Saturday, July 6, 2013
Not the Answer I Wanted
I'm a little jet lagged and tired tonight.
That might not be the best time for me to write.
Many times my writing is a good way for me to work through something that I'm struggling
And this would be one of those times.
To begin, I also have to confess.
A few blogs back, I wrote about my house hunting obsession.
Having recently paid off our mortgage, I've been hot on the trail of finding a new house.
Not wanting to spend more than ours is worth.
Just wanting a change.
Each avenue for a new house.....has so far, closed.
One house was a little too small.
Another was already under contract.
One was on a busy street.
Another was in foreclosure.
I really felt God was telling me from the beginning "not now."
But. Big surprise knowing me.
I was completely unaccepting of that answer.
Countless times these words have come from my mouth.
"i don't have any desire to pursue something that God is not leading me to do."
I've said that to Him.
I've said it to others.
I've believed it.
But this has truly been my test.
And I didn't fare very well.
For the first time in a long time, I've wanted something.
I consistently believe
He has been saying no to.
I stumbled on to it quite by accident.
It's not even on the market yet.
A hundred year old house.
Everything I ever imagined I wanted.
Sturdy. In good shape.
Maple hardwood floors.
Enough for me to have a stained glass studio.
And have my family come and visit.
Fireplaces in every room.
A screened in porch.
A fig tree out back.
And an apple tree.
A large lot on a quiet street corner.
Near Erskine College.
And it came with an interesting story.
Owned by a retired professor.
He lost his wife very suddenly.
He walked out of the house a few years ago.
Closed the door behind him.
And did not return.
Everything in the house looks pretty much the way it did when he lived there.
Yes, it needed some TLC, but the asking price?
A complete steal.
It appealed to me in every possible way.
A great buy.
An opportunity for me to use my "makeover" talents.
My imagination went to work.
I was painting and decorating.
Stripping painted maple floors to their former glory.
Putting up book shelves and arranging porch furniture.
I was picking out a perky color to cover the white exterior.
And envisioning the wrought iron beds that would decorate the upstairs.
I set up a board on pinterest and started pinning ideas.
For goodness sake...........I even placed my Christmas tree.
Put my vintage clocks on the fireplace mantels.
Picked out pillows for the leather sofa in the study.
I called a recommended home inspector.
That specializes in old houses.
I called my banker to talk about financing options.
And my heating & cooling friend to get a central air estimate.
There's no way else to describe it.
I started my life........ in that house.
God was consistently and gently saying not now.
He had from the start.
It started almost immediately.
God, tell me what I should do about this house idea?
I was reading in Genesis.
Of course, it was Genesis.
He used the story of Sarah -- tired of waiting on God to move to make her a mother.
She took things into her own hands - and gave her servant, Hagar to Abraham.
That didn't go so well.
My study notes read:
"sometimes we too must simply wait. when we ask God for something and have to wait,
we can be tempted to take matters into our own hands and interfere with God's plans."
"one way we often cope with a long wait (or even a short one) is to begin helping God
get this plan into action."
A few days went by.
His words to me remained consistent.
I read about Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Issac.
In my study notes:
"obeying God is often a struggle because it may mean giving up something we truly want.
we should not expect our obedience to God to be easy or to come naturally."
I have permission to cut myself some slack.
But, even these direct references to my situation didn't completely dampen my desire
for this old house.
I drove back to Due West for a second look.
All by myself.
I photographed the outside.
I walked down the sidewalks around it.
I scoped out the nearby park.
And the neighbors.
I was still fully engaged. Fully infatuated.
Completely in love.
And then comes the next passage.
A few days later.
Still reading in Genesis.
Still knowing that God was saying - not now.
Still hoping I wasn't hearing Him just right.
And I read:
"It is difficult to let go of what we deeply love. Yet, when we give to God what He
asks, he returns to us far more than we could dream. The spiritual benefits of His
blessings far outweigh our sacrifices."
That's when I knew.
How clear can He be?
I've always believed.
That when we really seek Him,
He will not hide from us.
I was seeking.
He was speaking.
I just wasn't happy with His answer.
For me, it's been this house.
I have close friends and family where it may be something else.
Not the answer they wanted.
The loss of a pregnancy.
The end of a marriage.
The disappointment of a relationship.
Or the harm done by a bad parent.
I don't understand why we sometimes get the answers we do.
And I've struggled with His answer on this house.
At the end of this day, however, I may not know the why,
but in my disappointment, I know that He does.
I've been thinking about this scripture.
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.
Plans for your good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
In those days when you pray I will listen.
If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
I will be found by you, says the Lord." Jeremiah 11-13.
So, do I really believe that?
Either I do, or it's a lie.
Either I trust Him, or I don't.
Either I believe He wants what's best for me, or I believe He just wants to take from me.
Either I follow Him, or I go it on my own.
Either I wait for Him, or I move ahead without Him.
I've been mopey and disappointed all day.
Then, I sat down to do what usually helps.
I started journaling.
I wrote out how I feel.
What harm would it be?
What's so wrong with wanting this house?
I've tried to follow you.
Don't I deserve it?
Yep. Not too pretty.
But, I got it all out.
And had my weepy reckoning.
Blew my nose.
And decided -- that I'll take Him for His word.
And I let it go.
Let me restate that.
I'm letting it go.