“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding;
think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”
Leaning Hard and Stepping Forward
The staircase is dark and tall, looming to my two-year-old. Her little feet pushed upward, but her pudgy hand couldn’t quite reach the light switch. With the kind of determined, stubborn bravery found only in toddlers, she decided to go forth. To press on and climb the staircase, deciding her final goal was worth the moments of fear in the dark.
Her final goal, waiting at the top of the stairs for her?
We’re currently living in limbo. Our home sold one month (and two days) ago, and on that day our family of five + a dog moved into my mother’s townhome. We’re living on top of one another, boxes holding clothes and toothbrushes, books and memories, freedom and privacy. With my newly retired mom, two work-at-home parents, three kids under the age of 4, two golden retrievers (and basically a partridge in a pear tree), our walls are bursting with life.
Legos, art projects, groceries, laundry, loud laughter, timeouts, dog hair, Cheerios, boxes, toys, and shoes all wind up in the living room. The two “big kids” share a full bed turned sideways, making every night a sleepover in the loft at the top of the stairs. We cook together, dancing around one another in the kitchen as we sidestep the dogs’ woeful eyes. We stay up late into the night and eat junk food, watching old sitcoms as the kids sleep and the leaves consider turning.
It’s total craziness and wonder, all rolled up in one houseful.
Our home was on the market twice, a fall and winter bookended by showings and offers and vacuuming. Since it sold last month, we’ve submitted several offers on houses in our area and price range, and each one has been shoved over for that of another. With each offer, each home we preview, each listing that lands in our inbox, we pray. We ask God to lead and to guide our path directly to our new home.
And isn’t that how we could pray every day? That in following Him, we would find our Home?
We still haven’t found our next home and sometimes my trust falters. Will He take care of us? Will we be in our own place by my kids’ birthday? By Christmas? By 2017? I have no idea, but every day we weed out more options and it feels like we’re making room for His path to widen, inch by inch.
Trusting God with all of our heart doesn’t mean He will wrap up the job like we think He should, neat and tidy with a bow on top. If I had my way, we’d have been in a new home the day after we closed on our old one. But that’s not how this is shaking out. Trusting God with all of our heart means leaning on His understanding, knowing that whatever that is, it is enough, and it is right, and it will be well. No matter what.
Trusting God with all of our heart doesn’t mean answers will come swiftly, or even at all. I don’t understand much. I struggle with understanding the presence of evil, with questioning the path He’s leading us down. Trusting God with all of our heart means relying on His understanding, letting the fact that He understands His ways be enough to answer our deepest questions of ‘why’ and ‘how’.
Trusting God with all of our heart and thinking of Him in all our ways means we open our hearts to His path, scary and new and untraveled as it may look. It means stepping forward, taking one stair at a time until we are safe at the top, the darkness behind us.
When we’re not sure how to trust, we lean hard and step forward in faith, knowing that He is waiting at the top to welcome us.
How can you lean hard into His understanding?
Dale Porter says
Greetings. Using your toddlers’ scary experience of traveling up the stairs is great and intriguing because when followers of Christ make decisions with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we have no idea of what truly lies beyond our scope. We see Christ waiting (like your child kept her eyes on you) but what about the the trip ahead? What situations lie ahead for us? Nevertheless, Christ is with us. No matter what!!!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
When it comes to moving (and I’ve moved many times and to several cities in which I knew no one), I cling to Exodus 23:20 : “See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place which I have prepared.”
This promise was true for the Israelites. It was true for me, and it is true for you. At the time i couldn’t explain why God closed, what seemed like, perfectly good doors. Looking back on it now, I see that He was weaving His master plan and oh what a good plan it is.
When I have trouble and struggle with leaning on my own understanding and trusting what God is up to…I know I can trust His heart and His heart is goodness and love for me…and it is for you too. Lifting you up in prayer right now!
