Grow with God
Testimonies of His goodness.
This year we are introducing a new regular article - 'Grow with God'. Articles that focus on what the Lord is doing in the lives of our Aglow Family members. The aim of these articles is to encourage one another as we share the power, love and graciousness of our Lord as He moves within our lives enabling us to grow with God as we live for Him.
To kick things off I thought I would share.
2021 was a year of great change in my life as God led my husband Steve and I into a new and unexpected future. I am humbled by the Lords keeping and His determination to protect us from ourselves.
For many years we have believed the Lord was leading us to leave Perth and establish a new life in Tasmania, we knew there were obstacles, things that gave us a feeling of uncertainty but we didn't care, we were going to do it! The thing is, the time was never right, there was always something holding us back, our jobs, our daughter and aging parents in Perth. We had answers when the doubts came, its ok Tasmania isn't that far, we would visit regularly (wow Covid has proved that one to be very wrong indeed) and so it went on trying to fit our will into Gods plan. Day after day I would ask God to open the door, I wanted an old house and a different lifestyle, basically I just wanted change and I thought because it wasn't happening that God wasn't listening.
In November 2020 I accompanied Kerry-Ellen to York, a town about an hour and a half's drive out of Perth, to speak to a group of Aglow women. After dinner I dropped Kerry-Ellen at her accommodation (we were staying the night) and went to my own, being a bit restless I decided to go for a walk and a chat with God. Well I had quite an encounter with the Lord that ended with Him telling me this (York) is where He has chosen for Steve and I to live - not Tasmania.
I was filled with a strange calm acceptance (which given my determination to move to Tassie was very strange indeed) but I did want confirmation. When I returned home I asked Steve, if we didn't move to Tasmania is there anywhere you think might be a good place for us to move to? He answered yes he thought York would be a good place. I was stunned and thrilled, I am sure the poor man thought my reaction was a bit strange until I explained what God had placed in my heart. So a change of plan started to emerge, we were going to move to York in a couple of years when Steve retired, or so we thought!
Steve had served his employer without incidence for 15 years and at the beginning of 2021 they decided to force him out of his job. Things became very ugly, untruths were told and his stress levels became dangerously high. We were struggling! One weekend we decided to visit my mum and stepfather who were very concerned for Steve's mental health. After a long chat and some wise council we decided to bring our plans forward, sell our house and Steve retire - what were we waiting for?
What a feeling of relief and joy filled us as we drove home from mums, we were full of plans and excitement, it was like a burden had been removed. We did feel a little trepidation we had not bought or sold a house in 30 years, where would we begin?
We began by placing God right in the centre of everything and He astounded us, the Lord brought the right people to our door, our house sold on the first home open for the list price and we purchased the house of my dreams in York (the first one we looked at) all in the space of 2 months.
Steve retired on his birthday and I like to believe that was a special birthday gift to him from the Lord.
We have been residents in York for 8 months now and we love it and we have been made very welcome by the locals. We have found ourselves a church where we fit. Our home (Stanmere House) was built circa 1880 giving this historian many stories to research in the future, it is quirky, has personality and is providing many opportunities for home improvements which we both love.
What I really want to share with you all is this: God hears, and He knows the desires of our heart. Even when we lose faith and doubt He cares about us individually, He does care and He wants to bless. Let us all learn His face is turned toward us and His eyes look upon us with love. He does not judge us or compare us to others, He loves each of us as His perfect, sanctified creation. So let us seek God with our whole heart and know He wants to bless our lives.
Oh, and He knows best!
Stanmere House York, home of the Barlas Family.
Only God could have given us this blessing.