Dear readers, I’ve alluded to a time of transition in our lives. Jeff and I continue to be of one mind and heart in following God’s leading out of our last ministry setting, but there are still many unknowns. I haven’t talked a lot about details, but I’ll begin to share more. I’m doing my best to walk this out in faith, balancing awareness of our uncertainties, while trying not to dwell on all that could stir up worry.
We have reached a new place in our journey. It’s time to put major changes into motion, starting with preparing to sell our home. I like to think I have a relationship with many of my readers, so I covet your prayers in this season of our lives. I humbly appreciate any prayers you feel led to offer, so I’m sharing a bit of a journal entry today, to give you some insight into where my heart is right now. It’s one of those times when I’m knowing, first-hand, God’s ability to give PEACE in the midst of hard things.
So much was out of sight when they came: the blanket we wrapped up in on the couch, the school project in process, the dog that’s grown old here, the pan from making breakfast, and recipes I’m considering. Hidden, so strangers wouldn’t see. They brought reports of homes where other people live, with dollar amounts beside numbers of rooms and adjectives about porches and kitchens. They measured, assessed and commented, saying how buyers would be impressed and how “it” should go fast. It felt sterile and standard. Conversation turned to dimensions and fixtures; I wanted to point out the value of the life we lived here. I wanted to ask if the aroma of a family and images of faith add to the value. I wanted to know if perseverance, pain, trust, hospitality and generosity add any worth. For what is a porch without people to swing, and what is a fireplace without people to warm beside it and look for scrabble letters in its light? How much would a guest room be worth, if not for the international host of servants who found refuge there?
Their words cut as they talked about our rooms as if they just make a building, when I know they’ve made a home. Their discussion pained me, because I didn’t choose this, and it still feels like exile. Their conclusions felt heartless, knowing we have nowhere to go when we finish sorting and selling, packing and loading earthly things we keep. The whole thing felt like a punishment, because this going away feels like judgment, even when you know it’s right and you know it passed through God’s hands first. It still cuts.
They left a business card and official paperwork, shaking our hands while I was shaking inside. I didn’t expect to be here, and I don’t know where we’ll go next at all. But I know “next” will never be a home for four, never be the place our kids call “our house,” and never be filled with school projects in process. I remembered the little girl dress I found while cleaning out the linen closet; I made the collar out of an old tablecloth years ago. I thought about the pillowcase I stitched with “JAKE” when I still tucked our boy in each night, folded and put away in a box this morning. So much of what made our life here will be left behind. Whether or not new occupants hear the sounds that made this “home,” our memories will cling to the walls and echo up and down the stairs.
It’s been a slowly unfolding change, and slow can be painful. I’d rather tear the bandage off in a single motion than in small, agonizing rips. When the men were gone, I let the dog back on the bed and spread the blanket back on the bed for as many days as we have here. I remind myself of what I know for sure:
- This world was never our permanent home.
- Our life on earth is temporary.
- Change sends me to the safety the One who does not change.
- Hardship does not change anything that is true.
- God is still our Provider, Protector, and Deliverer.
- We do not suffer anything God does not allow.
- God uses my godly husband and friends to deliver encouragement.
- I can not afford to drift in my walk with God.
- Our heavenly Father always leads and will.
- I can feel God’s peace in the midst of the unknown.