Since I haven't been blogging much, and since I've only shared on Facebook photos of the process of a major part of what has been keeping me too busy to blog, I suppose it's time to share it here. I posted this blog entry about being sifted almost a year and a half ago. If you've been around a while, you know Shawn joined the masses of unemployed in May 2011. It has been a long, challenging road of not only figuring out how to pay the bills but also trying to figure out what God has planned for our future. All the circumstances that worked together to lead us to where we are now leave me no doubt what He has planned. It may continue to be a challenging road from here and that's OK. But I go into it with peace that we've made a decision that aligns with His will for us.
In April, this building in our town went up for auction. It was right in the area Shawn had been looking to buy since we moved to Bolivar because he felt it was the perfect location for a veterinary hospital. He had made offers on land near this building when it went up for sale. He had made offers on land that hadn't gone up for sale! He had even talked to the owner of this very building, a friend of mine, about what she would sell it for when she closed her business, which happened to be a scrapbook store where I had spent a lot of time. Everyone was either unwilling to sell or wanted a premium price for what they knew was a premium location for a business targeting people with young families. Shawn wanted a price that allowed him to keep his prices reasonable for his clients. Now that the perfect location was finally available, we were almost a year into unemployment and barely scraping by.
We almost didn't even go to the auction because Shawn didn't think the building would sell for a price that would allow us to build a practice that would mesh with his philosophy of keeping prices affordable for average families. And we didn't have financing in place should we win the auction. The day of the auction, we had plans to go to KC to start the process that looked to be the only option we had . It made no sense to us because we felt like 10 years earlier we had prayed faithfully about where God wanted us and it was Bolivar. Bolivar for a long time. So while what we were about to do made no sense, we packed our bags for a trip to KC. Once Shawn found a job there, he would have to live there while the boys and I remained in Bolivar. He would leave behind major responsibilities that were part what we had so faithfully prayed about 10 years earlier and we had no idea how it was ever going to work that he could fulfill the things he felt God had entrusted him to complete. But we followed where we were feeling led. With a heavy hearts we got in the car to leave that day and decided it wouldn't hurt to stop in at the auction. The boys and I waited in the car while Shawn went to bid. Twenty minutes later I got a text from him with a dollar figure in it. We were the owners of the building for an unbelievable price and Shawn was going to own his own veterinary practice again.
We've been haggling with bankers and building walls and painting and lifting and bargain shopping and interviewing and not getting enough sleep the past few months. We have targeted September 24 as the day we open our doors to the public. We're still nervous about the future and we're humbled by the road ahead of building a practice from scratch. But I no longer feel like we're being sifted. My favorite verse in the bible has gotten me through the past 18 months and I've been reminded once again that God is faithful even when it feels like you're all alone.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
and He shall direct your paths.