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It is so wonderful how the Holy Spirit works if we just pause and listen. My feeble prayer had been for an opportunity to improve our lives, to be closer to our biological family, to live in a house rather than an apartment, and to have a yard so our children could play on their own—all near a WELS church and school so that we did not have to abandon our spiritual life too. I even prayed that it would be near a Costco so that I did not have to alter my shopping and food choices. How did God answer my prayer? If we moved, we would be closer to our family in both Michigan and New York. We would be within 15 minutes from several WELS churches and three WELS grade schools, and, oh, we would also be only 15 minutes from two Costco stores.
When I approached my husband with all that had transpired, he listened and then said, "I could go back to school and get my degree and be a gym teacher and coach." Changing his career was another prayer request I had made. Bill had wanted to move out of his current vocation because it was not paying well, and we were in need of recovering our financial situation.
In only four days, God led us to say yes to Michigan. In less than two months, we moved.
God continues to bless our move—every day and every moment. We have a roof over our heads; we are fed, clothed, and, most important, we still hear his Word. He feeds our souls with his love and mercy.
So we most certainly did not lose everything. We lost some material items, but the most important thing we have learned and continue to learn is that even if, like Job, we lose everything on this earth, we can never lose everything. Jesus died for our sins. That is done, paid for. Because of him, we have eternal life in heaven.
Life on this earth is not easy. We may never regain our financial status. We may never own a house again. But in this life, I have a loving husband and two beautiful blessings in our children. My husband has a loving wife, and we have eternal life in heaven waiting for us.
I am not looking at this article as a confession for any pity, but I am hoping that sharing our story might give someone else hope. In today's tough times, I know I am not alone, and I also know that without God's Word and his care, we would not be where we are and would not have the hope that we still have. I may not smile because of him as often as I should, but I remind myself of his priceless blessings and try to be better.
Oh, and by the way, we did keep our dog. We realized that would be way too much change for our family. She is very happy, and we are happy that we still have her.
Emily Bauman is a member at St. Paul, Livonia, Michigan.
Editor's note: A few months after the Bauman's moved, they had to move again but found a place only a mile away. Emily is now pregnant with their third child. They're surprised at the timing but are looking forward to God's latest blessing.
Copyrighted WELS Forward in Christ
No matter how bleak things may seem, rest assured that God is always with us and takes care of us. He wants us to trust him and relax about our financial needs. Want to hear more about God's promises? Work through an online Bible study, created to help us fight our financial worries.
I know the Bible says that we are not to be a slave to our debtors and to owe no man anything. What exactly does that mean?
Answer: The Bible verse you are thinking about and which some have used to say that any and all indebtedness is wrong is Romans 13:8: "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law."
We do not believe that this passage is prohibiting any and all forms of indebtedness because of the immediate and wider context of the words in the Bible.
Do you have a special need, concern, temptation, or heartache? Or do you know someone who does? Our prayer team is ready to pray on your behalf.
Looking for more stories and resources that relate to your life situation? WELS has developed materials for some of life's biggest challenges and changes including going to college, death of a loved one, financial problems, divorce, parenting, fear, aging, and more.