As we drove down the gravel and dirt road, I began to wonder what it was that God was stirring in my heart. For months, there had been a nagging, necessary, pulling to simplify. Fear, unknown and grief of memories came flooding in as I worked diligently to shove aside any thought of change to the comfortable little life I had been living. I have never been one to hold on too tightly to tangible things, but somehow the house we were about to leave was representative of so much more. Pictures flashed through my mind of little ones learning to crawl, babies being rocked to sleep, meals shared in our kitchen with loved ones. Memories of babies being brought home from the hospital and babies taking their last breath left me speechless with tears streaming down my face as I stared at a small farmhouse, nestled on a simple acre plot overlooking a ponding basin. Was this the place God was calling us to? Leaving granite counter tops and a nicely sodded yard was the least of my worries as I replayed leaving the place where I said goodbye to my son.
Only four short Junes before, my son Tyler went to be with the Lord in his crib during an afternoon nap. These are the types of marked moments in our lives that leave lasting and apparent scars. The home we were leaving was not just a home, but a home filled with joy and tears, life and death. Real, life altering moments happened in that home, and somehow saying goodbye to it felt like the ending of a season and a death in and of itself.
It is the nature of our God to make all things new, to make something out of nothing, and to provide just what we need at the precise moment and time.
As I peered at the stacked reinforced concrete exterior, the spiders who had found a comfy home in my soon-to-be living room, and the sterile white walls, I pondered how to make this new dwelling place feel like a home. I am a nester by nature. I like to feel cozy and settled, which for any of you who have moved before, transitioning into a new home takes time. I am not big on change either. And this move was a big one for this self-proclaimed city girl. There was a lot of dirt. A LOT. If you would’ve told me a year ago that I would have three chickens, a couple of cows living nearby, and more flies than you could swat at, I would have balked and laughed in your face. But after a few heart to hearts with the Lord, He confirmed in so many ways that this 1947, one bathroom, cinder block house is exactly what He desired for us.
It is the nature of our God to make all things new, to make something out of nothing, and to provide just what we need at the precise moment and time. He sweeps in and breathes new life into dead things and dead hearts. It was as if He took my face into His hands, looked me intently in the face, and said, “Trust me. I love you. I desire what’s best for you. Trust me.”
The once-disdained cinder block walls that initially felt like a prison and lacked softness took on a new light in my heart, now representing security and comfort. In a time when everything around me was shifting, changing, and feeling unstable, the Lord faithfully provided my heart with stability and security. The worry of leaving behind the place where I lost my son was gently replaced with knowing that his memory will never diminish with the relocation of our family. The dust, the dirt and the acre of open space have now become a daily adventure for my boys, which is something money can’t buy. There is so much freedom and comfort when we find ourselves surrendering our desires and dreams over to the Lord. The security we find in Christ is unshakeable. He is the One who provides ultimate, concrete security even as we look for it in everything tangible.
Sometimes the loosened grip on the temporary and fleeting allows us to truly grasp the eternal and experience all that God has and desires for us.
When we leave behind the things that are falsely providing us with security, only then can we experience true freedom and security in Christ. For me, letting go of a home that represented false security stripped me of my own selfish ambitions and desires. What things of this world are you holding onto that are giving you false security? Is it a relationship? A job? Your own good works? What people think of you? (Ouch!) Sometimes the loosened grip on the temporary and fleeting allows us to truly grasp the eternal and experience all that God has and desires for us.
Although my heart once felt so much reservation and reluctance as I looked at the simple, rustic outward shell of our home, it now serves as a daily reminder of our God’s tender patience with me. The stacked blocks are remembrances of the Lord’s faithfulness and goodness that HE alone is my fortress, my provider and my concrete security.
“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” Psalm 62:1-2
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Image credit: Cindy Cornett Seigle, Creative Commons