It was “cozy” shall we say. It took us months to find it so when the manager of the apartment building told us it was ours, we were thrilled. My fiance and I were getting married in a few short months and once the wedding was over, we would be moving into this apartment that would be our home.
I imagined that the white picket fence and the four bedroom house that I wanted to have starting out in marriage was right around the corner-both literally and figuratively. Dreaming of what that looked like took up a lot of my spare time over the years.
This 2 bedroom apartment looked nothing like it, but I was content...sort of. And then 4 months into our marriage, we were expecting. That meant my beautiful “guest room” was going to be a nursery in less than a year. I made the best of it and was content....kind of.
We paid off all our debts, built an emergency fund, and had savings for a down-payment on a house. Things were all going in the right direction to building my dream home.
Until one day, my husband came home early from work. Too early. The startup company that hired him had folded. We were 6 months pregnant with our second son. That down-payment on a house is what would keep us in food and clothing for the next year and a half of unemployment-and truth be told, it ran out 3 months in.
And then baby number two came along...and the space kept getting even smaller. And my contentment grew smaller too.
My dream home was slipping away.
Eventually, my husband took a job several hours north and we found a gorgeous little rental house with a very big backyard. It was perfect for our growing family! I stood every day on my back deck and thanked God for green grass to play on and room to breathe. Our third son was born. Things were looking up for those two years.....a little bit. We were not able to replace our nest egg yet, but just maybe, I thought, the tide was turning.
But then we felt the call to start our own company which we would self-finance. Which meant moving in with relatives. And putting all my belongings in storage. And sleeping in a full-sized bed. And giving up the cute decor for my boys' bedrooms. Or the ability to invite friends over whenever we wanted. Or this...or that...or the other. And it meant sacrificing financially to follow a calling we could not ignore.
And all along, I struggled with not giving my boys “enough”. Enough space. Enough yard. Enough stability. Enough freedom. Enough privacy. Enough of all the things I dreamed in my head a mom and dad were supposed to provide for American children. The boys never complained about any of it. I knew that it was my own struggle.
But God had other designs in mind for the apartment, the rental, and the borrowed home where we are guests.
From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:26-27
God determined before the foundation of the world that we would live in this day and age and He determined the “boundaries of our lands”. It is God who decides where I live-where my boys live. And where you live. God planned for us to live in this country, this state, this city, this home, at this time. All of them. The suffocatingly small apartment, the house with the yard made for little boys, and the little bedrooms in my relatives' home. God chose it.
For a GREAT reason. For the one reason that is closest to my heart.
God wants me, and my sons to “seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him”. These walls are the confines of greatest opportunity in which my sons will best be suited to seek God and find Him.
What do I want more than anything in the world? Far more than a white picket fence? I want my sons to have a saving knowledge of God and to find Him. My two oldest have done just that from a young age-just as I always prayed they would. The glorious answer to my most passionate prayer.
The Lord knew that these places of our habitation would be best to help shape my boys-that these circumstances that would lead to these dwellings would eventually be used to spur them towards an eternal home with God.
So I traded in my picket fenced dreams for visions of the hope that we would all stand before the Pearly Gates instead. It brings a contentment that far surpasses the satisfaction of a five-bedroom house.
God's plan was a far better plan than mine was. And God reminds me that the things of this earth will fade and burn, but the home that He builds in Heaven will never corrupt.
YOUR TURN! How do you identify with this post?
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