If you have read either one of my books, you will know that I do not believe in coincidences. My life verse has always been Proverbs 16:9 – “The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Our lives have taken a huge turn in this journey called life. No one saw it coming, but we are confident that God is leading us in this direction. Let me tell you how this transition began.
Tim and I started feeling strongly that we needed to sell our home. As we age gracefully, it is getting harder to take care of acreage. We decided to call a friend who is a realtor to talk about the possibility of putting our home on the market. We were pleasantly surprised to hear about the seller’s market and the value of our home. Our confidence was growing as we prepared to leave the next day for a preplanned trip to Seagrove Beach. We decided that week we would spend a lot of time talking and praying about God’s next steps for us. At this point we had no idea what was next. A week later Tim drove me over to some 55 and older new communities to just look at the homes. I made a sudden bold statement, “If we are going to pay that much money for a house I’d love to move to Florida.” I was shocked when I heard Tim say, “Well, we could.” (Miracle #1) All I can tell you is that my heart began to soar. I often tell my clients that when a life is surrendered to God, He will often lead you through the desires in your heart. Remember we have been given a new heart according to Ezekial 36.
Tim told me that he would love for me to have what I wanted. He has loved our land and home for almost 30 years and it is my turn to have what I want. (His words) (I am a little bit of a city girl at heart) I can’t tell you what that did for me. The fact that either of us would leave Georgia was a shock to me. (Miracle #2) As most of you know we have been very involved in our grandchildren’s lives for 14 years. It hurt to think about not being able to run to their ball games each week, but the confidence in this new possibility was growing rapidly. Tim was also trusting God in a deeper way than ever before. It was important to both of us that this was a joint decision and we were both at peace.
Moving out of state has never been on mine or Tim’s radar. Ten weeks ago we had no idea we would be selling our home or moving. This was happening fast. We began the endeavor of cleaning out our home which was overwhelming to say the least. We have lived here a long time and had no idea we saved so much stuff. We were completely exhausted as we continued to pray and talk.
In 2020 we visited our niece and nephew in Treasure Island, Florida twice. We absolutely loved this beautiful beach town but we never thought we would ever live there. My old way of thinking snuck in when I heard, “This is not the kind of thing that happens to people like us.” Now I knew better but I’m just being honest. We have been told more than once that we have the tendency to have a poverty mentality. And most of you that know us would not describe us as adventurous risk takers. But I started dreaming, “What if….”
God woke me up very early one morning and reminded me of all the years I would walk on the beach and pray a simple prayer every single year. It went something like this, “God, is there any possible way we could have a place at the beach one day?” I smiled that morning as I was reminded of those many prayers.
For several years my bedroom and bathroom were decorated in beach decor. I looked at those pictures and said, “Wow God, I never dreamed I would live at the beach one day.” I believe the words that went through my mind were from Him. “Do you not think I know your heart even better than you do?” I smiled.
Has God ever done something in your life that seemed to make no sense? That has happened more than once for us. I remember as a little girl hearing a preacher say, “When is the last time that God did something in your life that could only be explained as HIM.? When I’m looked at with concern and I hear the words, “Where in the world did this come from?” I can only respond with, “Believe me, no one is more surprised than me and Tim. But we have a confidence that we can’t shake or explain.”
So our house went on the market and after 15 showings and four offers in only 3 days, we are under contract. (Miracle #3) My niece and I were talking about how this entire plan unfolded. We agreed that it probably went fast on purpose. God knew that ripping the band aid off fast was best. The band aid of hours of cleaning out “stuff” and following God’s plan without stopping to think about it too much. You see fear has been a common struggle with both of us. And like I said, we are not known to be risk takers or very adventurous. We are definitely grieving as we think about leaving our grandchildren but we know in our hearts that we will visit often and they will come see us. And thank God for technology!
God has something for us in Florida. We will keep you posted as we sit back and watch His plan unfold. We plan on continuing our ministry through zoom, as well as, seeing what doors open for us there. And we plan on getting some much needed rest as we take a two month sabbatical. Would you pray for us as we make this move? God opened a door for us to rent a beautiful place on the water for a few months before we make a final decision to purchase a place. Oh yeah, that was Tim’s only request. If we go to Florida, I want to be on the water. 🙂 (Miracle #4) God is meeting every desire in our hearts and we are amazed and grateful. And you know what else? We can see a picture of God in our minds laughing with joy. As a grandparent we know the joy in blessing our grandkids. I would imagine He may feel a little bit like that. The next blog will include Tim’s perspective on this journey. Stay tuned.