In January of 2008 we were scheduled to move back to the states and Mark was going to get out of the Navy. Ever since we left Jacksonville, FL for Japan we talked about what things would be like when we moved there after our tour. After being saved, I kept getting the feeling that Jacksonville wasn't where GOD wanted us to go, but I would push it into the back of my mind (just another time when I decided not to listen and obey until God made me). Mark started looking at automotive schools. If you don't know my husband he loves cars and bacon. :) He showed me the list of where all the schools were located and we narrowed it down to Houston, TX because the school there had the program Mark wanted, it was located in a warm climate area (Mark and I were a little tired of the 9 months of snow deal in Misawa), houses were cheap there and we just got the sense that it was where we were supposed to go. :) Texas is the last place either of us really wanted to go, but we took the plunge head on.
Our "plan" for moving looked basically like this: Move to Houston. Find a house to live in. Lilly would be born there. Mark was going to work for a few months until the school year started, then I was going to teach and he was going to go to school, and Lilly would be in day care.
What really happened: We didn't have a place to live in TX, our furniture was still being shipped from Japan and Mark's car was in storage. We borrowed my mom's car and drove from Indiana to Houston, TX. Checked into an Extended Stay in The Woodlands, TX and got in touch with a realtor who was going to show us some rental homes. We were thinking we would be in the hotel a week at the most. Every house that we looked at (and liked) was taken just hours before we saw it or the landlords weren't sure about renting to a couple without a job. If you don't know it is hard to get a job without an address and it is hard to get an address without a job. Our realtor said he'd never had this much trouble finding a place for somebody to live. He went over and above what he needed to do as a realtor and we say a big thank you to Mr. Al Basenburg.
We ended up staying in that Extended Stay for 3 weeks - I was about 37 weeks pregnant by this point and I was sure I was going to deliver and we would still be living in a hotel - lack of faith on my part. I began to read the book of Job while we were in the hotel and I realized that my faith was lacking, so I began to change my prayers from "Lord, give us this house" to "Lord, you know our needs and you know what is best for us, I will trust in YOU." That is when we finally found a place to live and it turned out that our landlords were Christians and they even prayed over the house with us on the day we moved in.
We moved into the house and it was go, go, go until Lilly was born. We didn't have our furniture yet because it was still being shipped over from Japan. Mark and I drove to Dallas, TX to pick up his car out of storage. After getting the car, we decided to trade it in for 2 used, family cars - which if you know anything about buying cars at a dealership, it is a LONG process. I had to find an ob/gyn in Houston, register at a hospital and find a pediatrician. We were busy just trying to get things settled so I didn't notice that I was having contractions during this time - I just thought it was Lilly moving around.
On, Feb. 29th, 2008, Lilly was born by c-section (that story in another post). A few days later, our furniture arrived. Thankfully, my mom was in town to help with all the adjusting and unpacking.
In took a few weeks before we were finally able to settle down and enjoy our "new" family. I look back on this time and just think how HIS grace and strength were the ONLY way we made it through all that. AFter personally experiencing HIS provision - I know to trust that HE will provide every time!