For we know that if our earthly house, a tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
I’ve seen a lot of houses in my life. There are even shows on TV celebrating everything from the most over-the-top luxurious to the latest craze…tiny houses. My own experience ranged from the stately 3-story home of my grandparents (dad’s side) to the little more than a shack that my Mamaw & Papaw (mom’s side) lived in. My grandparents house is something I still dream about. It was so big! There were so many things to do and see. Visiting there was like a wonderland adventure. The attic had trains and miniature cities, and battlefields from long ago, all laid out in magnificent dioramas. My sister and I enjoyed going into our grandmother’s pantry. We would just stand there and look at the shelves of food. It was like a little grocery store. She always had something interesting; something we would never see in our small little town in southeastern Oklahoma. I loved to go into my grandfather’s library. Books, books, and more books! I was fascinated by the beautiful lithographs of extinct animals and luscious plants. I just loved the smell of the books. A better slide has yet to be built than that of the banister that ran from the second-story landing to the first floor. Things were a little different at my other grandparents’ home. Mamaw & Papaw had running water in the kitchen sink only. We used an outhouse there. In the winter, it was always cold in the bedroom, but Mamaw had electric blankets. She would turn them on about 30 minutes before bed so it was always warm and cozy to sleep. They lived in the country. Their neighbors had peacocks. I loved hearing those peacocks. We made play houses and used moss for carpet. We would walk down to the pond and fish or throw rocks. There’s more than enough to do in the countryside. Plenty of adventure to be found.
The house where I grew up was nothing special, except to us. It was very modest, although my father was a doctor, we did not live an extravagant life style. That was our home and we loved it, but we all moved away one by one, and haven’t lived there for many years. In fact, that wonderful little place full of the memories of my childhood burned down a couple of years ago. My husband and I spent many years of our marriage renting various places according to the needs of his job, my college, my job, etc. We were finally able to build our dream home about 14 years ago. For the first time, our two youngest children, Gabriel and Autumn, would have their own rooms! Our oldest daughter, Dayton, got a room with her own bathroom! We felt very blessed to have this wonderful home with plenty of room for everyone. Almost 4000 square feet of room! I envisioned the house full of grandkids one day and holidays and Sunday dinners galore. I was sure I’d spend my life here. God, had different plans.
It all comes down to this, I’m alive…but my near death experience had a steep price tag. We’ve known for a long time that we would probably not be able to keep the house. It was difficult to accept that at first. We love this house. We built it. We went back and forth on what to do, how to save it, and when we were finally caught between a rock and a hard place, we chose to let it go. It was our decision. I don’t know why everything came down the way it did, but it did, and it stings a little. Worse things have happened. Worse things could have happened. Now that we reach our final days in this house I have a lot of emotions. I am very excited about our future and what the Lord has in store for us next. It is difficult for me though. I feel a sense of guilt. I realize that’s ridiculous, but I can’t help feeling responsible for the situation. No one has ever even hinted to this, least of all my dear husband. Yet I feel the weight of it, and that is mine to bear. We go from here to a small cabin on the river that is owned by our close friends. It’s a get-away cabin. No phones, internet, or television to speak of. I suppose my husband could rig some kind of antennae, like we used to do when we were younger. It will actually be nice to just unplug for a while. We’ll only be there temporarily, a month or two, while we finish up remodeling a little place we plan to live in for a few years.
Now every house is built by someone, but the One who built everything is God, Hebrews 3:4. I needed to be reminded of this. Jeremiah 29:11 assures us that God has plans for us, and His plans are for our welfare, not our disaster. He gives us a future and a hope. I needed to be reminded of this too. Even when we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel…there is one. When we don’t understand how things could possibly work out…they do. All according to God’s plan. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Romans 11:33 There is so much comfort for me in this verse! When I think, “Well, this isn’t how I thought my life would go.” The wisdom and knowledge of the Lord is far beyond what my human mind can comprehend. He knows all about me, He knows what is best for me, and He bears my burdens with me. His ways are past my ability to understand. Knowing this and accepting this is so very sweet. While I may find myself in a bit of a whirlwind of emotions right now, I fall on my knees at the altar of the most high God. I utterly trust Him. I know He has great plans for me and I can’t wait to see them unfurl. He has already blessed me with so much and made provisions for me that it is undeniable to see Him at work in my life.
Truth…the kids grew up and moved away. I don’t have any grandkids…yet! My husband and I live alone in a big house where many of the doors stay closed that were once always open. It’s hard for me to keep up with it all by myself, as it is for my husband with the maintenance and yard. I’m not as young as I used to be. Downsizing will be a relief. Although, going from almost 4000 square feet to about 600 does pose a few challenges. I’m up for it! I struggled a lot in deciding whether or not to share this part of my journey. I want no pity, no sympathy. Losing my home is such a small thing in the face of all the struggles so many of you have faced and will face. I only want to share the glory of the One who saved me. The One who has carried me through the trials of my life. The One I lean on every day. The One who has gone to prepare a place for me, beyond this world; a place for me so I may be with Him forever, John 14:2-3. This world really is not my home; I’m just traveling through. So, the four walls and roof that I dwell in while I’m here should not lay hold over me. There aren’t enough peacocks or pantries to persuade me to stay in my earthly home when such an amazing heavenly home awaits me that I will share with my Lord! Now that…that is my dream home, and it’s not just a dream.
Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me! I ask for your help, Lord, in my human need to control things in my life and to know my future. Bless me with the strength to rest assured in my trust of You in all things. Create in me a heart devoted only to You, and lay a veil of peace over me so I may be brave enough to share the story of Your great love with all I know.
In Your Holy Name,
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