My parents built their dream home when I was a baby. It was going to be the place that held all the fairytale endings. Every detail of that home had been poured over. And the finished product came pretty darn close to perfection.
Our home was designed to serve as our family’s resting spot, a place we could run to in times of stress and trial. It was to be a place where memories would be made, events would be held, precious moments would be captured by those walls and the roof. It was a place that reminded our family of the goodness of God and how He provides; How He can make beauty from ashes; How He and only He can weave together a true rags to riches story.
And that house lived up to all those hopes and dreams.
But as with all stories, there were unexpected twists and turns in our family's fairytale, and all those hopes and dreams we had prayed for began to unravel.
With tears in our eyes, we packed up that moving truck, we closed the chapter to our fairytale, and we wondered if our definition of home would ever be the same again.
We headed into a new chapter, one that was overshadowed by a force we could sense our family unit would be unable to withstand.
And so we broke. We broke into two units, two households. Our home had been severed. Gone was that fairytale ending. Gone were the hopes and the prayers that we would all grow together, under one roof, under one last name.
My dad and I packed up our things and headed to the antithesis of that dreamt up castle we had been living in. It was a tiny, older, apartment, with the smallest water heater known to man complete with no washer and dryer.
My teenage mind decided after that move a home was nothing more than a place where you hang your clothes and sleep consecutive nights in. It was just a structure, no meaning, no purpose. Sentiment did not need to be attached to a set location.
Over the past 15 years, I’ve moved a lot. Countless different roofs and different walls. When John and I purchased our first home, it was bought with calloused and investment driven hearts and minds. It was just a house. Just walls. Just a place we would temporarily hang our clothes.
Last year, was an awakening year of sorts for John and I. We woke up to the dangerous direction we were heading in. We woke up to the distantness, the lukewarmness that was present in our relationship. And we fought to get back on track. We fought to tear down those walls the current of our work worlds had created.
In the midst of working to reprioritize our lives, an opportunity to pursue a new construction home fell into our laps. A client at the time was working with a builder who happened to have just cleared a lot in the exact location John and I had one day hoped to be in.
And just like that, a contract was written and a loan application was started. It felt like the stars had aligned. We were excited. But this unbuilt home was so much more than our current home. I wondered if it was necessary. Was this place really worth our nest egg? After all, it was just walls, just a roof. Nothing more. It felt like an opportunity, but it was 100% outside of my comfort zone. The what ifs kept coming and I wanted to get out of that binding agreement.
My mind wondered if this was really stewarding our finances wisely? A house is just a building, a worldly possession…it did not feel like a kingdom-type thing.
So I prayed for an affirmation.
It wasn't immediate, but a response came and wise counsel affirmed, this was indeed the direction we were being asked to go in. And so we did.
A couple of nights ago we finished decorating our house for Christmas. As we plugged up those Christmas lights and I stepped back onto the street to look at our house from afar, my heart almost burst.
Do you trust me now? Do you believe I am good? Do you believe I can take broken dreams and give them life again?
My heart answered, "Yes, Lord. A million times yes."
Over the past year, our house, those walls, that roof, they have become a home. Our home. It has been a place where hopes and dreams have been restored. It has been a place of remembrance: a place where I have been reminded that God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows how to take those broken dreams and build them back up in a way that only He can.
He knows the community we need. He knows the environment we need. He knows how to put us in places where our guards can go down and He can move a little closer to us.
He’s whispering to all of us in search of a home: I know where you belong. I know what you need. Will you trust me? Will you trust me to bring you to that space where you can take off your shoes, lay down your dreams, lay down the striving, snuggle up, and find rest…true rest in your home with me?
My prayer is that your heart may whisper back: Yes, Lord. A million times yes.
John 15: 4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you..."