2014 started out with a major change for my family. In January, we lost our house to foreclosure and were forced to move out of what had been our home for nearly seven years. This was not just one change, it was a whole series of changes, we had been used to owning our house and now we rented from another owner. We had to ask permission to work on our house or to make changes. We moved several miles farther away from our home church into an unfamiliar neighborhood. Our neighbors changed, as did the routes that we had to drive to go about our regular business. Even now a year later, we are still dealing with settling into our new house and there are some items that have not been unpacked and found new homes.
Only a few months after we lost our home, we began the process of another major change. We have been involved in street ministry for several years, all the while supporting ourselves through our own small business. In March, we were accepted by a missionary organization, and began the process of raising outside support. A year later, we are almost a third of the way to being supported, but still have many changes ahead. We want to sell our business, and have to get some things in order so that can be done. We have to find more ministry partners, but both my wife and I are not very good at salesmanship, so this is a big challenge. We are changing from having relatively steady income to relying on others and on God for our provision, and while we acknowledge God's provision in our business, it just feels different when you have less control of where your provision comes from.
As we have prepared for the transition out of our business, we have also made changes there. We have purchased some newer equipment to increase the purchase value of the business, and have taken on several new contracts. We changed to a cash only accounting system and began to close and pay off all of our business credit accounts so there will be no debt burden when we do finally find a buyer. I am even trying to get more organized in order to make transitioning to a new owner simpler, this is especially important since paperwork often goes missing for months at a time on my desk.
There are many other changes, small and big that we have been part of over the last year, but as I look back at this year, I am struck by one truth that I am only finally beginning to understand. Over the last year, our Sunday school class has been going through the book of Romans, and from the beginning, we have approached the book with 3 premises about God:
1) God is always good
2) God's will cannot be thwarted,
3) God will rarely do things the way we would.
In all of the change and turmoil that we have experienced in this last year, I can honestly say that I am closer now to understanding and believing these premises than I have even been. I have finally come to understand that the unknown is not so scary, if I am trusting the one who knows all things. When I know that His plan is good and nothing I can do will mess it up, I am unafraid to move forward and maybe even make the wrong decision at times. And when I understand that God rarely does things the way I would, I am willing to accept changes that may not make logical sense to me.
Now, I look forward to another year of changes, some will be big, some small, some will be hard, and other easy, but I serve a God who is always good, and I am trusting that all the changes that will come in the next year will also be good, even though they may not look like it in the moment.
This post is part of the January Synchroblog "Looking Back". Please use the links below to read the posts from the other authors who participated this month.
Bloggers looking back and looking forward this month:
- Done With Religion – Looking Back, But Moving Forward
- Mark Votava – Learning to Love: Crossing a Decade of Rootedness
- Tara at Praying on the Prairie – A Year of New Beginnings
- Carol Kuniholm – Looking Back, Praying Forward
- Mary at lifeinthedport – roaring chickens: how i found my voice
- Moments with Michelle – The Year that Was: Looking Back at 2014
- Jeremy Myers – What I learned from almost following my GPS to my death
- Glenn Hager – Things I Don’t Ever Want to Forget
- Michelle Torigian – Looking Back at All the Stuff
- Fedex at His Urban Presence - A Year of Changes
- Charity at His Urban Presence – God is There
- Lisa Brown at Me Too Moments for Moms – Lessons from 2014
- Bram Cools – 2015: Looking Forward, Looking Back