April Fields - 10/18/2007
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great things, and difficult, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:3)
I am writing this down as a testimony but also because I don't want to forget the small, yet important, details that have already begun to blur in my memory. I want to remember everything because it marks a major turning point in the huge leap of increase in my family's faith and a strong preparation for what I know is just ahead.
One Saturday, in late March, 2007, I was doing online searching for property. We have had our house on Lake Lanier up for sale since August 2006, because we have felt prompted to sell and down-size. We had no real plan in place other than to look at land, at existing homes, and any other option that God positioned us into. We have truly been open to whatever He wants for us.
As I was searching, I stumbled across a listing for 14 acres with 2 houses. There was no address offered, but a little intuitive digging yielded a location and I did a Google Earth search. Even that result took more investigating because the address did not align with where Google Earth had marked the property. But I did locate it and as soon as I told Ron about it, he suggested we go take a look.
We easily found the property which cannot be seen from the main road, and as we drove down the long drive, and the two houses came into view on the right, and then the pond on the left, I had the most incredible sense of "home". Hard to explain this feeling, but it was something akin to a deep pulling, a drive, a sensation I have had since childhood that I have experienced at different times for most of my life -- and never had satisfied -- never until I drove onto the property, that is.
It appeared that no one was home so we drove out and explored the surrounding areas, to see what kind of development joined the property. Going full circle around the area we finally pulled over and stopped at the top of the entrance at the mailboxes and I used my cell phone to call the number listed on the sign. Surprisingly, the owner was at home and we spoke briefly. She referred me to her realtor and I agreed to have our realtor call and set up a time to come and view the houses. It sounded so easy but I could not have known, at the time, what a difficult three months loomed just ahead. I don't think it's necessary to list all the obstacles and problems and mountains we had to climb, because, ultimately, God had a plan and it is more important to note that we kept believing and trusting and following through, without wavering (much) until what He had shown me, with the signs He had given to me, had finally culminated in the events following our being led to the property.
After we returned home that day, sitting at my desk, I suddenly noticed the addresses of the two houses, 3803 and 3809. I gasped because I realized those two addresses contained three threes, which, again, was the sign God had been giving me, over and over, in all manner of ways, numerous times a day, for three weeks. I had only just begun to realize, three days before we found the property, that God was, indeed, preparing me for a great and difficult process, one that would require patience, trust and above all, unflinching faith. I've had many kinds of preparations before but never this kind of specific instruction, with a specific numeric sign and a Scriptural confirmation, but the three threes, were all of that, and more, and it is interesting to note, only the ASV Bible includes the important phrase -- and difficult -- which encouraged us to stand, in the face of opposition, to not lose heart, or not allow what seemed impossible, in the eyes of the world, to discourage us from believing that God did intend for us to have this property. There were times, that, without that merciful, grace of God -- that promise -- we might have chosen to believe that we had been wrong and that we had not heard from God and just give up. But God loves to do what the world deems impossible, and more than that, He loves for us to trust Him and depend on Him so that His will might be fulfilled through our faith. I want to insert here that we didn't forge ahead simply because we wanted the property, we stood because God told us to stand. It definitely would have been easier to quit.
Through the most incredibly arduous weeks that followed, up against what seemed to be an ill-fated and impossible challenge, Ron and I and our daughter and son-in-law, were finally able to acquire the property and to launch into the next phase, which is to prepare it, according to God's specifications, for His purpose. Even though we can only speculate on that full purpose, we know now, by the trials given in the first stage, we are likely to encounter more odds, and yet, by staying open to listen, trust, and obey, we accept that He will see this endeavor to its intended conclusion.
Indeed, we do not know what great things God has planned, and though they may be difficult to the point of unachievable, we understand, by this example, that we have no better option that to trust Him. With God ALL things are possible. Holly and Bill, who so willingly stepped out in faith to make this happen, and their boys, are now living there in one house and we are all joined in the process of cleaning and renovating the older "farm" house for Rachel and her family. Ron has been instrumental in working with the county to appease Caesar's rules and regulations so we can build two more houses. And believe me, Caesar has a lot of rules and regulations. Though it's only been three months since we took possession, it seems as though it has been much longer, but God has speeded up things for us. We already have permits that contractors are stunned about. We still feel this next stage will be just as difficult, but now we are better prepared from our faith-tested experience.
For the purpose of shortening this testimony, I have purposely left out so much, including all the prayers and people whom God called upon to participate, and who answered the call, in spite of great risk, and the blessings big and small that flowed to and through us when the first part of this plan was completed. But all of the "hows" are much less important than the message of Jeremiah 33:3. Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great things, and difficult, which thou knowest not.
In spite of the odds and obstacles remaining, not the least of which include selling our other homes, I now have a newly strengthened faith that surprises even me. Instead of wondering how it can happen, I am waiting with positive anticipation to see exactly how God will finish this and use this place that we have named Trinity Pond. What is His mysterious will? We don't presume to know for sure. We think we are building a safe haven for those whom He sends to be with us. We have started a Bible study for family and friends, gathering to worship on Sunday mornings at Trinity Pond, and this has truly begun to bear good fruit. We do this because we believe this is not our place but His and we joyfully give it back to Him, for His glory.