Hope, Held Loosely
Updated: Mar 20, 2019
For years now, we have been on the look out for a new place to call home. And I say “on the look out” rather than searching because that really is a more accurate description of what we have done. We have not spent a lot of time going to view homes, or working with a real estate agent. We have only recently, and on a whim, went for a viewing of a home I thought might be what we were looking for. It was way out of our price range, but we went to look anyway, just in case. It wasn’t the one, but as usual, we learned something more about what we want and what we don’t.
The problem with most of the homes we’ve viewed, in person and online, is always the kitchen. It’s amazing to me how many people spend enormous amounts of money on big houses and so few spend much of it on the kitchens. I guess it’s not true for everyone that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It surely used to be true for most, but things have changed. It’s still true for this family though, so the kitchen has been very important. I often pass up homes I see online simply by a glance at the kitchen.
Most people have a list of the deal breakers as well as the small details that would sweeten the deal. We have those lists. They have changed over the years. All I can say is thank God for unanswered prayers! Or at the very least answers like wait, I am working on something better for you. If only we could hear God speak to us clearly enough we knew that was his answer. Sometimes the thing he is working on is us. What we thought we wanted and needed over the past ten years has evolved and today looks nothing at all like it did before.
I started walking at a local park about four years ago and it has become an essential part of my daily spiritual condition. It’s my place of peace, where I am alone with God. My most favorite part of the trail leads through a very woody area. A couple weeks ago as I was walking it dawned on me, I wanted to live there. I said it out loud, “I want to live here.”
Obviously, I didn’t mean I wanted to live on the trail at the local park. :-) But it helped me narrow down the fact that I want to live in the woods. Well, that was new. We had always envisioned living on a piece of land, some acreage to spread out and do some of the things we dreamed of doing; planting a big garden, growing fruit trees, grapes and other small fruits. We hoped we would have enough space for grandkids to run and climb and play together. Enough space that our home was not just two arm’s reach from the house next door.
In the following few days, I was able to articulate out loud over and over that I wanted to live in the woods. It kinda became my mantra. I told my best friend I’d had an epiphany of sorts. I wanted to start looking in her neighborhood, which is more like living in the woods than most places in our area.
One evening as I sat in front of my computer wondering what to do with the little bit of time I had before going to bed, I decided to take a look at homes again. What harm could it do? We had been round and round with the ideas about renovating this house and had come to a pretty solid decision that we just weren’t going to do anything at this point. The future is just too uncertain and this house, this place where we have basically raised our family for the last 16 years, will never be the home we need to serve our family well. Time to start rethinking the things we really want and need. We already know what we will need in the next season of life. It just always seems to elude us. God keeps saying, “Wait”, and so we have.
As I browsed the homes and broadened the search parameters, the house popped up. The house. The location. Every single thing we have been looking for in our new place to call home, and at a price that is reasonable! Emotion driven, I went the next day to see it in a torrential downpour with my daughter even though the realtor couldn’t make an appointment for a viewing until the next day. I had to see the location, and the neighborhood. I fell in love without ever seeing the inside of the house. I declared that there would have to be something absolutely unacceptable for it not to be the house.
The next day I went to view the interior of the home. I immediately fell in love. Every little detail made me love it more and more. It seems as though it was custom made just for us according to all the big things on our list, and, so incredibly, even the little details. I made an appointment to come back and view it along with my husband. Tomorrow we will go, and I will let the house speak for itself.
I feel like God is saying to me, “You have waited while I prepared just the right place for you. I have considered all the desires of your heart. I have provided for you in a way that was better than even you thought. Now, it is up to you to open your hands and heart to receive it. I cannot give to you what you will not receive from me”.
So as I put one foot in front of the other tomorrow, anxiously waiting to see if my husband loves it as much as I do, I will have hope, but I will hold it loosely. I will trust that God’s plan is much better than mine, and I will listen for his answer when I ask, “Is this the one?”