don’t settle

January 8, 2011

Since October I knew I was moving flats. Enter Sarah. We met for coffee shortly after I found out that I needed to make a decision about moving, and she casually mentioned she was looking for a flat. I knew we were meant to live together (so many reasons: similar age, lifestyles, and she’s just about the sweetest girl I know). We soon discovered that we wanted to both move at the same time, and when I learned that she wanted to live in Bruntsfield, I knew God was doing something: our church is moving to the same area.

We started looking – at first for three bedrooms because I met another lady who was interested in sharing with us. It turned out she found a great place a few weeks later, which put us back to searching, this time for two bedrooms.

I don’t know if I can adequately describe how difficult it is to find a flat in Bruntsfield (very nice area of Edinburgh). Basically, you can scan a few good websites, but maybe find two flats this time of year (Bruntsfield is filled with students, so it’s not easy to find something in January when students are not moving). The two flats that are online are both going for £1000/month. (For you U.S. citizens, that’s about $1,600).

So, we started to think about other areas that were near (and still not too far away for me since the church office is about a 45 min walk away). Maybe Newington or Tollcross. There were flats online well within our price range (£600-650). When I left for the States in mid December, I hadn’t really viewed any of these, but I was hopeful that it wouldn’t be a problem.

The first week I was back in Edinburgh, I got right to calling and emailing these letting agencies. Sarah did the same. I viewed, she viewed. Between us, we visited about 8 flats during the week. On Thursday evening, we met up after I had just viewed an enormous flat that had absolutely no character (felt like a university residence – been there, done that). Another flat I had viewed that week smelled like someone had died in the kitchen. I was starting to get restless, starting to wonder if even a decent place existed that wouldn’t kill me financially.

Then, I started to hear God’s whisper. The same God who whispers to me all the time about how much He loves me, how detailed He is, how He owns it all.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:25,26

I started to thank God for the process. His purpose has included educating me about the city. He’s given me a good understanding of how the South side of the city fits together since I’ve spent some time in several portions of it.

Just before viewing our flat today, Sarah was telling me the story of how God provided a house for her mum. It was an amazing testimony that I can’t fully do justice, but it’s one that involves an anonymous check in the mail. It is so easy to hear those stories (even from people you know well) and think, “Yeah, God is good. He does that sometimes for a few people.”

I was so desperate this morning I even considered bringing the cash for the deposit to the first viewing of the day. Sarah was more hesitant, thinking we could get more. I am always challenged with God that He wants to give us more – more than we dare to ask (Thank God for Sarah challenging me on that!). A friend called Sarah this morning saying that her uncle was letting a flat in Bruntsfield and was only in town for the day. I didn’t even want to go, thinking it’d just be hopeless. We discussed how we’d be willing to go up to £700, which we were just hoping he’d take. We prayed and went.

Walking up, looking at the dining room through the gorgeous bay window, Sarah points at the ground-floor entry, and says, “This is it.” We’re both looking at this thinking, “Yeah right.” As we’re viewing the flat, we’re gasping, and hiding from the people showing the flat, so we can ooh and ahh together.

The landlord (Sarah’s friend’s uncle) asks how much we’d been searching for, and we give our low numbers rather pitifully. He stares at his wife for a second, which felt like ten minutes, and says definitively, “£500.”

Sarah asks, “Is that each? or for the two of us?” It’s definitely what we’re paying together. I do not cry in public very often, but my immediate reaction is, “I could cry,” and I definitely got teary eyed. God sees. He knows. Sometimes He’ll put us in an uncomfortable spot for a little while just so He can show how good He is. I’m not sure I would notice otherwise.

Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement during this time (especially those I cancelled or rescheduled on because I had a flat viewing). We’ll be moving in a few weeks. Pictures coming soon!

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9 Responses to “don’t settle”

  1. Caroline said

    Totally awesome!!!!!!! Yay God!!!! Thanks so much for sharing the good testimony — beautiful!!!

  2. b. said

    The extra goodness in God’s plan is when He uses testimonies to encourage His other children! Thank you for sharing this; it’s another reminder that He has great things for me as I pray and trust Him.

  3. Sandra said

    Thank you for this post. The title and scripture spoke right to my heart.

  4. Ciara said

    What a wonderful testimony. God is taking good care of you out there and you are using the experience to encourage us all

  5. Valerie said

    WOW Praise God! I can’t wait to see what your beautiful new place looks like.

  6. Bethany said

    Very encouraging. Tears in my eyes, too! Miss you and love you.

  7. Mary Ann said

    Oh Nicole, what a lovely story of God’s provision! Hopy you’ll post pictures!

  8. Kim said

    “He’ll put us in an uncomfortable spot for a little while just so He can show how good He is. I’m not sure I would notice otherwise.”

    I can relate to that:) Congrats on the new place! God is good!

  9. Nicole,
    Recently Pastor Jim Laffoon read from Isaiah 66:1
    “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?”
    Where will my resting place be? I was so struck by the concept that while God has the heavens for his throne, and the earth for his footstool he is looking for hearts to rest in. This spoke so deeply to me because I know the value of a safe and comforting home, in a foreign place when your hand is on the plow, you need to come home to a place of rest.
    I get his heart, and I so get yours!
    Thank you God for giving Nicole a heavenly calling, and a ministry on earth, and thank you Lord for giving her a resting place. Enjoy your wonderful new home Nicole. I am waiting in anticipation to get a peek at this new blessing!

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