Blessings and journal the chaos – it will make for good stories years from now,
I know this reply was in response to Anna, but my did it help me. Thank you for this scripture as I too find myself wondering, “when God?” “where God?” as it relates to a home for my girls and I. I love when God speaks to me in the most unlikely of places.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Lifting you up in prayer right now for God’s hedge of protection to be around you and for God to bring you to the place which He is preparing for you and your girls. Also praying for peace and patience for you as you look to his leading.
Carol Watchorn says
I love this scripture! It is the first one I memorized as a new Christian back on 1973! Being married to a military man, I relied on this Proverb a lot and still do to this day! God is faithful and true to his word! Trust and Obey is what we have to do and He will lead us down the right path! Praise Him as we wait for those long awaited answers. Especially today in such an unpredictable world!
Thank you for today’s devotional.
My house will be closing in just a week, I don’t know where I’m going. My heart is still shattered by the betrayal of my now ex-husband.
I’m starting all over at an age where I didn’t think I was going to be doing this. So I’m leaning on God every day ..on everything in my life. Thank you for reminding me of the Scriptures and God’s love for me.
Beth Williams says
Prayers that God will open doors for your family soon. May the house come to you quickly so you can settle in with less chaos. I must lean hard on His understanding these days. I quit my job last June (2015) to be more available for my aging dad. He went on hospice within two weeks, but then got better. We went through a myriad of health/dementia issues for six months. Then suddenly God performed a miracle and made him “well” again. Now my question is should I go back to work-even part time? Yes he’s doing fine now, but what about winter time? Praying for a discerning heart to help me see the clear path.
Esther Reynolds says
My healthy husband of 56 had some type of abnormal heart rhythmn this past Monday requiring a trip to the ER while we were at the lake. So out of the ordinary, I didn’t see this coming, and now we get to go see cardiologists to figure things out. Is this the new norm or just a one time thing.
I who don’t like messes or things not on my to do list find myself full of gratitude for God’s mercy on one hand but I also feel I’m walking in the dark trusting God to direct our steps knowing He is with us. So this is what walking in faith and trust looks like. Thank you for your encouraging message.
Jean Marie Bauhaus says
“Trusting God with all of our heart means leaning on His understanding, knowing that whatever that is, it is enough, and it is right, and it will be well. No matter what.” I wrote this in my journal just now so I’ll be continually reminded. There’s a lot I’m trusting Him for right now. My husband is having his gall bladder removed this week, and I woke up this morning with a sore throat. Obviously the last thing we need is for me to be sick the same week he’s supposed to have surgery. My first traditionally published book launches next month and I’m kind of overwhelmed by how much I need to do to prepare for that, and of course I worry that it won’t perform well and I’ll be a major disappointment to my publisher. And we’re still in a long season of waiting for God to open doors and make provision to improve our finances and either repair our home that just keeps breaking or make a way for us to move to a better situation. I’ve been leaning on Him HARD but sometimes I feel myself slipping. I know He won’t drop me, though, so I keep on leaning, hoping and trusting. I needed this encouragement today. Thank you.
Anne Marie says
Hi Jean Marie,
I read your overwhelming list of worries. God says in his word worrying will not add one day to our lives.
I will say to you as I have said to my daughter take one thing @ time.
It seems like your priority is to rest in our Lord. Then be there for your husband. Having your Gallbladder removed these days is not as complicated as it used to be, especially if he is having lipo -scopic.
Everything else will fall into place according to his plan.
Jean Marie Bauhaus says
Thank you, Anne Marie. You’re right, and this is all stuff I know in my head. It’s getting that head knowledge to seep down into my spirit and stick there that’s the hard part.
What a precious reminder this morning. Thank you for sharing!
Praying for your family that the right home, at the right time, at the right price will be available…and believing in faith that it will be before Christmas. The Father knows the desires of your heart!
In the meantime, I bet your mom is having a ball with her Grandbabies!!
