Posted by: Mad Lamb | 24/06/2012

In control

Well today is a ‘how it is’ day. I just have to tell you what’s in my head and leave you to decide what level of ‘faith’ I’m working at.

It’s been an interesting few weeks with our house sale being off, on, off and back on again. We had a house in Scotland to sell (long story – another time, perhaps). We had given ourselves to the end of May for it to sell otherwise time was getting short to buy a house in Bristol in time for September.

Just as we were assuming it wouldn’t sell a buyer appeared. All looked well until their buyer had to pull out due to a problem with their mortgage. So we were back as we were before the buyer appeared, wondering if we needed to move to Scotland to live in the house, as we decided renting it would be too complicated. As we were just coming to terms with all that would mean, not least for my work situation, the buyer reappeared, having sorted something out with their house sale. So it all went through on Friday only one week later than initially anticipated.

As you can imagine we were praying left, right and centre trying to work out what was God’s will in all of this confusion. However, strangely we were also both quite calm (so unlike us!). Although I’m not sure whether a shared bout of all-out flu during this time left us with no energy to do otherwise. Still, both when we were considering a move north and when our ‘plans’ were on track we felt things would be okay.

However this weekend we travelled to Bristol for the fourth time, knowing we had exhausted almost all the properties on our price bracket. We returned to two houses we had seen before with another two on the list. There was one we wanted to like most. It had a great position for cat wanderings and the owners had a property ready to move into due to a previously collapsed sale. However the rooms were just too small for what we needed.

The second had been dismissed on a previous visit due to worries about parking arrangements and that the vendors had not started looking at properties. The rooms were big enough although there was very little garden and it was quite close to a busy road. The other properties were not suitable for various reasons, so we were left with a decision – to make an offer on the second property or keep looking when we knew the options of picking up vacant property was minimal.

So on the way home we made an offer lower than the asking price, which was accepted. So the fun starts next week as we start a process of appointing solicitors, arranging a survey and waiting for our vendors to find a property.

Neither of us were very ecstatic about the purchase which left me wondering this morning if we had made a mistake. Should we have held out for a vacant house? What if the vendors don’t find anything soon? What if their vendors then need to buy etc. There were some roaming rights for the cat but not as bushy as he was used to. While there was ‘enough’ parking I still wondered how we would cope without our own private driveway?

I suddenly realised I was trying too hard to be in control of what was going to happen and that  worried me both as I couldn’t control things but also that I wasn’t trusting in God.

Then in church the sermon was from Joshua, who was about to take God’s people into a new land. It mentioned things being different in the future. There was a call to be strong and courageous and to trust that God would be with the Israelites in their new circumstances.

I reflected on how the dilemma over our house sale was resolved without any action from us.  Now I was being called to really trust in God. Trust the chain would be in place for us to move or the sale would not go through and another property would be available (as happened when we first moved to Bristol). Even if the sale didn’t happen in time for us to move directly to our new house, it would be okay, although more expensive than anticipated.

I also had to trust that the accommodation style we’d previously enjoyed would be different to what we were faced with and that we’d get on with our neighbours, as the houses were very close together.

Ironically almost immediately I accepted anything could happen I then prayed that we know so we could ‘plan’. A vain attempt to snatch the control back. That said without knowing the exact outcome there are plenty things to do, boxes to pack, excess to discard, so no risk of idly sitting around.

So I am now truly humbled into waiting to find out the next stage, really trying to let God be in control.

I expect there will be more lessons to learn in the process to come.

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