A few years ago, Ashton Kutcher brought MTV's ratings through the roof with his "candid camera"esque program, Punk'd. Humans revel in the joy of watching other humans hurt, embarrass, and otherwise make huge fools of themselves. When I was a little girl it was through programs like "Candid Camera" and "America's Funniest Home Videos". These antique television shows were the "reality" TV of our family night viewings. Now, this type of television programming dominates the air waves. It is not uncommon to witness the depravity and ignorance of mankind through the eyes of a show on any channel at just about any time of any day. My life has been at times inundated with reality television. Perhaps this is why on a really bad day, in the midst of a really bad morning, or just a really bad temper tantrum; I stop and wonder "am I being taped... is there a candid camera somewhere"? It would seem that some life circumstances couldn't be real, but must have been pre-constructed by some sadistic producer behind a camera that snickers and makes money off of my unfortunate events. Some days I wonder if I'm on the "Katie show" and no one has bothered to tell me that I'm being videotaped.
On one day I wondered if God was, in fact, punking me.
In my last blog I introduced you to our new housemate family members, my sister-in-law, Kelly and nephew Cayd. The addition of our Biggs relatives brings our household total to eight. In June of 2009, the Gaffner six moved into this church owned farmhouse.
I love this house, absolutely LOVE it. The character is amazing and in the spring and summer, the breeze flows perfectly through the house and walls. It's super convenient for our church activities and the view is beautiful with plenty of room for the kids to run and play. But eight people in 3 bedrooms and 1 bathroom... well you can just imagine. So, the prayers began.
At the end of the summer I put in my request to the Heavenly Father. It was a quick prayer during an unusually quiet drive alone. I informed the Creator of the Universe that I needed a 4, preferably 5, bedroom house with at least 2 bathrooms. I would require a huge kitchen, large family room, and basement space. I added that a fenced in back yard would be nice. I sealed this detailed request with an "Amen" and went about my daily activities.
Three weeks later I stumbled upon a local ad for a home that seemed to fit the bill. It was a 3 bedroom/2 bath house with a living room and kitchen upstairs and a fully finished converted basement apartment with 2 more bedrooms. It was PERFECT. It was a little out of our price range but I called anyway. A very kind older woman answered the phone and we talked for 10 or 15 minutes. I explained to her our current living arrangements and we discussed her available home. I admitted the rent was a bit high, to which she replied that she could probably come down to a more suitable amount for our current income. My heart was literally fluttering, my stomach was in knots. I felt elated!! In just three weeks time, I couldn't believe I had found a place that fit every request. It was just... too good to be true.
Right before hanging up the phone, she rattled off the address and my heart bottomed to the floor. This "perfect-totally-answered-prayer-meet-all-our-needs" home, was located 45 minutes in the wrong direction. Now, to some people 45 minutes may not seem like a long drive but it would put my husband and sister-in-law an hour from work, me 45 minutes from work, and the kids in a completely different school district.
My perfect phone call came to a disappointing end.
I stared at the wall and said "God, what was that??? It was perfect". And then I remembered. It WAS perfect. I had specified every house detail but left off one very important piece. The location. I took a few moments, altered my request to include our local zip code. And then I smiled.
I had been God Punk'd.
Okay, maybe not really because honestly I do not believe that God is up to Ashton Kutchers antics in our daily lives. I DO however believe that God hears every prayer, every conversation, every need, want, and desire. And though it is November and we have yet to find our "perfect" place, I know that God has a plan and a purpose (see Jeremiah 29:11).
God is not some sadistic producer humoring over our misfortunes.
And sometimes we have to practice a bit of patience in our requests.
Currently the Gaffner-Biggs household is sitting pretty and sitting close together in our present home.
But one day we will have room to stretch, room to unpack, room to entertain.
And when it happens, we'll know that it was in God's time.
Maybe you have had a "candid camera" kind of day.
Or maybe you have had a prayer that seems to be off God's answering list.
Don't give up.
Don't be discouraged.
God has a plan.
He's not punking you.
And as far as I know, you are not being videotaped.