Lessons Learned from a Busted Toilet Pipe

I knew something was up with the bathroom, but I honestly thought the constant drips from six girls' playtime baths was beginning to catch up with the floor.

That was until I walked into our Forgotten Initiative donation room to see a steady flow of water streaming from the ceiling.

Enter screams, panic, and totally faithless tears.

The reality was our previous home owner had attempted to fix a toilet leak, but his repairs were a simple redirect into the bathroom wall.

Multiply a leak times five years and imagine the damage.

Homeowners' insurance is a wonderful thing, EXCEPT when they refuse to cover damages.


Guess our backup plan is we actually have to be totally dependent on God.

What a thought.

In the middle of a 24-hour plunge to remove 100 bags and boxes of donations and canned goods, we received not one, but two calls from past families terrified DHR was re-entering their lives.

I gave the Father pause, but honestly, I jumped into full blown "fix-it" mode.

First opinion said we would definitely have to move out, possibly a couple of months.

It's one thing to move out, but then think about displacing a three-year-old struggling with attachment issues, and then attempting to find a home for three sisters, ranging the age spectrum.

Surely, God couldn't be completely sovereign over their lives, right? It's up to me to make this work.

How quickly my theology shifts.

How seldom my actions reflect my deepest heart longing to rest completely in the One who holds me in the storm.

My precious friend listened to me on the phone, and gently remarked about how Christ's presence in the storm is possibly as much about the disciples' reaction as they cried out for help when they thought they had been abandoned as it is Christ calming the storm.

I was reading in Deuteronomy this week and came to chapter 20: When you go to war against your enemies and see horses and chariots and an army greater than yours, do not be afraid of them, because the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, will be with you.

Which reminds me of Exodus 14:14: The Lord will fight for you, you need only be still.

Over and over we are told throughout scripture not to fix, but to stand.

Increasingly, the Father is inviting me into spaces where I can only stand.

Consider Ephesians 6:13, Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Isn't He inviting us all into these places of utter trust?

With the child who is in rebellion?

With the marriage that has grown stale?

With the finances spinning end over end?

With sickness and death staring our faith down?

With the adoptive child that continues to hold you at a distance?

With the child's mother sabotaging her reunification?

And when we have done all, we are called to stand.

So Jamie and I began standing, from the posture of our knees, surrendering once again all we are and all we hope for into the hands that hold all.

And the thing is, if insurance had said they would cover the damage and if we had caught the leak before the flood, we would have missed the love you have shown us: the friends surrounding us, the meals, the texts, the calls, the hard labor...the reality that we were made to do this life together, not alone. We would have missed Jesus.

This week I changed my signature to Looking unto Jesus...

I stole it from Kim Wagner who was sharing on Nancy Leigh DeMoss' broadcast Revive Our Hearts.

She took it from Hebrews 12:1-4, Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so easily, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, LOOKING UNTO JESUS, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not resisted to the point of shedding your blood.

The battle is our Father's, and as we look unto His son, the One who shed His blood, we are empowered to stand as He moves in His sovereign grace.

So, together we will stand in faith as we watch the One who fights for us.

And, all this emerged from a busted toilet...

Looking unto Jesus,

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