Saturday, December 1, 2012

Lessons in Reliance on Jehovah Part I

Hello friends,

It's been a turbulent, emotional few weeks leading up to today.  Christine and I feel as though we are living in the middle of a movie. We have finished one chapter, but several chapters lie ahead (lol, I know I sound so dramatic. Are we talking about a movie or a book?).  Hence, the name Part I.

The Robbery
A few weeks ago, we were robbed of a substantial amount of cash, and Christine was robbed of her camera. We would not have known a robbery had occurred if it weren't for the fact that Christine's cash stash went missing twice. The first time it was missing, we thought she had misplaced it. But when she stored some more cash in the same spot, and then came home to find that it was gone along with the camera, we both realized that someone must have come in. We think that our neighbors have been watching us and that they probably climbed through the kitchen window, which unbeknownst (word?) to us, was not secure.

It was on a Sunday, after the meeting, that Christine called me from home in a panic to tell me that the money was gone. I was still at the Kingdom Hall, and her call sent chills up my spine. I went into denial mode immediately and numbly decided to continue out in service.
 On the way to the territory, as the terrifying realization set in, I finally was able to tell my preaching companions that we were probably robbed. I had some pretty funny was to put a toothpick in the edge of the front door so that if someone breaks in, the fallen toothpick would indicate that someone invited had come. Another was to sprinkle a lot of salt in the front entrance so that the robber's footprint would be imprinted. The funniest thing is, I absentmindedly called Christine and was explaining to her these suggestions in earnest.   She desperately told me to just come home, and also (totally unrelated) that she was sorry she ate the rest of our pound cake because she needed something to calm her down. LOL, poor thing.

In the end, our super supportive elders helped us make a report to the police, and we stayed for a week with a missionary couple, feeling antsy about going back into our apartment.

Should We Stay or Should We Go?
Before this robbery occurred, Christine and I were dealing with the stressful decision of whether or not to sign a one-year contract with our landlord. Until now, we had been signing 3-month contracts, but the landlord wanted us to commit to a year. Without sunlight, the apartment was becoming a great source of emotional vexation for Christine. It was especially difficult for her to imagine herself living in this cave for another year, although she was resolved to stay if it was Jehovah's will. As for me, although I did not like the apartment, I was not motivated to move without a clear sign from Jehovah that this place was really not for us.

 Our deadline to let them know of our decision was November 30th.  We had been praying that before the deadline, Jehovah can provide us an apartment with sunlight, that was good for service, furnished, and was within our price range. As if to test our faith, an apartment came up that had sunlight but was out of our budget and without some necessities (like laundry machine). We rejected it, resolving to stick to what we prayed for.

The week after the robbery, we were dealing with the same question. As the deadline approached, Christine and I felt the impending doom of having to speak with our landlords on the subject of the one-year contract. Nothing realistic had come up at all for the apartment search. Christine and I continued to pray intensely for Jehovah's specific direction.

So, November 30th. The deal-breaker day. Before calling our landlord, we called a sister who was a real-estate agent, to see if she knew of any apartments. She mentioned one on the same block as our apartment, that had a laundry machine! We told her we would go see the place on Tuesday. We  hoped our landlords could give us time to look at that place before deciding on the one-year contract.
When we finally called our landlords, we were shocked to find out what their plan was: They wanted to move back into this apartment on DECEMBER 15TH. Yes, in two weeks!

This was a clear indication from Jehovah that it is TIME TO GO!

Round I Lessons
(Yes, I know it sounds cheesy but I really feel like we are in training now.)
1. Both Christine and I are really experiencing what it means to "not lean upon our own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5,6)
We were very tempted to take matters into our own hands by just going for the apartment that was not within the budget that we prayed for. However, sticking to our prayers, and asking for a specific sign from Jehovah not only helped us learn patience, but strengthened our friendship.
2. I've learned that being a true friend, like the one in Pro. 17:17, means that you stick around when they are having a hard time emotionally, and not just being a fair-weather friend.
Also, Jason Mraz's song helped a lot (currently obsessed with this one): "I won't give up on us"
3. Jehovah is humble and merciful. Surely, with his help, we could stay here and endure one more year. But if we keep asking in faith, He will sometimes yield and grant our requests.

Of course this test is not over, the next round is looking for a place to stay within two weeks!

And in between I'm supposedly going to a beach town...something I bought off of Groupon.

Anyway, it's all in Jehovah's hands!

1 comment:

  1. Just open your email that I sent for you and thinking about it! (both of you!!!)

    We (me and my family) will keep both of you our prayers!!!

    Stay with Jehovah!

    Glaucia Lemos