September Saga, Part 1

(This is part of a series that it has taken me a while to write…)

I noticed a house while I was zooming by on my bike through a back neighborhood to drop my kids at their swimming class.

That I noticed something along the way is a miracle in and of itself, my husband would probably say. I’m inclined to agree with him.

He, on the other hand, notices everything as he goes along. It is an anomaly to me. He notices cars, people and what they are doing and where they are looking, things on the side of the road, etc.

I might notice some flowers.

But generally, I’m focused on where I’m headed, what needs to be done to get there, where potential problem areas might be for the kids (big puddles, intersections with cars that zoom past, narrow passages with lots of pedestrians)…

That’s just the way that we are made.

Still, I noticed it. It was closed up and the mailbox taped over, meaning that it was not inhabited.

Two weeks later, I happened to notice that the windows were opened and there were people inside. It looked like it could be either a cleaning crew or real estate agents by the baggage in the door and the open doors itself.

I told Vicente when I arrived home. He encouraged me to go back and ask the people and so I gathered up all the assertiveness I possess and went back with my baby to go ask.

Their jaws hung open as I asked if the house would be up for rent or sale and then they offered me a tour. Sure! I parked my bike, took our shoes off and stepped inside.

What followed was a lot of emailing back and forth (in which I learned a lot about professional email formatting in Japanese), a lot of discussion between Vicente and I, another tour with him present, haggling, application to the owner with a lower price, application for the guarantee company with our references…

All this was happening just as I had received notice that it was the final stage of cancer hospice care for my father and I needed to make decisions and immediate plans about going home to be there, if at least for a funeral.

Honestly, it was a big whirl of things for me—

Moving would require an enormous amount of work (which I actually underestimated). Traveling across the world with my youngest child, leaving my two oldest in the middle of a pandemic with daily changes in regulations was honestly really scary and overwhelming for me.

And the desire to be there and provide support and assistance to my family, something I had wished for for the whole process of his cancer… well, that was another subject all together. It’s hard when you have watched your family struggle, being unable to lift a hand from afar. There’s only so much you can do from the other side of a phone screen.

We went through a really stormy few weeks. Stormy, not in that we didn’t trust God, but in that one thing after another was going on and all I wanted was a clear answer to my prayer- “Ok, God, what decisions should I make?”

I really like stability, optimization and efficiency. While new situations energize some people, that doesn’t always apply to me. We had been walking through a year of new situations with launching a new ministry, and praying the Lord’s guidance over every step. And He had led us!

But our first year was coming to close with a typhoon of a highly charged situations.

And so, again, I prayed.


2 thoughts on “September Saga, Part 1

  1. Janine, This is so beautifully written. I imagine, too, that this is another step and a help in the grieving and healing process. In fact, I have tears in my eyes now, as I pray again for you — for these things and for the other *now *things, the struggles of your friends and yourselves. Love you! Vonda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, which is why it took me a number of months to have the energy to go through all this again! Crazy story, but God was good and sustained us all. Love you guys!


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