Often in life, plans have to change, and though change can be uncomfortable, it is almost always necessary. That is the case for us. The problem with the heat could not be resolved, and the wonderful woman we are renting from agreed to let us cancel our agreement to stay for two months. We will move to another apartment on Friday, this time in the city of Quarteira, which we visited last May. Our trip is also going to be shorter, as we will remain in Portugal only until the middle of May, so for about 32 more days, a total of 44 days.
We were reimbursed some of the monies we had paid for the first reservation, but we had to add extra to find a property that had heat, and that additional amenity costs more. But, we are really ready to go to a smaller place with a lot fewer tourists and fewer large, multistory apartment buildings. Portimao is packed with tall skyscrapers, as it is the second largest city in Portugal. I thought that being in a bigger city would be better for making the decision on whether to move here or not, but I simply could not find comfort here, and, I don’t believe I ever would have, because it was not God’s plan for us.
I had been praying for God’s help, as I discovered more painful parts of me that I did not even know I had. Yes, I live in a place where it gets cold, but I also do not mind running up the gas bill to stay warm, much to my husband’s chagrin. He wants to keep the thermostat at less than 68, but I have been known to set it at 80. When he started complaining about the cold, and we had to add every blanket in the place on the bed at night, I knew it was time to find a warmer spot.
I must tell you that part of the reason that I prayed to God for assistance was my disobedience to God’s will is responsible for this debacle. When I was researching places to rent on Airbnb, I felt strongly about an apartment in Quarteira, but the place here in Portimao was at least $500 cheaper. As I went to apply for it, I felt strongly in my spirit that God was saying to me not to choose it. I did it anyway, thinking only of saving the money, and I chalked “that funny feeling” as fear, rather than that God was warning me. My plan was pure froth, meaning a worthless and insubstantial idea.
That is what we do when we think we know more than God, meaning trying to utilize ideas that have no substance whatsoever. You see, I thought, “Well, Lord, it will save us $500, and you know that will be a good thing. What can go wrong, after all?” When we fail to listen to God’s warnings, assured that we are better capable of understanding earthly things, well, just get ready for your plans to change, because God is never wrong. He is attempting to keep you safe from some harm, hurt, or danger. I know this from experience, and still I felt all would go well with my plan. But, I am so thankful that He the mother helps us endure the pain we could have avoided, without making us feel bad about ourselves.
Proverbs 16:9 states, “We make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” God sees the future, and he knows what we will encounter, because He is directing our steps. So, in His compassion and love, He gives us warnings, but it is up to us to heed them. I didn’t, and when this situation came up, I immediately knew that God knew exactly what was going to happen. I felt so stupid and worthless for a few days. As I lamented my disobedience, I prayed for an answer, apologizing to God for my failure to pay attention to Him.
But, as a loving parent, He simply gave me peace, and I stopped feeling so bad. Also, my husband told me that the extra money spent does not matter, because my health is more important to him. I needed that reassurance from God and Douglas, so my self-esteem has soared again, with only occasional thoughts of stupidity,
Around 3:00 in the morning the other night, I felt in my spirit that God was still saying for us to go to Quarteira where I believe God has blessings waiting for us. I listened, and we found one of the last places available in the city. The website noted that we were fortunate, as this listing is nearly always gone at this time of the year. God made a way, and I am enormously grateful for His amazing love for us.
We cannot thwart God’s plans for our lives. But, what we can do is cause ourselves a lot of needless pain when we don’t acknowledge that He will never do anything to hurt us. So, we will pack up and clean this apartment on Friday morning, and move about a 30-minute drive down the road, where God wanted us to be all along. I am excited to see how God will use us in Quarteira. I cannot tell you how good I feel as I write this post, for I believe that finally I am in line with God’s wishes, and oh, the joy that fills my soul.