If you told me that we would be where we are today five years ago, I would never have believed it. BUT sometimes you have to make some crazy and BOLD faith moves so that God meets you where you are.
I moved to Montreal to join hubby after getting married In 2011. Hubby had moved there 2 years prior to do his Masters and I was doing my PhD and had the flexibility so I relocated to MTL. JD our first born was born a couple of years into our marriage and I then got a job with the Federal government but it was contractual and I had short term 3 month, 6 month and back to 3 months contracts which were not sustainable for family life: WE KNEW that Montreal was not the place that we could flourish as a family.
When the twins were born we knew that we needed to move otherwise we would get complacent in Montreal. Montreal is a very interesting place. Life in Montréal is very affordable in terms of daycare, food, rent: you name it. The catch though is that it was really hard to get jobs in our respective fields. We had seen several people get caught in the trap of call centre jobs that pay minimally but that give you a false sense of security that eventually trapped folks into never leaving while having your soul sucked out of you daily. Dont get me wrong: all work is honourable. When you know you were crated for more it can be very demoralizing.
After some tense exchanges at work (story for another day) I had my mat leave covered for a year with just one month left to my contract after maternity. Side note: Canadian mat leaves are up to one year and now up to 18 months. Depending on your employer you could be topped up at least for your maternity leave (17 weeks) and even your parental leave (37 weeks) to a total of 52 weeks. PAID. Thank God for Canada 🙌🏾.
Anyways I digress.
One strength in our marriage is that we have purposed to do things and take decisions in AGREEMENT. This was one piece of advise that an older couple gave us while we were dating/courting and it has helped us navigate big decisions.
We visited rental properties by doing daytrips from Montreal to Gatineau. We knew that we were going to live on the Quebec side because it is much more affordable for a number of reasons - daycare, car insurance, rent and we were also using the time to scope out potential communities where we would eventually settle down and buy property.
We moved with NO JOBS, NO JOB OFFERS, NO PROMISES. We packed up all our worldly belongings and our three children in a Discount truck. Hubby drove the truck, I drove our Hyundai with our precious children. And our cousin's wife who rode with me and her hubby drove his kids with us. This was one of the scariest things we have ever done, yet we had such a deep inner peace to us.
Our last Sunday at Montreal, our church family prayed over us, and released us with blessings. Hubby and I had served in the church - in his seven years at the church he'd become a deacon and a member of the church board and I had served in the communication ministry and the choir. The hardest part of our departure was probably the daycare for me. They had LOVED on J since he was 7 months. He had joined part-time while I was job hunting. The daycare was bought by a lovely christian lady who converted it into a Montessori daycare. She had poured into the children and prayed for them. All his daycare caregivers literally balled when we left and we hugged them and he kissed them.
We had no clue what was waiting for us in Ottawa/Gatineau.
Here are some lessons I learned through this season
1. You don't have to look like the trials you're going through
We were in an extended wilderness when we were in Montreal. Yet in the wilderness, God blessed us. A lot of people had NO CLUE that we were going through such challenges because God's grace allowed us to look radiant even as we were going through. You don't have to look like the challenges you are facing. Let God cause His face to shine upon you and it will shock the world that you're going through! Although Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego were in the FIRE, they did not look like the fire.
And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them. Daniel 3:27
2. Though it tarries, wait for it
Though it tarries - WAIT FOR IT! I don't know what waiting season you are in right now - whether you are waiting to get married, waiting for a breakthrough in your career, waiting for the baby to come, waiting to own a home, waiting for a permanent job. Whatever you are waiting for - believe that God is able. And though it seems like it is taking a long time to come together, WAIT. FOR. IT.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.
IT. WILL. SURELY. COME.
3. His grace is sufficient for you
There are times when you will be asking God to take the yoke away from you. I know through the 5 years prior and even the past 5 years, I begged God to take the yoke away. His response was always:
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
His grace will carry you through the seasons that seem unbearable. Stop depending on your own strength and rely on His grace!
4. If you have faith the size of a mustard seed
Faith, no matter how small will move BIG mountains in your life! But you've got to have FAITH! Faith without works is dead - you've gotta move for you to see a move of God's hand. You can't stay in comfort and expect breakthrough!
For assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20
5. God's timing is always perfect
In the world's eyes we were late starters. I was in my mid-thirties when we left Montreal and hubby was in his forties: no permanent job, no home to own, hoping on God and depending on him. In 5 years, God turned all of what looked like setbacks into our greatest come-back's yet. God's timing is not our timing:
But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 2 Peter 3:8
In five years here is what God has done:
We both got permanent jobs in the government
We have become home owners
We in a much more financially secure place
Our children are flourishing
We are established in our community
Hubby has a permanent job IN HIS FIELD!
We have both received multiple promotions in this season!
Don't look at someone's winning season without appreciating what their sowing and waiting season involved. BUT God! We prayed so hard over the previous five years. For breakthrough. For open doors. It took time BUT it came. There is seed time and harvest time. In His time, He makes all things beautiful!
I knew it would be better than what we were going through BUT we never imagined that it would turn out as well as it has! Praise God with me for His faithfulness, for His on-time-ness, for His goodness towards us.
I am believing God with you for your breakthrough. If He did it for us, He will surely do it for you!