Have you ever considered that verse in Isaiah? I’ll write it again:
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the desert.”
Consider what a roadway in the wilderness means. Provision. It means connection from one place to another, or a way to get goods from one place to the next. It is something where there was nothing. And rivers in the desert mean an abundance of life where once no life was possible. A river wouldn’t just sustain one person in a desert land but an entire community of people! God is promising an abundance of provision where previously nothing was possible. Something from nothing.
So to continue our backstory and tie up a few of those loose ends, things continued to not go like we planned. How typically human of us to assume we knew the plans God had/has for us. (Job 22:12 “God is so great–higher than the heavens, higher than the farthest stars.” And Isaiah 55:9 “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.“) We were relieved to move into the house God provided for us. It had been over a year since we had been in a house of our own and we had stuff in storage that we hadn’t seen in that long. A purging of things was definitely in order. So we waited and prayed and purged. Our friends in the meantime had procured a trailer but were still in Idaho awaiting funds and the go ahead to travel. They did eventually make it down to us in Colorado in July and that was a whirlwind of crazy for about a month until we realized that our ideas of traveling together was not a real possibility at that time. We had some great moments and not so great moments in community living which really just taught us more about ourselves and our Great Father. In the wake of that disappointment, we were left a little confused as to what we were to do here. He is faithful.
In the meantime, back in June, we received a call from my parents in Coeur d’Alene saying that someone had been calling Elijah House Ministries for awhile and needed help building a retreat center. They had just heard of it and had known of our vision and prayers. (Now, if you remember from my last post, God had told us to put the vision to rest because He had an elderly man who needed help on some land and we were going to be an answer to prayer for him.) We got the gentelman’s number and gave him a call. Here is where you will see how specifically God works. This gentleman was an elderly man who lived in Oregon and owned 41 acres in the cascade mountains. He had been working for 19 years preparing the land to be a healing retreat center, self-sustaining, with animals and farmland and mountains and camping! He had been praying very specifically in March (the same month that God gave us the word of being an answer to prayer) for the right people to come alongside him to help carry the vision and do the hard labor required to establish the land as a retreat center. Are you suprised? We were overjoyed that God had connected us with a godly man with similar ideas and a heart for Jesus so tender and willing. We began making plans to come out for a visit sometime at the end of summer. So, when our traveling plans with our friends changed, we planned a trip to western Oregon instead.
There are so many things God was doing in our hearts, its hard to put it all down here for you to read. I’ll get more into specific things as I get caught up to our more daily living. But our trust in Papa God was growing daily. Our money however (why do we always get so caught up by money?!) was dwindling even as we planned our trip. It was going to be very tight, but Talan had a few jobs lined up when we returned that would hopefully get our bills covered. It really was a step of faith. Speaking of which, I’ve been studying faith lately. It really is the evidence of things hoped for. Let me explain. We took that trip without having met our new friend in person and without the assurance we’d be able to pay all our bills when we returned. But we knew God was telling us to go. We hoped that all would go well, and we walked as if it would, mainly because we knew how faithful God had been to us in the past. We trusted He would continue in His faithfulness to provide for us and we followed His leading. Faith. It’s not so much about us, but about the One in whom our faith is in.
So in September, shortly after enrolling the two oldest into school (3rd grade & Kindergarten), we packed up and headed out. We “picked up” my folks in Boise on the way as we had planned for them to accompany us. We arrived in McMinnville, Oregon late in the evening and met Dave the next morning. He took us up the winding mountain road to the property. Nenemusa is the name the Native Americans gave to that area. It means “Place of nurture and joyful rest.” We had an amazing time walking the property, talking and fellowshipping with Dave and enjoying God’s creation on HIS property. We felt more than ever that God was calling us to be a part of this vision to bring healing to His people through quiet, undisturbed, unhurried communion with Jesus in the beauty and stillness of the forest, and in the simple, yet wise keeping of farm creatures and the gentle tending of growing things, deep into the rich earth.
We all enjoyed our own little retreat there. The kids loved being in the wild and learning about plants, and trees and bats. We had a bat fly into our little cabin and Talan grabbed a net we had brought for Zion to catch frogs with, and he promptly snatched that bat right out of the air and got it outside. A few minutes later, yet another bat flew in! (It was confirmed not to be the same bat.) Our bat catcher promptly caught that one in the net too and tossed it outside unharmed. It was an exciting 5 minutes! We decided, however, that we actually did like the bats as they fed on all the mosquitoes instead of the mosquitoes feeding on us! A few days later, after enjoying a day at the ocean (how could we not, being only an hour away!?), and meeting Dave’s prayer team in McMinnville, we began the trek home to Northern Colorado. As we drove away, Talan and I both felt that we were leaving part of our hearts behind us in Oregon and we knew we’d be back.
When we returned home, I bet you could guess that the jobs Talan had lined up fell through. It took almost two weeks to get another job going. In case you don’t know, Talan, aside from being a jack-of-all-trades, owns a construction company and has been sub-contracting from Steel Structures of America building barns and pole buildings around the area. This was a provision from God as it came at a time when he needed work and it just so happened that his contact with SSofA in Idaho had moved to Colorado and was managing the office in our area! It was he who contacted Talan back in the spring to see if he could jump on board as he was in need of reliable contractors. Just another God contact and sign of His faithfulness to provide right when we need it. So, back to September. We had bills due and our money was dwindling to the point that we had expected a paycheck, and instead our bank account was overddrawn. Now I have come to believe that although God does want us to be good stewards of our money and save and all that, He also does not want it to get into a place in our hearts where we rely on that before Him. It really is a false sense of security, as is really anything on this earth. In Matthew 24:35 Jesus tells his disciples, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (NASB) There is nothing we can hope in except Jesus and His words (truth). So began in us a daily working out of this faith. We truly had to trust God every day to provide for us. Talan was working so hard, but kept running into issues that would delay his project and therefore delay payment. It was really not about the circumstances so much as the principles God was trying to work into our hearts. He is after all, our Father. He says we’re adopted into His family. What good father would not want to take care of his kids when its in his power to do so, especially when thery’re doing what he asks them to do? An old YWAM saying I remembered recently is “Where God guides, He provides.” He is faithful.
To be continued…