Several years ago, I woke up one morning with a bright idea. I was going to be a real estate agent. At that time, I was a stay at home mom. The night before my bright idea came, my husband and had gotten into a big fight about our lack of money. I was very upset because I knew in my heart that God wanted me to stay at home with my three young sons, but my husband wanted me to go back to work. Actually Justin was just a baby.
The morning after the fight, I woke up at 4:30 am. I was playing the fight over and over again in my mind. My husband wanted me to help him financially and to go out and get a job. He was angry with me because he thought that I wasn’t helping him out. I do not think he realized what God was doing in my life, or the life of my children. He just saw a material need.
So here I am stuck in the middle, wanting to please my husband and knowing in my heart what God wanted for my present life. I was very conflicted.
All of a sudden, as I sat there brooding in the early morning hours, I thought “I know, I will become a real estate agent so I can help out my husband.” When that idea came to me the feeling was so strong that it was the right thing to do, that I thought this must be God. At that time, I really did want to go out and get a job. I am the kind of person that likes to take action, and to meet needs. It was hard for me to understand why God wanted me to stay home when we were having such desperate money problems. Our plan for our life, and God’s plan are usually two different things. For years God and I played the game. I would become fearful about our finances and I would run out and get a job. Within a month or so, after a lot of frustration, I would find myself right back where I started, at home. So this was one of those times.
I didn’t pray about whether God wanted me to be a real estate agent or not. No, I didn’t stop and consider that at all. I automatically thought this must be from God because it felt so right, to my flesh anyways. I still remember that morning. I went over to the phone book around 8am and I called Century 21. Century 21 was my first choice since my father work as an agent there years ago.
I got on the phone with the Broker of the company, and simply told him that I wanted to be an agent, and that I wanted to know how to start. He asked me to come in as soon as possible. I was there by 9 am. We talked for about 10 minutes and wouldn’t you believe it, he hired me right then and there. It all happened that fast. I thought “Wow, this must be God”, but I still did not stop and pray about whether it was God’s will for me.
I immediately enrolled in real estate school. The Broker paid for it ,thankfully, and I thought, “When things come this easy, it must be from God.” But I still did not pray about it.
A few weeks later, I finished the class and I went to go take the exam. Wouldn’t you know it, I passed. I again thought, “This must be God.”, but I still didn’t pray about it. While I was in school I had another bright idea. I thought, “we can buy a house now that I am working.” So I spoke to my husband about it, and very quickly we were house shopping, but we still did not pray about it to see what God’s will was for us. We found a house that we wanted, filled out the loan paperwork, and were waiting for an answer from the bank.
While we were waiting, I told my husband that we should pray about buying the house. Yes, I came to my senses, and thought to inquire God on it. Too Little too late, as you will see. We prayed together about it and we said a very specific prayer. We prayed that if it was God’s will for us to buy the house that He would have the loan go through, but that if it wasn’t His will that the loan would be denied.
Finally, after days of waiting the call finally came in. We were told that the loan did not go through, but that he still had some other places that he would try. We were happy that he was trying so hard. The agent got back to us a couple of days later and told us that he got us approved. I was confident in the purchase since God had answered my prayer, right?. When we went to go sign the paperwork, they told us that the mortgage payment was going to be $500.00 more than they originally told us. Here we were sitting there with all of the agents and title loan representatives staring at us. Frank was staring down at the paperwork, looking ill, when he looked right at me and said, “can we afford this?” I quickly answered “Yes!” Of course I was not worried in the least, since I was confident in my prayer, so we signed.
I had a new job, a new house, and I thought this is going to be great. That’s when the problems started. One thing after another went wrong. My job was not bringing in the massive amounts of commissions that I had hoped for. They were too few and too far in between. There was also a huge monthly expense to get my advertizing set up, and signs to buy, associations to pay, etc. Now one told me how expensive it was going to be. We had more going out than we did coming in, but I was tenacious, and I dove in and tried even harder. Very quickly we were broke and our house payments fell behind.
My husband and I started fighting again about money. He wanted me to now quit my job and “get a real job”. But I knew that if I stuck with it for a little while longer that we would prosper, after all, wasn’t this just Satan trying to get us to quit. I thought so at the time, because I fully believed that God had answered our prayer that we should buy the house. I thought we were just being tested.
Things got worse. Every single day, my husband would tell me to quit and get a “real job” and every day I would tell him that it would be okay. I would then tell him that I had money coming in, that it as just a matter of time. I did bring in quite a few commissions, but by the time they did come in, I had to give most all of it to the mortgage company.
