. And I’ve gone on a number of job interviews. I won’t lie. That’s getting old.
I won’t lie. I hope and pray with all my heart that my “stay at home job” turns into my second chance career. I truly feel everything I’ve learned up to this point was for the purposes of this business. I feel I was created for this. I hope and pray that God blesses our efforts and hard work and big dreams in this next chapter.
In the same exact moment that any of those worries or concerns start to creep in I also know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that my Heavenly Father is going to be taking care of us and our needs. It’s just that when the “press and stressure” of life creeps in we start mixing things up. We start wanting to control the outcome… again. And He tells us NOT to be worried about that.
I’ve put 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 in front of me…
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. Do not stifle the Holy Spirit.
And I know God has the right things for us IN HIS TIME and IN HIS WAY! To the deepest core of my soul – I know these things. He has NEVER failed His children. Ever. That doesn’t mean we won’t have struggles. That doesn’t mean we won’t falter. That doesn’t mean we won’t worry. But we can do our best to leave it in His hands. Forcing something to happen before God wants it to happen is not usually the right way to do it.
Holy Spirit… remind of us of His goodness. Father – we leave the “press and stressure” of our future in your hands. We will continue to listen for your voice and go WHEN and WHERE you ask us to go. We are at your service…