My will. It hit me this January that the New Year’s Resolutions we make each year and call goals are typically hopes and dreams for an improved version of ourselves and our lives based on our desires or our will.
It surprises no one when by the fourth week of January some changes we tried to make in ourselves have never seen the light of day and in short time will be passed over for a better time in our life.
The words came to me like lightning. So I quickly grabbed my little kitchen chalkboard and wrote the essence of the Scripture from Jesus’ Words in the Garden of Gethsemane:
I also added “Jan” at the bottom, thinking this would be a great idea to take a Scripture that comes to me and focus on it for one month. Being the blogger that I am, having worked very hard on getting my new blog off the ground the first week of January, and having spent hours determining what specific categories I would include, I was triggered to think that would be my once a month post on faith.
This month these words were my focus.
That was it. I didn’t give it a lot more thought. I see it several times a day because it is at my kitchen sink. But it is like many things in our life, it is in front of your eyes, you read it or watch it but it isn’t really all that conscious.
Though unaware, seeing that Scripture repeatedly kept it in my mind and I kept thinking about writing a post about it.
I think God is a little bit sneaky about getting us to hear Him sometimes.
We think things are our ideas. We think we are doing something that will help others. All the while God was talking, we were hearing (subconsciously) and the help, while of course His Word will help all people, was initially meant for us.
I didn’t make Resolutions this year. First time probably ever in my life. Not one. Maybe that’s why I didn’t think this was truly about me.
Then one night when I couldn’t sleep, I just began this post.
The next day things started happening. I can’t recall all of them but the biggest one was we closed on our new home.
The Back Story
If you have been on this journey with me from the beginning of the blog, you will remember that the blog was started because we were planning our dream home on the lake for retirement. For three years we looked for land. When we found a lot in a subdivision I really wanted to live in with the most breath-taking view, my husband decided it was not really wide enough. So we sadly kept looking.
On a subsequent visit to the lake with my Mom, I decided to drive her around and show her the areas we had been looking at. When we drove by the lot we were really interested in, suddenly there was a “For Sale” sign on the lot next to the other lot, which if both owned by us would make the lot wide enough! These are the only lots left on the street. The other homes are already built. We thought it was a sign from God.
We prayed about it and then we purchased the lots.
This past Summer, I wrote about us meeting with the builder. We had finally agreed upon a floorplan and he had actually just coincidentally built it in another neighborhood and the owner allowed us to visit. We also talked cost to build with him in great detail.
We hated the house. That was scary because we loved it on paper. But we really both hated it in real life. Can you imagine pouring your life’s savings for your dream home into something and then after it is built realizing it is not at all what you want? It really put pause in our minds about building anything we couldn’t first see.
The builder also informed us that this particular guy’s home was 2 times what we were prepared to pay. He didn’t have a pool which we wanted and our lot was filled with a lot more trees and rock which would probably raise the price even more.
We were in shock. We were so invested emotionally in this dream AND we thought that God had actually directed us to it.
So what happened? Did we miss God?
Do you ever question that? This isn’t the only time this year I have questioned it for sure.
We let the dream go. We plan to put the land on the market this year.
The next thing that hit us was this week. We now own this smaller home. It is really cute. I love the countertops, the trim and the floors. The view out of the windows is of the golf course and lake.
I have struggled with the purchase of this new home, even before we signed on the dotted line, because I am leaving a home with a gorgeous, private and great back yard for entertaining which we love to do. The new home has a back yard that is smaller than a parking space. We have a patio and a screened in porch, but really there is nothing on the other side of that except a sewer.
I worry about my little dogs not having space to run and about family and where will everyone fit when we have them over. Our end goal is not to downsize. We are planning to upsize at the lake so people feel welcome to stay a week at a time and feel at home during their visit.
So this new home is a temporary stop on that journey. A sacrifice in some ways, but it is a new home and in a community with swimming, tennis, golf, dances and more.
Do you know where this is going?
We are now questioning why we would move into this temporary home if we are going to purchase our lake home in 2018 or 19. Why pay for a move twice? Why spend money on an electric dog fence, some new furniture since some of ours won’t fit in the smaller scale home. How much will it cost to finish the basement?
