Well, the news that I’ve been waiting for has finally come, and leaves me with so much to think about. I’ve learned that finally, after months of waiting, an offer has been made on my flat in Israel – it will cover the mortgage and meet some needs, pay off some money I owe.

It is interesting timing. I’m schedule to leave for Israel on March 27, to spend time with friends there, and check out my options. Now, suddenly, the entire picture has changed. If the sale goes through, I will be able to be open to options that I never could have considered otherwise. Few people, at my age, have the opportunity to really start over.

As I’ve been praying about all this, I realize that this is not a sign that I should not stay in Israel,nor is it a sign that I should stay in the States, rather it is the Lord’s mercy to lift the burden of this mortgage from my shoulders. When I bought the apartment I was working in hi-tech and would have been able to pay it off early with the resources that were available to me. Starting out new, the situation is quite different.

My thoughts are drawn to King David and his grief when he lost his son. Yet his words are true about so much more than I have ever realized:

The Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.

When I came to Israel I was 27 years old. I came with two suitcases and some hand-luggage, and mailed myself a box of books. I had debts which the Lord graciously covered shortly after I arrived. I was a volunteer on a one-way ticket with a conviction in my heart that I was in Israel to stay, at least for as long as He wanted me there. Almost 25 years later I left with a lift of things, most of which I never was able to unpack or use, and with the hopes of building a new home with Rich. The hope was fulfilled, but not as I expected.

I have been realizing these past few months, that God is giving me a rare opportunity to start over with relatively few encumbrances. This time, I do not have the exuberance and naivety of youth, but the sure Word of God as my foundation, the God who has a far different economy than ours. He invests in lives to save souls; not in banks to save for IRAs.

A few weeks ago I heard a teaching that has been a great encouragement to me. You see, even as I write this, I am aware that I am my own worst enemy. I hurt people I love, I get my focus on the wrong things, and I am still learning to be obedient to the Lord I love. The speaker said that we, as believers in Jesus, need to realize that according to scripture, we are “Saints” now. We are forgiven sinners by the blood of Messiah, and that makes us Saints. Not miracle workers, not people with any special gift or ability that stands out from others. What is a saint? Someone set apart (holy) for God. And here is the thing that I keep needing to be reminded, I’m set apart for God because of the work of my Savior. His death became my imputed righteousness. Over and over, I’m reminded to keep short accounts with God. I don’t need to wait for a special day or service to repent of my sin. I just need to come to Him now, right away, and He is there to meet me, and forgive me. All because of what Jesus did for me on the cross.

As I think on this, and all that is happening in my life, I am overwhelmed by the wonder of HIS love, HIS grace, and the sure HOPE I have in Him. Yes, I still grieve, but not as one without hope. And I am looking forward to the new beginning HE has for me now. May HIS will be done.