“Many are the plans in a person’s heart,
but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”Proverbs 19:21
As many of you know, we bought a small house in 2006 when the housing market was booming and prices were through the roof. We bought with the intent to fix it up and resell before we had children.
And then Keira was born. And then a second baby. Then a third.
Now we haven’t just sat back waiting for God to stick a for sale sign in the yard.
We’ve worked our tails off trying to get things looking nice. Every couple years we discuss putting it on the market. I even had a Realtor here last week. With every step we take, we hit a brick wall and God has shut the door. It’s either been a financial issue, something major that needs fixing, the market value being too low that year, trying to figure out how to take such a huge loss on the house. We know we will never get back what we paid for the house, and it’s been a hard pill to swallow.
Last week was one of the worst weeks of my life. Something went wrong everyday. The list of things the Realtor gave us to do was overwhelming, and the starting price she put on the house left a lot to be desired on our parts.
On Tuesday, I checked on my son while he was taking a nap, and knew right away something wasn’t right. His body was crooked and he had a strange fixed gaze. He didn’t move or blink when I waved my hands in front of his face. I was terrified. After what seemed to be hours on the ambulance and at the hospital, Elijah woke up and reached for me. It turns out, he had a febrile seizure, and may never have one again. It shook me up though.
I won’t go into every detail of what happened the rest of the week, but I was ready for it to be over.
I sat in Church yesterday listening to Pastor Mike’s sermon on people who were struggling with their circumstances, just like I was.
I was thinking over everything that happened last week, and I was so thankful that my son was still alive, and that we had a home to live in. But part of me was still struggling with issues that needed to be resolved and with the fact God had shut another door on us. Pastor Mike encouraged us to ask God questions, so that’s what I did. And He answered last night, just not how I had hoped.
We had a hectic afternoon, and had to face some things that needed to be dealt with from a few days ago. God worked in both mine and my Husband’s hearts, and told us we needed to show grace in the situation.
I never want to use this blog to feign perfection and spirituality, so I’m just gonna be honest. Showing grace isn’t one of my strong points. I’m sorry to say that the world and my lack of surrendering my hurts to God, has left me rough around the edges. I don’t get sad, I get angry. I put up walls. I hold back a lot, but goodness I’m glad nobody can see my thoughts.
While I packed the Bearded Man’s lunch, and thought over the craziness of the last week, God firmly answered my question from that morning.
In the almost 10 years we’ve lived here, I haven’t led a single person to Christ. Sure, I’ve invited people to Church, or baked cookies for neighbors a few times. My heart wasn’t really in it though. I’ve been going through the motions. I haven’t had a burden for the souls of my neighborhood that I should. I’m not talking about walking around with a Bible and knocking on doors. I’m talking about getting to know my neighbors, helping to meet their needs, showing them the love of Christ, and praying for them each and everyday. I get numb to the knowledge that Hell is real, and that so many people are teetering on the edge of spending eternity there. I forget that not everyone is living in a safe home full of love like we are. I walk around with the knowledge of Christ, but keep it to myself.
So He answered my question.
Why would He send us somewhere else, when our work here isn’t even remotely finished?
I was hit with the realization, that life isn’t about where I want to live, or us getting a bigger house. None of that matters when we look at it from an eternal perspective.
I discussed everything with my Husband and he wholeheartedly agreed. We came to the conclusion that for now, we will bloom where we are planted. When things get tight, we’ll remember that God’s plan is so much bigger than the one we have for ourselves. We’ll teach our kids that when things get hard, you don’t pick up and move, you stay and work it out. No matter where we go, we’re still who we are. A bigger house, a new neighborhood, a new Church or moving to a new state, doesn’t change that. A change of scenery doesn’t change our issues, because we are still the same prideful creatures in need of a Savior wherever we go. The issues resurface, just in a different zip code. The only thing that can change our hearts is Christ. And He can do that right where we are.
My tendency to hole myself up in my home and forget about what’s going on around me, is something I can ask God to help me with here and now. Not later, when I feel like my circumstances are better.
So for those of you who ask when we’ll sell this or build a new house…I really don’t know.
For now, He has made it obvious it’s not the time, and we are surrendering our plans to God.
I’m so thankful that God has blessed me with a talented Husband that has built shelving in every nook and cranny in order to make this house functional. I’ll have to trust God that if He blesses us with more children, we’ll find the room in this little house to make it work. I have peace in knowing that when the door opens to leave, I won’t have to pry it open myself, but God will open it widely for us. And when we do leave, it can be with a clear conscience, that we wholeheartedly finished what God put us here to do.