Our house is almost all the way bare now. All that remains is a few odds and ends that we weren’t sure how to classify and box up, but couldn’t bear to part with; and the dust bunnies. Because let’s be honest, they’ve been a constant companion to us wherever we are. I was surprised when I walked in and saw it empty at the feeling I got in my stomach, like the wind had been knocked out of me. Sad and nostalgic with a little longing to stay; catching me off guard because this move is exactly the thing I have been praying and hoping and waiting for. But looking at what has been our home for the past few years, I can feel nothing but gratitude for all the things the Lord has done here. For the ways He has been faithful, the things He has taught us and the roots He has grown in our hearts, lives, and community.
This was our first house, our first big decision as a couple. It was the place we came home to after our first jobs, after changing jobs, after long hours spent doing ministry downtown. It was a refuge for our kiddos, a place where their eyes were opened to what a home looks like. A place where we painted a nursery, prepared carefully, childproofed everything, and finally brought our precious baby girl. The place we began to dream, the place we saw how the kiddos lives were changed by encountering family and home. Where we built a room for the boys, where we hung big family pictures, and watched movies, and ate lots and lots of ice cream and cheese. The place we played games together, invited friends over for barbeques, had Jayci’s first birthday party. The place I nested, decorated, planned, enjoyed a whole lot, and cleaned a little less.
Tears are welling in my eyes right now as I think about His faithfulness in providing people just down the street, and in our community, who could support and encourage and carry me on this journey of mommy-hood. Honestly, I’m not sure I would have made it through without being exactly where we were, surrounded by these specific neighbors, family, and friends.
I am convinced that God is bringing us into a new and exciting chapter of our lives, but I know the reality is that we cannot open a new door and walk through it without leaving some precious and beloved things behind. And I am grieving some of those things right now. But it is a grieving process that ends with hope. Because I am certain of what we hope for, and sure of the things we cannot yet see. I know that just as God hand-picked this house for us, He is preparing a place for us downtown. I am continually amazed because every single time, He gives us the exact grace and wisdom we need for the moment.
First He taught us to let go, to jump in and take steps of obedience in following Him. He opened our hearts and minds to the idea that He had something more for us as we followed Him. And that no matter what that might look like, our answer was “yes.” Then He continued to grow our faith and dependence on Him as we stepped into full-time ministry. And then He taught us a boatload about patience, about planting seeds and gently cultivating and tending those seeds as they slowly and grew into something with LIFE. And now? Now He’s teaching us to trust Him. Because we have been growing roots in this home He gave us, we have been cultivated, strengthened, pruned, and readied. But now it’s time to be transplanted. To be uprooted and re-planted somewhere new, somewhere bigger and wilder, where we might not have the protective insulation of our cute little potted home. But we are trusting that He knows what we need and where we can best grow into the Oaks of Righteousness that He desires us to be.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
They will rebuild the ancient ruins
and restore the places long devastated;
they will renew the ruined cities
that have been devastated for generations.