Mariella Watson says
I like to compare trusting God to being in a (giant) maze with your eyes closed, walking strictly by the sound of his voice.
I used to wonder why do people close their eyes to pray. “Shutting down” one of your senses gives you the ability to focus- in this case, we are trying focus on Him.
It’s so frightening. It unsettles my body, boggles my mind, but it gives rest to my soul.
I rather walk through that maze scared than not to walk at all, hoping that maybe, just maybe, one day I won’t fear tripping and falling… but not matter how long it takes (or if that day even arrives because sometimes the wait seems endless) I’ll still be walking… trying to focus on Him- remembering that He IS here with me and that I’ll be okay.
Thank you for sharing- for giving me hope.
Kim I says
We sold our house a little over a year ago & had to scramble to find a rental. We’ve been waiting for a job for my husband so we can find a house near his new work to buy & settle. It’s been almost 18 months of being in limbo. There are days I lose faith. I needed this devotional today, to remind me that all things happen in His time & for His glory. So, I join you in faithfully waiting…I will work on adding ‘joyfully’ to that today.
Thankful that you and your family have a great place to be while God is making ready your personal home. Sounds like the six humans and one pooch are making it work. Be thankful for this blessing. Praying for you guys and your mom.
Corena Hall says
Jesus is faithful and true always. If my life were in a book it would show you the miracles only He is capable of. In my own strength I can do nothing but in my weakness His strength accomplishes anything. I should not have survived at 28 weeks out of an incubator in India 50 years ago but I did. I should not have been born to a mom who suffered 6 miscarriages before me and a still born baby boy at full term after me but I did…this is only start of my life. The list goes on for He is always always there. The One who lives in me and loves me and my soul is in love with. Jesus my Lord and Savior!
Rebecca T says
Wonderful words to wake up to this morning. I have such a hard time trusting and not fearing. I know that it is part of the trauma from my childhood, but feel I should be strong enough in the Lord by now to have left that all behind. So I go around feeling “not enough”.
I just want to say dear Ann, that this time living with your mom is a huge blessing for all of you that will give you memories long years from now that will comfort you on dreary days.
Thank you for sharing this morning. Your words have blessed many of us.
Pauline Stock says
Here in England, I was in the same position as you, two weeks ago, having sold (subject to contract) my little bottom of the market flat and nowhere to go – i.e nothing at the lower end of the price range. The Lord was saying ‘Be still, and know ….’ ‘Don’t make haste’ I felt just a little like some of the Syrian refugees that I help in English Class must feel when they arrive – no home to go to. But 10 days ago the Lord suddenly worked to put me in touch with a stranger selling a relative’s little home in a Retirement Complex that is part ownership. It is much nicer than my flat, more rooms and new kitchen and bathroom. Now I am learning to trust the Lord in all those Moving practical ways as well – ‘His way is perfect’ and ‘My times are in His hand’ He is planning for you.
Adeola Odutola says
God You know all I am struggling withwith financially and spiritually. Help me to trust you especially in the area of those who are trying to turn me against You , do not let them succeed no matter how much they try.
Yes Adeola trust Him and claim His promises. He is faithful especially to those who trust in Him. Listen for Him and believe Him no matter who tells you not to!! The enemy always tries to discourage us even thru those that mean well and even in our own thoughts!! Follow the shepherds voice alone! Will pray for you!
Pearl @ Look Up Sometimes says
Anna, what a beautiful visual and what a brave toddler you have! Next time I’m facing darkness, I pray I remember Who is waiting for me and Who I’m moving towards. Love this!
This is where we were a few years ago. Living with my retired mom but our boys were teens and just two of them. We were work at home parents too no dogs. Not knowing what would come next. Long story but I can tell you He wAs so amazingly faithful!! He Lead us out when it was clearly time and clearly led us all the way with many blessings too!! He will be faithful to you too no doubt! He will Amaze you as you trust in Him!! I say that to any reading here! Trust me! I know!!