Several weeks ago, my husband and I saw a gorgeous house come on the market for a great deal. We checked it out, we loved it, and we wanted to make an offer.
Josh and I were getting very excited about the possibility of moving out of the trailer and into a house again. We began picturing ourselves in the home and imagining everything we would do with it.
The next day, before we even had a chance to put in our offer, the home was already in contract. Boo!
What a letdown. We were so disappointed. I’m sure some would say that we were foolish to get our hopes up. Heck! I probably would have thought that not so long ago! But God has been taking us through this journey of vulnerability and part of the journey is dreaming, taking risks, and allowing ourselves to get excited at possibilities.
Last week, it happened again, except this house was even more perfect for our family and was much cheaper! This place had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a Jacuzzi tub, a fireplace, a yard, a huge kitchen, and a bonus room with endless possibilities.
Once again, we allowed our hopes to get up. We dared to dream. We got approval for our loan (which, in and of itself seemed like a longshot) and put in our offer. After hearing that there were more offers, we upped our offer to the maximum amount we were comfortable with, so we were very optimistic.
Then we waited to hear whose offer was accepted. Good golly! Two days of waiting seemed like eternity!
We finally heard back and it was bad news. Honestly, we were a bit of a wreck that day. Again, people will ask, “Why are you doing this to yourselves? Why are you getting your hopes up so high?”
Actually, I don’t really have the answer, but I do know that God is in this. We feel as though He’s calling us to take risks, dream big, and stay hopeful.
The fruit I see in this is in how God meets us in our joy and in our disappointment. We’re not protecting ourselves from difficult emotions by playing it safe, which is how my husband and I used to live. We’re embracing the highs and the lows and watching how God carries us through, comforts us, and teaches us. It’s absolutely amazing.
Another effect of dreaming and going after something is the hunger it creates in me. With the last home, it was becoming so real to me, I could feel it. And now, after experiencing that loss and grieving it, I am even more excited for whatever God has for us.
The most important factor in all of this is our underlying belief of Who God is and who He says we are.
If we go through these hard times with the underlying belief that God doesn’t really love us, He doesn’t really want to bless us, or we have to be good enough to deserve His blessings, then we will become angry or depressed and, instead of turning to the only One who can truly comfort us, we turn away from Him. These difficult times and their resulting difficult emotions could actually cause us to push God away.
On the other hand, if we believe God is good and He has good things for His children, then we will turn to God in our hard times. We will still feel these difficult emotions (anger, sadness, disappointment, etc.), but now our hurt causes us to run to our good Father, our Source of true comfort and peace.
And for that experience, I will risk losing 100 houses just to feel the loving embrace of Father God.
I know God didn’t call my family to Redding to live in a trailer forever and have a mediocre life. He’s called us to a life of abundance. In the meantime, though, I am thankful for what I have. I’m thankful for my trailer, our little place to call home while we figure our new life out. I’m thankful for this season, for the amazing new friends in my life, and for those praying for us. I’m so thankful for the way God is changing my heart, for the way God is changing my marriage, and for the way He is changing the relationship with my kids. I’m thankful for my new church family, for this new city we’re in with so much to offer, for new adventures, and for new experiences.
And there is the paradox of my life—being content and grateful while pursuing all God has for me.
The only thing that makes sense of it all is the nature of God and trusting in Him alone. I do not trust my circumstances. I cannot have one particular idea of how I think my life should be. Only one thing in life is certain and that is God’s heart towards His people.
When my trust is in what I think God ought to do for me, I will inevitably be disappointed. If my trust is in God and His unchanging nature, I can get through anything life throws at me because I know “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Scripture on my heart:
Matthew 7:7-8—Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks received; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (NIV)
Matthew 7:11—If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! (NIV)
Matthew 18:1-5—At that time the disciples came to ask Jesus, “Who is considered to be the greatest in heaven’s kingdom realm?”
Jesus called a little one to his side and said to them, “Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking and become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, you will never be able to enter in. Whoever continually humbles himself to become like this gentle child is the greatest one in heaven’s kingdom realm. And if you tenderly care for this little one on my behalf, you are tenderly caring for me.” (tPt)