Since we can’t even think of moving in until we sell this home, it will sit there empty for months. Maybe we made a mistake. Maybe we should pop a “For Sale” sign on it right now and see what happens.
This isn’t the first time that thought has crossed our minds. In early December, having the same thoughts, we actually visited an apartment complex thinking how much money we would save if we sold everything and lived our temporary life in an apartment. But that really was too much downsizing and lack of privacy. So we put our hearts back into the move.
I say all of this not to tell you we have reached a decision. We haven’t. We went over to the house tonight to show my Mother-in-law, whom we shared our thoughts about it with. Walking through the home I get excited about living there still.
My husband takes on blame at himself thinking we made a mistake.
I don’t think we did.
Sometimes you can’t see what God’s intention is in a situation.
I apologize that this is getting long but it is such an important point to make.
I was reminded of the Bible Story of Abraham.
He longed for a son. God promised him one with his wife even though she was barren. But time went on and he and his wife were getting old, too old for her to bare a child. When finally God sent an angel to Sarah and told her she would be with child.
Abraham loved Isaac, the promise fulfilled from God.
But one day God told Abraham to sacrifice his son on an altar. This was not something people did. They sacrificed lambs or rams, not children and certainly not your only beloved child….the child of your promise.
Abraham didn’t question God. The Bible doesn’t say Abraham thought, why God, what did I do wrong. It only says that Abraham obeyed. He gathered the things needed to build the altar and his son and began up the mountain. If you know the story, God took Abraham right to the moment with his arm in the air ready to kill his child and then stopped him. The Bible states that God was testing Abraham. Testing if he would give up what he loved most if asked.
God tests us too.
Probably more than we even know. So I considered that. We didn’t just purchase this new home on a whim. There were legitimate and important reasons behind us making the purchase at the time we did, but things have changed and we have the luxury of undoing this move if we choose.
With the reprieve of not selling our current home, suddenly I thought, this is still my home and I love it. I can have one more summer here, one more Christmas here and I can totally skip the downsizing and just look forward to the move to the lake within two years. That would be the easiest thing to do. Did God just want to see if we were willing? Willing to give up this lovely home and do it with grace?
Not My Will But Thy Will.
I leave you hanging here, because so are we. We don’t know what God’s will is at this moment. Even after we think we do, will we be sure? Looking back over the past year, it could appear that we are certainly flying far outside of those boundaries of His will.
One thing I have truly learned in life is God totally does not give any credence to the “what will people think” syndrome. What were people thinking when Noah was building an ark? He is just not concerned with it. He loves His children and He wants what’s best for us. He will move mountains in our way or out of our way to get us to notice His hand and follow it. We simply need to remember to seek His will over our own.
Can you relate to anything like this in your life? Has God taken you on journeys that seem like the right way, then the wrong way and left you wondering am I really hearing Him clearly?
It is 6 AM. I just went to tell my husband good-bye for work…yes, I have been up in the night writing this again. As he was leaving and we are still in the dilemma of what are we to do, I was reminded that we should stay the current course until led not to.
You’re blessed when you stay on course,
walking steadily on the road revealed by God.
You’re blessed when you follow his directions,
doing your best to find Him.
That’s right—you don’t go off on your own;
you walk straight along the road He set.
You, God, prescribed the right way to live;
now you expect us to live it.
Oh, that my steps might be steady,
keeping to the course you set;
Then I’d never have any regrets
in comparing my life with your counsel.
I thank you for speaking straight from your heart;
I learn the pattern of your righteous ways.
I’m going to do what you tell me to do;
don’t ever walk off and leave me.
Psalm 119:1-8 The Message Bible
The peace I have in all of this is that no matter where we end up, whether we figure out God’s will or we don’t, He knows our heart to know His will and He has promised to never leave us. So our home will be our happy place, no matter what the outcome.
Thank you for sharing your time here again today. If you have a story related to knowing God’s will, I don’t care how long, that you would like to share, I would love for you to add it in the comments. We build each other up when we share the journey with all of its ups and especially its downs.