In December of last year, Janelle and I took a week off work to plan out our future. We both had
goals we wanted to work towards, dreams we were hoping for, and resolutions to achieve. 2018
was going to be the best year yet, and we were ready to face it head on.
That lasted about a week.
On January 8th , I came home from work to find two inches of standing water in every room of
our apartment. A pipe had burst, and water was gushing from a light fixture in the ceiling like a
shower. I remember wading through the living room in my suit, vaguely registering that almost
everything we owned had been flooded, ruined.
My reaction was different than you might think. To be honest, I saw it as a blessing. Over the
next month, we were able to get out of our lease, we received a sizable insurance payout, and an
opportunity opened with my job to receive a promotion…provided we were willing to move. No
longer tied down with a lease, and with a sudden inflow of cash, I thought for sure this was why
it had all happened.
Perfect, I thought. God is using this bad thing that happened to move us according to His plan.
Or so I thought.
Just as quickly as the opportunity had arisen, it faded away, and there was little I could do. Now,
we found ourselves homeless, with no opportunities, and worst of all, no answers. I’m ashamed
to say I responded in anger. There were more than a few conversations I had with God that didn’t
amount to much more than me venting.
But in my frustration, I realized two things: First, I had been looking for an outcome. Negative
circumstances didn’t compute in my mind. Everything that had happened had to be for a reason.
It had to mean something…And in the end it did. Just not in the way I thought.
The second thing I realized was this: God is more interested in my character than He is in my
I had it the other way around. When things first started going wrong, I thought I knew what God
was doing. I assumed His intentions were ultimately for our benefit, as opposed to our
relationship with Him. Did I believe God cared about me because of His character, or because
He arranges things the way I wanted them?
God provided for us during this time, and Jeff and Ginger Souders offered to let us stay with
them until we found a new place to live. We were very blessed, but I was also very humbled
(being homeless will do that to you).
Now, I’m writing this in our new apartment. God has provided! But more than the place to live is
the lesson learned.
When I look back to that planning week last year, I see how I was guilty of telling God how
things were going to be instead of listening to and following Him. Proverbs 19:21 is right when it
says, “Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will
I’ve learned not to look for outcomes, and not to worry about circumstances. (Easier said than
done.) It seems the more I focus on Jesus, the more I find peace.
And I think that’s a story worth telling.