Melanie is in my spinning class at the Y. We have been praying for her husband's employment for almost a year. During this year, she and her husband, Stormy have learned so much from God about His plan and purpose in their lives. Melanie and Stormy have become more patient and prayerful as the Lord has helped them to grow so much in Him in 2010.
Meredith: Melanie, you encouraged me so much last week in spinning class with your testimony of God's faithfulness to your family. Thank you for sharing the story, not only with our spinning class, but with my readers. Can you share a summary of the last couple of years to bring us up-to-date?
Melanie: I would be happy to! 2 1/2 years ago, my husband's job ended and he was offered 2 jobs to choose from. Stormy and I planned and chose the one with the most investment money behind the company and the longer projected outlook. We planned to take the job that was the most secure, or so we thought.
Stormy took a job with a hotel development company in Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia. This new company had a 25 year lease with the state of Georgia to revitalize Jekyll Island with a new convention center, retail stores, and condominiums. Also, Reynold's Plantation has a Ritz Carlton and The Ritz decided to build a new ballroom and add an additional wing of rooms. There was plenty to keep Stormy busy for the next 5-7 years. We had our plans.
Meredith: Tell me more about these plans.
Melanie: We decided to buy a home at Reynolds to enjoy while we lived there, while still keeping our Lake Mary home because our children all live in Lake Mary. We made lists of things we would do.
Stormy and I bought a home on the water that needed lots of work. The house had fallen into disrepair, but it had good bones. We hired an interior architect and a landscape architect. We had renovation plans, dock plans, and landscaping plans.
Last year, at Thanksgiving time, we had just gotten approval from the architectural review board of the development to proceed with plans for our new house. The bank had already approved our loan for the renovation project. We had our plans, but God had other plans.
Meredith: The Lord often does have other plans while we are busy with our plans. How did you find out that God had other plans?
Melanie: The first week in December, Stormy drove to Jekyll Island for the ground-breaking ceremony. All the dignitaries were there and everything was going as planned. He drove on to Reynold's Plantation later that day and was told by a co-worker, "Be sure to look for a press release tomorrow."
Stormy assumed the press release was about the ground-breaking, but discovered the next day that the relationship between Reynolds and the state of Georgia had been severed.
Stormy called me and I said, "What does this mean? We have plans!"
We went through Christmas last year without much worry. We made more plans. We decided to sell the house...put "blush and lipstick" on the house to make it look good so it would sell.
Melanie: Stormy and I worked side by side for 3 months painting, removing wallpaper, cleaning, scrubbing, and getting rid of mice, squirrels, spiders, and roaches. We had plans to sell.
The first week in March, we came down to Florida for a weekend and got a call from a man who wanted to rent our house. We hadn't advertized and didn't have a realtor. After 4 days, Stormy realized that this was God intervening, so we came home to Florida and made plans. Stormy started looking for jobs. Months went by. There were no jobs. He could have taken a job outside the country, but here in America investors were holding on to their money, waiting for the economy to turn.
Meredith: What did you do during these long months?
Melanie: Stormy and I began to pray, not just for ourselves, but to really pray for the people around us. We became closer to God. We were grateful and humbled by every blessing and gift.
Finally, after 11 months of patience, Stormy was offered a job starting the Monday after Thanksgiving. We are thrilled, excited, grateful, and blessed!
Meredith: What lessons did you learn?
Melanie: If you want to see God laugh, tell Him your plans. On my computer, I have this posted, "Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway." Stormy and I had to turn every worry over to God and trust Him to take care of us. We have been humbled by our circumstances and will always remember the support and love that our families and friends have given us. And we are going to ask God about His plans from now on!
This Christmas season, I hope that Melanie's testimony brings hope to your heart, whatever financial situation you find yourself in. God is faithful!
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)