Following a stroke in 1997, my husband, John, reluctantly felt he should discontinue maths tutoring. He eventually decided to cease preaching, as his speech was slurred and his throat muscles were affected. Because of John's growing needs I officially became his carer, spending a decreasing amount of time as a music teacher. A home-care helper was needed in June 2000. And in August of that year, John's right hip broke.
We wondered about the future. Was it time for me to think of withdrawing from music teaching? Did we need a retirement home? Before returning home we looked at retirement villages. We gathered information from several places and paid Avondale Retirement Village the deposit required.
However, we knew this was a doubtful proposition. House prices were low in the small country town where we lived, but we decided to try selling. An agent handled things for us, so we hoped it would sell quickly. No-one was interested.
By 2002 we had decided to stay in our friendly country town, with the magnificent view of the New England Range from our home. Then John broke his left hip. We concerned ourselves with therapy, not moving house. Selling just did not seem an option.
In September 2003, we heard of a house possibly for sale. It would be easy for John to walk outdoors there. So we prayed again, placing our home with a new agent. This time we sold! But the house we'd hoped for was already sold, and our selling price was not high enough to consider a retirement home plus moving. We cancelled the sale quickly.
In February 2004, John had another stroke, with slow left-limb response in spite of therapy. We prayed earnestly our Lord would lead us in this latest development.
Mid-March, John's daughter contacted Avondale Retirement Village, sharing his frail state of health. Then on March 23, I was walking our dog in the evening, and a neighbour, whom we rarely saw, came over to speak to me as we passed his home. He asked if the house had sold in 2003. I told him yes, but not enough to purchase a retirement home, so we had dropped it. We would have the house up for sale again soon as John was so frail. I felt compelled to mention it would be at a higher price because of the large increase in property values in the district. He indicated strong interest in purchasing privately when we were ready. With praise to God in my heart, I hurried home.
I believed God's time had come. It was amazing how quickly our affairs changed. Events began fitting neatly together like a jigsaw puzzle. The manager of Avondale Retirement Village phoned to tell us we had a retirement home if we wanted it. Did we? Yes! It met our needs. Thank you, Lord!
April 2: Our dentist bought my keyboard. That afternoon, I'd told his wife as we met in the street that we were leaving. It was the beginning of those goods we did not need selling rapidly.
April 7: The house sale was on its way at a mutually suitable price. April 20: Our vet offered to care for our dog. April 21: We were notified the papers for our unit had been mailed. April 24: Family members from Queensland helped us, taking a load back with them. Other family members were busy arranging legal and transport matters. We were packing frantically, helped wonderfully by our church friends and family. On May 5, we left for our new home. We are now settled here in our comfortable retirement home. It has been a wonderful, personal and unforgettable experience of God working out our problems to His timing for our best good.
Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14.
Linda Baskin now lives in the Avondale Retirement Village, Cooranbong, New South Wales.
This story is used with permission from Signs Publishing Company. More of these stories can be found in these collections: Ordinary People—Extraordinary God, Ordinary People—Faithful God, and Ordinary People—Generous God