I have to do a part two of Facing Life’s Challenges (Part 1 posted October 25) because I have experienced a few more of those unexpected challenges this past week. These challenges have to do with “stuff” that’s going on underneath my home.
In Washington state most homes are built with a crawl space, due to the dampness of the region, it is just wiser to build this way. A crawl space is like a mini basement–but it is what it sounds like–you have to crawl around to check things out. Not something that is done often. A few years ago a raccoon got inside my crawl space and wrecked havoc on the insulation. I have had our pest company tell me I needed to have it cleaned out with fresh vapor barrier and insulation to fix the damage, but I kind of put it in the “optional” category. The bid they gave me seemed very high and un-affordable. But my children, worried about my health, encouraged me to move ahead. So I scheduled a company to come Monday and give me an estimate. However, this past weekend we discovered a water leak into the crawl space from a pipe behind the washing machine and the guest bathroom. (Not good to hear rushing water when nothing is turned on!)
My son tried his hardest to fix it. Another friend came and tried to fix it as well, but did help turn my water off at the street. And then Monday, I found a plumbing company who came. He found three leaks, cut two holes in my house, but fixed the leaks. The crawl space expert came and gave me “the facts”. Yes my insulation and vapor barrier are messed up and need to be replaced, but also two of my heating ducts are rusted through and I had water damage to the wood supports which need to be replaced. The plumber told me that I have too much pressure coming into my home, so my 50 year old pipes are going to continue to fail unless I get something called a pressure reducing valve installed! Yep some challenges. These are not warm and happy “facts”…but they are real!
This past week, through our Life Group study by Lysa Terkeurst, Uninvited; we were encouraged to pick a Bible verse to really get into our mind and hearts. We were to review it several times a day and even record the difference it made as we meditated on God’s Word. The verse God put on my heart was Jeremiah 29:11-14 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. As I put into practice the assignment, I found myself walking in peace and grace. I was able to share some Biblical insights with both the servicemen which left them encouraged. I had asked my daughter in law to come and hang out with me, and another friend stopped by during some of the work. These were God’s help to distract me and keep me from going to all the “what if’s” and “Oh no’s”. Dear friends, God is working in and through these challenges as He is yours.
The KJV version uses the word “prosper” instead of his plans just being good. My home needs to be fixed. I am trusting His plan to get each of these things finished. My faith is released as I thankfully remember how He helped me with a bathroom ‘fix”, roofing issues finished and new flooring for my bedroom. These challenges are going to bring more opportunities to share with others, stretch my faith and I am choosing to walk in His peace.
Verse 11 are where we usually stop–but as I chose to read through the rest of the passage the blessing of “In those days when you pray, I will listen” comforted my heart. The “if you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you” is an amazing promise. We can either allow adversities and challenges to cause us to run away from the Lord numbing ourselves from our reality, or we can dig deep and find Him and His Life-giving Presence! My story continues, and so does yours–in this glorious journey called Life!