On Passing the Test, and Other Character-Building Experiences

Have you ever gone through a nightmarish situation, learned something, and then been tested on what you learned later?

I seem to be in a situation like that right now.

In 2008, my husband and I moved from my tiny, starter house in the inner city to a nice, bigger house in the ‘burbs. Only problem was, we didn’t sell the first house before we moved into the second. We also owned a piece of land.

We had a mortgage on each piece of property. That’s 1, 2, 3 mortgages. (Yes, stupid. I know. Move on.) We knew we could afford to pay all three mortgages, even though things would be very tight and it would hurt. But I figured God is on our side, so the house would sell quickly.

But the first house didn’t sell, and I was very upset as I saw so much money going out the door every month. Months turned into years. “Upset” turned into anxious, and anxious turned into depressed, and depressed turned into me having to fight off demons of suicide.

I had nowhere to turn except to God, and turn to Him I did. He kept me going, but it was really, really hard. The worst part was that I didn’t understand why He would allow me to go through this.

However, unbeknownst to me, all during that time He was doing a great work in my heart. I had struggled all my life with being ruled by my emotions. Because I let my emotions rule my life so much, I had character but little stability. God made me stable during that time, as only He can.

Have you ever tried to knock over someone who is standing up? It’s easy, right? But have you ever tried to knock over someone who is laying on their face? That’s much harder.

So I learned that stability comes out of brokenness. And I learned that I can trust Him, even when it hurts.

Almost two years ago, after about 3 years of this nightmare, the situation ended in a moment. We listed the house with a property management company, and they put an awesome tenant in there immediately. God snapped His fingers and it was done. I was free and the mental anguish ceased instantaneously. I’ve never looked back.

As I was reflecting on this recently, I had a feeling that God may be ready to test me on what I learned throughout our real estate situation. I told Him that would be ok, because I was going to stand strong. As the old song says, I’ve come too far to look back.

So this morning I learned that my tenant absconded. His lease hadn’t expired. He just left. His rent for this month isn’t paid. And just to make things better, my trusty dryer seems to have died this morning too. Yipee.

I could look at the facts, but I’m not going to. I’m going to look at my Daddy. See, I’m His favorite little girl. (And you are, too.) There’s nobody He loves better than me. He would never leave me unprovided for. He would never leave me alone. I’m going to circle this situation with prayer. I’m asking Him to work this out for my good. I’m asking Him to either sell the house outright (which would be a huge relief), or bring an even better tenant with a higher rent. I’m asking Him to work this out for me exceeding abundantly above and beyond all I could ever dare to ask or think.

And He will do what I ask, because He’s my Daddy. He would never withhold any good thing from me. So I’m going to stand back and watch Him work. And He’s going to help me pass the test.

I’m His little girl, you see.

Have you ever been tested? What did you learn out of your situation? I’d love to hear about it!

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  1. Wow! We are living through a similar situation. We have a house in a distant city that hasn’t sold for 4 years. In addition we have 3 rentals (we are living in one)….every single one hasn’t paid…….we just keep scraping by……I have begged, pleaded, cried and fussed at God…..I have learned two things. First, I have learned the lesson of “enough”. I have always had enough. Second, I’ve learned to find joy in the true blessings we are freely given every day……sunrise, a child’s laugh, hours at the library, etc….So far in this trial I have listed over 700 “gifts” in my blessings journal. I would love to wake up tomorrow and have this trial over, but I can also be content if it doesn’t end.

    1. Awesome testimony, LeAnne! I’m so glad He is sustaining you through this. Hopefully the end will come soon and you guys will have relief!

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