A house is just a building, a structure, replaceable. A house is also a home, holding cherished memories, representing God's provision -- not only in shelter, but all of the emotional / relational things that come with community. When we bought this house we said, "We'll die in this house." Seriously - we said those exact words. It is perfect. And... We're not change agents.
This house is more than just walls. When we bought it, we had no idea what we'd find here. I didn't know that the woman living next door would become my first genuine, tell-all friend. I had no idea that a woman I'd previously never even laid eyes on would become like a sister to me. This was hugely healing and equipping for this girl who arrived on this block completely broken. We did not know that we would keep hearing about this certain church, and that this certain church would become our church family. The place where we would both get drawn into our Heavenly Father's arms and become serious followers of Jesus. We had always planned to have children in this home, but we didn't expect to find so many mentors to help us figure out how to be parents. Of course we'd researched the school district and anticipated sending our kids to school here, but we had no idea that we'd find such support and encouragement in our teachers, staff, and school parents. Everything about this house... The neighbors, friends, and surrounding community has been entirely God's provision for our lives.
We are possibly moving.
This is so totally not a done deal and will probably cause my husband to have heart palpitations if he reads what I'm writing here. You know, putting it all out there not knowing thing one about how this will turn out. I hope he doesn't believe in jinxing - you know, he is a former collegiate athlete. Don't ever mention a no hitter during a baseball game.
We have no idea how this will end up. The not knowing is difficult. The wanting is scary, as we don't want to feel the disappointment should it not work out. And just writing that --- that we WANT this --- is in stark contrast to where we started. We never wanted to move. There is weeping involved with the idea of moving.
And that brings me to the lesson...the journey that I've been on... that is really my purpose in writing. I don't want to forget this journey.
I impulsively signed up to participate in this Siesta Summer Bible Study with a group of girls at church. We are studying the book of Ruth. I had never read or heard the story of Ruth, so I had no idea what I'd gotten myself into. No clue that it was about moving, loss, sowing, weeping, reaping, God's promises, His provision, His timing.
We have been praying for so long about Bryan's job, that when this study began I felt like I didn't even know what to pray anymore. Same stuff, different day. I felt like I couldn't hear God - which is pretty much because we are waiting and I'm ready for an answer.
Then I hit day 7 of the study. "How can you sow in your weeping?" Since my weeping comes from the waiting and not knowing (and worrying about money and expiring health insurance, that sort of worldly stuff) I asked myself "How can I sow in my waiting?" What a different perspective!
Leaving this home - this community - is unquestionably sad, so I have chosen to pray that God would prepare my heart for whatever comes. I am asking God to give me new eyes to see His plan and release my desires to say here in my "perfection", or my desire to move into a bigger house that's "better", or my wish to be in only the "best" of neighborhoods. I am asking God to give me a heart to become a sower in this next season, allowing others to receive from me the immeasurable greatness I have received over these last 8 1/2 years. I am asking God to use me. Where He leads, I will follow. Like we tell our children about tithing - I will give (all of me) joyfully. It is my heart's desire to sow while I weep, and not just sit and weep.
I am excited to see where He leads.
"Restore our fortunes, Lord, as the streams renew the desert. Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they plant their seed, but they sing as they return with harvest." Psalm 126:4-6
I am reminded once again of Esther 4:14. "For just such a time as this." Perhaps our time in this house is nearing its end - perhaps not. The footnotes in my Bible are beautiful: "When you face a challenge in life, seek to know what God wants you to do, and then do it, confident that He will do his part. You don't know ahead of time how He will accomplish His will. Trust God and prepare to be surprised by the way he demonstrates his trustworthiness."
So excited to see how He demonstrates his trustworthiness!