After ten months of this, I was really scared, frustrated and very worried. I was mentally, physically tired, and the stress at home and work was killing me. I relented, I gave in. I went out and got myself a part time job as an Office Manger. I was working four hours a day, so we had a little money coming in, but it wasn't enough. Even this situation was a problem, because my part time job took away from my full time real estate job, and things only got worse. We fell so far behind that our house went into foreclosure and we were asked to leave our home. I can remember feeling so ashamed because all of the neighbors must have known, after all, we had not even been there a year, and there was a for sale sign out in front of our house. A few neighbors even came up to us and started asking questions.
If the stress at home was not enough, I was getting into arguments with my Broker. I left Century 21. I'm still not sure if I quit or got fired. Either way, we both agreed, strongly, that I should go somewhere else to practice real estate. God didn't seem to be blessing my job.
I spent the next couple of weeks looking for a new Broker. I found another job at Crieyle Lake. My part time job didn't need me anymore because the girl that I had replaced who had hurt her back had recovered, so there went that money.
When I started at my new real estate job, I didn't have a dime to my name. We were already looking for an apartment to move into, one that we could afford, and we were trying to scrape together enough money to put down a deposit. The start up costs for real estate are very expensive, and I didn't get anywhere at that job. I think I was there for about two months. I never even got a buyers agreement. Another failure. I couldn't catch a brake.
We moved into three bedroom apartment that we could afford. I stopped working and I was once again back at home with my three sons, just where God wanted me to be.
One day, I was sitting outside on my porch watching the children play, when I remembered the prayer that Frank and I had said about buying the house. I asked God, “Why did you approve the loan just so we could fail?” Before the words were even out of my mouth, I heard a voice in my spirit say, “The loan didn't go through the first time.” That was a major revelation to me. I sat there and thought, “okay, the loan did not go through, but we kept pressing the issue, until they found a loan for us.” We had prayed about it, and then ignored God's answer to our own prayer.
I have to be careful that I consider God in all that I do. Sometimes it's the sudden bright ideas that get us in trouble. God never gave me the okay to go back to work. He didn't want us to buy the house, but we did what we wanted. This was a valuable lesson for me, a year long lesson. A year that I can never get back, and a big waste of time.
Since then, whenever I get a bright idea, I go to God in prayer, first, and ask Him what his will is, before I make the decision, even if I feel that it is a good decision. I tell Him that I want what He wants for my life. I used to wonder about how I could tell when something was Gods will for my life or not. It was hard for me to discern. I didn't understand how it worked. We dd not usually hear an audible voice speaking to us from the heavens telling us what to do, so I was always unsure if I had heard from God or not.
Thankfully, over the years, God has helped me to understand how to know, that I know, that I know when something is God's will for my life. The trick is I ask God to give me peace one way or another about the situation, and then I wait to see how I feel. I try not to make quick decisions over important issues. I pray and then I wait and see. Now most of us have been taught not to go with our feelings, because our emotions are fickle and change from day to day. But if you ask God to direct you, and then you wait and see if the peace of God is on the decision, then He will make His will known to us and we can then be confident in our decisions. God wants to direct us, and He never fails us, if we seek His face, instead of seeking our own wants and desires. Most always, God makes me wait longer than I want to, but he always directs me onto the right path.
In these desperate times that we live in, we absolutely have to invite God into all of our decisions, big and small. We must go to God first, not last like I did. I diverted God's plan for my life by a year, a year that I can never get back. It was a huge lesson that I will not ever forget.
One thing I know by experience, is that God will not bless a situation or a decision that is not His will for our lives. When we jump ahead of Him, we have to accomplish our endeavors under our own power. Even if we start out with much ambition and strength, without God standing behind us on it, our strength dies out and we become tired, frustrated, and we give up. The Bible says,”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:6 Amplified)
We are incapable of living our lives successfully without God. The next time you make a decision, stop and think, “What does God want me to do.” I could of saved myself a years worth of trouble if only I had listened to the answer to my own prayer, and God's instructions.
I rarely go by sudden bright ideas anymore. Actually I am kind of wary about them. I most always pray, wait and see, before I act. When I do this I am assured that I am following God's plan for my life. I have to admit, I am having much more success in my life now a days.
The other thing that I want to say, is when we do divert God's plan for our lives, we do not have to fear. God will always bring us back to where He wants us to be. He will never let us stay off track if we sincerely want Him to decide what is right for our lives. God got his way with me, even though I took a detour. He brought me back to His will, and I was once again where He wanted me in the first place, back at home.
By Kristine Mulholland
Come listen to my Gathering Together Ministries Radio Program and listen to one or more of my Podcasts.
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