My husband and I have no love for the physical structure we call our “house.” We have desired to move from it on multiple occasions. Our neighborhood has a higher than average turnover rate which created a glass-ceiling of 11 years old for neighborhood kids because families upgraded. Our kids attended charter schools so “the schools” were never a reason to stay. After buying this home with extra yard space, we learned that neither of us likes yardwork. And my husband’s commute to work gets longer every year, doubling during construction. In short, we have little reason to remain. Except, for a really BIG event that occurred about three years ago.
I had finally had enough of my neighbor abandonment issues, the commute time, the tri-level floor plan (I hated that when I bought it). We had some financial freedom finally and decided to buy a new home. The search began–completely on the sly. With the frequent turnover of homes in our neighborhood the long-term residents see us as a family who are sticking around and it would hurt them immensely to hear that we actually don’t want to live in our home anymore (sorry folks, you now know). We looked and we found a wonderful home. It met all our criteria, it was in a great price range. Even our kids liked it. We put in an offer and it was accepted and we were figuring the financing and scheduling all the inspections.
The guilt of being one of the people who is “abandoning” our neighborhood wasn’t being shaken, but I refused to succumb to it. This neighborhood and home were destroying my inner peace. If I followed Marie Kondo’s advice I would yell at the house, “thank you for housing me, even if you didn’t bring me joy. Our relationship is over!” and then pitch the whole thing in the trash. So I kept pressing forward. The house deal was going so smooth, it had to be “a sign”. The house passed inspections with flying colors. The owners were anxious to be moved and offered additional pluses for a swift close. Financing fell into place at the terms we wanted though the payment was obviously higher, we could manage it.
One night I said to my husband, “We haven’t asked the Lord if this is right?” He hesitated, but then he agreed to say a prayer with me asking the Lord if moving into this new home was right for us. As my husband is the more spiritually sound individual of the two of us, he lead our prayer. He humbly supplicated the Lord of our desire was to move, but that we understand He knows all and we ask His guidance for this decision.
No sooner had we said, “Amen” then my husband looked at me and said exactly what I was thinking, “I guess we aren’t moving.” I nodded my head and gave him a hug. Then I cried myself to sleep that night. (oh heck, I am crying trying to tell you how broken my heart was to be told what I wanted wasn’t His will). We withdrew our offer, we closed the chapter on house buying. I was still so tempted by moving that to remove the option I bought a car with some of our downpayment money and took a trip to Germany.
This is usually the part in the story where someone tells you, “And a year later when we lost our income, we now understood how the Lord took care of us.”
Well don’t hold your breath.
To this day I still don’t have a clue why the Lord’s will is that we remain in our home. But I can neither deny the swiftness of His message to us, nor the clarity. I can only stand and say, “not my will, but thine, be done.” (Luke 22:42) With more depth of feeling, I now understand how hard those words were for Christ to act upon. I have felt the polar opposites of desire and God’s will. I also understand that doing God’s will isn’t a one and done. For the last 3 years I have had to chant a mantra, “I choose God’s will” I have continually ignored homes coming up for sale in new neighborhoods chanting, “I choose God’s will.” I have repeatedly wished others well as they moved out of my neighborhood recognizing God’s will is different for each of us. I have cursed the backyard flower beds I weed each summer then say to myself “I choose God’s will,”— but He never said I had to actually take care of the flower beds, so I don’t now.
There is something that frees the heart when you know you are doing what God asked of you. Brene Brown always talks about being whole-hearted when you are free of shame. When I chose to heed the answer to our prayer that night, I became my most spiritually whole-hearted self. I no longer held shame before God. He sees me act with faith and He sees me choose His ways repeatedly. Do I have other faults? Yes. Do I have moments I resent that others move? Yes. But I feel comfortable with who I am, because of that prayer, its answer and my action. Actually, I feel more than comfortable. I feel peace. His peace. Through prayer, Christ is my #PrinceofPeace
If you are interested in free printables that will help you study the principles of Christ this Easter The Red Headed Hostess has compiled some of the best.