Adventures with Heather

Thursday, April 21, 2016

What we are made of

I've been wanting to post for a while, but it's been hard to put into words all that we've been experiencing! So much good & so much hard. I find life is always a combo of good & hard. That the trials really PROVE your faith is real & show you what you're made of, you know?

Ok so, we had a really good plan right?! We had money in savings + our house was basically sold before we moved + it didn't cost a dime to move all of our stuff across the country + we had a place to live to transition.. Everything was GREAT! We stepped out of the comfort of our lives, literally sold everything we had and made the leap. 

OUR plan unraveled quickly though, when 2 days before closing the sale on our house fell through, and the $10,000+ we were counting on to be our safety net, was gone in an instant. We had to put our house back on the market & keep paying the mortgage, even though our cash flow was dwindling & there was NO income coming in. Months later the house finally sold again, but we only made $1,800 on it after everything was said & done. It came at the most perfect timing too! 

In that crazy time, we asked Questions we have never asked before like: how are we going to buy groceries? How are we going to get diapers? How am I going to buy deodorant? Filled our minds.. We had a choice to make...Would we Trust God would provide or panic & question His goodness? We decided to choose to TRUST GOD. 

Let me tell you... When you decide to not look at your circumstances & look at God, crazy things can happen!! I prayed one week for diapers & we desperately needed shampoo & deodorant & other care products and Brett heard about an organization called The Lighthouse that helps families that are in need, and well, we were definitely in need!! We maybe had $20 to our name at that point, so I lowered my pride & made an appointment. I met & talked with the sweetest guy named Daryl. We talked about our situation & he gave me a pack of diapers & at the last minute said "is there anything else you need?" I hesitated because I felt embarrassed about needed care products but just asked if they had shampoo or anything like that. He smiled and assured me not to be embarrassed & that that's what they were there for and handed me a gift card to target! I held back tears, & thanked him over & over for his help. I prayed & God provided specifically what we needed! I'm not joking guys, I got all I needed at Target & it was the exact amount I needed! Daryl also helped me get a new car seat for Story since she was using Trust's old seat that was actually expired! God really came through.. But it really took me stepping out of my comfort zone & allowing others to see into our situation.

In that time too, Brett submitted OVER 50 applications & resumes & kept getting rejection after rejection letter. He would be filling out Applications for 6+ hours a day but nothing was happening. It was grueling & it was really hard on Brett..

We finally decided to lower our pride again & go get some help with job searching & food. We scheduled a meeting with Placer County's Work Program & also their food assistance program. We walked in feeling lower than low. We literally had JUST qualified that day, after paying another mortgage payment. If we would have come in a day sooner, the money in our account would have been more than what is eligible to get help. It couldn't have been timed more perfectly. 

Brett did the job readiness program that was basically like having a full time job, on top of job searching & interviewing! It was INTENSE. Plus, at the end he had to intern for free for a company so we could qualify for benefits. He worked his butt off. It was humiliating at times, but he did it! Plus, he encouraged many people in his classes & had tons of favor from all the job counselors & teachers. They could see how qualified he was and they bragged on him constantly! 

He ended up getting an interview of a job with an up and coming insurance company, where he'd help with social media & marketing. He told me before the job popped up he felt like God asked him "what do you want to do?", Brett replied "I really want to use my creativity & photography & marketing degree, with pay that will support my family." & sure enough, he got the job interview, wrote a solid plan for the company about what he would do to help market the company & he nailed it! He got the job & was offered MORE than what his end salary was at his last job with pay increases in the future, has weekends off, is home by 5 & is exactly what he asked God for! 

On top of all that, we filed our taxes & it looks like because of having Story & other things we'll be getting back almost the exact amount we thought we'd be getting on our house the 1st time we thought it was sold! Now that is cool! All that we lost, is being recovered.

 That is the adventure of following Jesus into the unknown. He KNOWS even when we don't, we just have to be obedient & go where He's leading.

Through all of this we've been digging in deep at our new church Jesus Culture Sacramento. Week after week, we'd cry as we'd sing songs like Miracles that says "I believe in you, you're the God of miracles!" & Songs like No Longer Slaves that says "I'm no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God" -- Trusting God is surrendering everything you think you know & see. It's not giving into fear that so quickly ensnares your thoughts. It's saying "God, even though I can't see what's in front of me, I know you have me every step of the way." 

I also have the amazing opportunity to be on the Rooted Book Launch Team & got an advanced copy of the book Rooted, by our pastor Banning Liebscher, coming out in May. The timing of this book has been incredible. Banning talks about how God uses situations to help develop our root system, to strengthen us so we are ready & strong when we do the thing God is calling us to do. I feel like our old root system was weak & that through these situations of learning to trust, to let down our pride & basically start from scratch, has helped strengthen us & grow us in ways we couldn't imagine AND in such a short time! I feel like we've grown more in this season than any other in so many ways. 

We are truly learning to THRIVE & be content in all situations. I've learned Money is just money. The important stuff in life has nothing to do with money!! We have been on SO many BIG adventures since moving here that have cost us nothing but gas! We pack a lunch & GO & create memories that last. I wouldn't trade those memories for the world. 
Life is GOOD. I'm learning to find joy even when life is hard. There is so much to be thankful for, even when it looks like things are falling apart, hold onto hope!