Confession: This week I almost gave up – literally, the day before – God was about to provide exactly what I’ve been so desperately praying for.
I’ve probably written about a million different things that I’ve needed God to do on this blog, but this week we desperately needed God to give us a New York City Apartment.
I don’t say this lightly, finding an apartment in Manhattan is among the Top 5 Most Stressful Things We’ve Done, to date. And for those of you who’ve followed my blog for a while, you know we ain’t weak sauce around here — We’ve survived marital dysfunction, mental illness, and a mice infestation to name a few! And yet, finding a Manhattan apartment cripples me and makes me cry every single time.
But I’m not the only one who has needed something specific from God this week. Maybe for you, finding an apartment in the heart of NYC would be a cakewalk considering what you’re up against today, and that desperate need of yours has been at the forefront of your mind all week.
Understand, that no matter how big or small what we need from God is: 1. God will do what He promised (He always does!) but, 2. Randomly awful and chaotic things will happen while we wait (they always do!)
— and the closer you get to the pay off, the more crazy it will be!
Here are 5 things that will happen before you receive the deliverance you’re believing for: (all of these happened literally the day before I received mine this week!)
1. You’re going to want to quit
While waiting on God, mark my words: You’re going to want to quit. You are going to get so afraid and feel so foolish at times, that a very real part of you would almost rather give up on the dream and settle for second best, all while tragically evading your destiny.
Stay the course.
2. You’re going to question God’s goodness
A friend of mine encouraged me (and made me cry like a baby) with these words this week when I was feeling painfully forgotten by God, and I thought they were such a beautiful representation of God’s heart while we wait for Him to do what He promised.
She said, “I imagine my child roaming around a place I told them to go to because they trust me, and only for that reason are they there — Oh, I’m going to come through for my child!”
There will be times when following Jesus that we’ll feel like we’re roaming around, with no clear direction. We might even worry God has abandoned us along the path, but that’s far from the case. God always comes through for His children.
3. Some moron is going to discourage you
I’m sorry, that’s rude… I should’ve said some lovely human skilled in ‘speaking truth in love’ will feel compelled to do so. At the worst time ever.
(Triple bonus points if you are related to them.)
4. Time will be running out
(Which brings me to my last point….)
5. You’re going to feel like you are breaking, like you can’t handle much more
“I can’t do this much longer…” I cried to my husband Sunday night, ” I feel like I’m breaking…”
After 27 days of searching, there were still no apartment prospects. Not one. And time was, quite literally, running out. (And with it, my sanity.)
I began thinking of all the sacrifices we’ve made in order to do what God has asked us to do, replaying almost to the point of rage, all the times we’ve begged God to show us which step to take, all while receiving nothing but silence on the other end of the line.
With tears in my eyes and a fire welling deep in my spirit, I said these four words through my fear: “I’m not backing down!”
And the moment I said those words, it was as if something emotionally shifted in my heart. Like my spirit dug its heels deep into the ground, into the very desperate and hopeless ground God Himself has led me to — And I refused to budge until God showed up and did what He promised!
…And I realize now, that’s exactly what God wanted me to do.
Because the very next day, and mere hours after I broke down and threatened to quit, the deliverance we were waiting for happened!
We finally – finally – found an apartment in NYC!!!!!!!!!!
I want to share the passage God gave me the day before He delivered me, believing it could be exactly what you need to hang on just a little longer for God to deliver you!
James 5:7-8, 10-11 says this, “Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.
Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.”
…And that’s exactly what God did for me this week! God showed up, slowly but surely, providing just what we needed, at the very moment we needed it. And He didn’t miss a single detail!
Each member of my family had requests of what they wanted our apartment to be like. I asked God for a window — a big, sweeping window with lots of light because 1. light is free (unlike everything else in NYC) and 2. light is the opposite of depression, which is what I was battling the last time I lived there. I asked for a full-size stove, and if God reeeeally wanted to blow my mind, room for a dining room table (but yeah right, who do I think I am? Madonna?!)
My husband wanted a building with an elevator, and my five-year old made only one – impossible – request: that we be able to bring our 47 lb boxer.
And would you believe it, God was listening! — Our apartment has the most glorious window, with not even a single tree blocking the light that pours into the living room. There’s a full-size stove, and even an elevator. There’s even room for a dog and a dining room table! A DINING ROOM TABLE, GUYS!!!!
To be certain, God waited until the last-minute — we needed an apartment by Wednesday and my husband signed the lease on Tuesday. And like clockwork, people were discouraging as H the days leading up to it! Family members, nonetheless. (Woo! Triple bonus points for me!)
Yet, I’m overwhelmingly grateful…
Overwhelmingly grateful for God’s timely deliverance and His unwavering faithfulness.
And grateful that on the day before my deliverance, that though I broke, I didn’t back down — I would have never experienced God’s faithfulness if I had.
And neither will you.
// 52 weeks to write, 40 more to go. //