We left our beautiful home in Colorado 23 years ago and moved to Opelika, Alabama for my husband to get his PhD in Economics at Auburn University. We had built a house in Colorado that I loved five years earlier. Our daughter was seven and our son was 18 mos. I did not want to go.
In fact, inside, I was kicking and screaming. On the outside, I was doing my best to be a submitted wife but inside I was brokenhearted to leave our home, our family, our church and our friends.
We bought a house in Opelika, Alabama, which is the small town next to Auburn. It was not nearly as wonderful as the house we had owned in Colorado and one of the hardest things for me is that it was dark inside. The sun shines in Colorado about 300 days out of the year and the humidity is very low and Alabama's climate was a huge adjustment for me. And the winters were cloudy, damp and dark. I was homeschooling our two children and so was home in our dark house a lot.
One day, I took a walk out into our back yard. It was a sunny day but the small forest of 75' tall hardwood trees in our backyard kept the sun from getting to our house. As I was walking around and talking to God, I pointed out to Him the trees that I would like down so that the sun could reach the house. It was just musing, as I knew we couldn't afford to pay someone to take these huge trees down.
About a year later, as I mentioned in my last post, we experienced Hurricane Opal. The combination of the hurricane and the tornadoes that spun off it brought down a lot of trees in our community. We were without power at our house for four days. Our neighborhood really gathered together helping each other get the damage cleared away.
We went to church on a Wednesday night soon after the hurricane and everyone was telling their story. Most of them were saying how the storm passed right over them and they had no damage. We had seven trees down; three on the house, and one through an upstairs window!
I went home that night and it's one of the few times I can remember being mad at God. I lay in bed that night and told Him 'How come we have all these trees down and others don't? And now we have a $500 deductible on our insurance and we are going to have to pay that money! We can't afford that! How can that be a blessing?!"
Within a couple of days, the insurance company came out and gave us an appraisal on the damage. Then a company came out, cleared the trees out of the yard and got them off our house and repaired the damage on our roof and window. We have pictures somewhere of the trees down - their whole root base torn out of the ground - and laying on their sides!
We received a check from the insurance company. When we got the bill from all the repairs and removals, we had money left over! We had actually made money! Little did I know that the insurance company did their appraisal and then took out the $500 deductible before they issued their checks. When all was said and done, we had an extra $300!
And one day in the middle of all of this, I realized that the only trees that we lost were the ones I had told God I wanted gone!
I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I still am amazed by what God did in that season in my life. He showed me that even though I don't always understand why He takes us where He does, He always has our best interest at heart. He is always listening even though at the time, I may not feel like things are going my way. And He is pursuing me with blessings~over and above all I can think or imagine!
And the biggest lesson I learned is that what may look like a storm, with nothing but bad consequences, can be a blessing in disguise. Because God is good all the time.
love and blessings~