Some seasons of life just pile.
Do you know what I mean?
Like all in one week you stumble across a real estate listing for a hobby farm, you consider taking in a medically fragile infant, you go visit your daughters’ first mom with them and you watch your house go up for sale.
Honestly, I feel a little raw and exposed and vulnerable at the moment, but I’ve learned that’s often the way life goes and it is these seasons where growth happens.
We lean on Him more when we realize the lack of control we operated under all along.
My husband and I have dreamed for years of someday owning a hobby farm. As our family grew, so did our desire for more space and more opportunities to explore and create.
Our daughters have taken up the cause of this dream passionately and have invested much time and energy advocating, dreaming and planning for this one-day-to-be farm of ours.
Recently my daughter decided she was going to take a look at local real estate listings as she wanted to see how much it really costs to be a grown up and own a home. This is all part of her recently developing interest and determination to plan, save and understand what her future may look like. (*proud mom moments)
My husband was guiding her through this process and when the list of properties popped up, one of the first ones on the list was…a hobby farm.
Of course, she immediately clicked on the link and as my husband hovered over her shoulder he tried to keep the astonishment from his voice.
Less than 10 minutes from our current home, still technically inside our small town’s limits, almost 10 acres of rolling hills, bush and scrubby pastures…
What was there not to love?
When he showed me the listing later that evening after the children had been tucked into their beds,
I let him know that there was plenty not to love!
Scrolling through the pictures literally made me sick to my stomach.
The property was gorgeous, there was no doubt…
but the house was outdated and cluttered with the excess of a life well lived.
Curled up on my couch in our beautiful, spacious, clean and modern style home I wanted nothing to do with this dilapidated home boasting 70’s style wallpaper and floral linoleum.
I realized just how attached I had become to this beautiful home God had gifted to us just two years prior.
I felt so safe here.
So loved and protected.
It had been our safe haven through a rocky two years, and I was not ready for that to end.
When it was given to us I had felt like it was an affirmation from God that we were seen and that He would provide for all our needs.
This farm felt like a kick in the gut.
Sure, I had dreamed of this kind of opportunity…but as we all know dreams are very different than real life.
I felt like I had just finally caught my breath.
Thankfully, my husband’s vision is much clearer than my own and over the next few days and weeks he nudged and cajoled me towards the dream.
Through his eyes I started to see it…that this really might be the opportunity of a lifetime.
My heart recoiled from the idea of more change and discomfort, but also strained toward the adventure I knew could be ours.
I could stay in my safe little bubble, or I could say yes to adventure and endless opportunities to create and explore.
At only 28 years old, was I really going to hunker down and say this is it?
I agreed to go check it out and we made it a date night, leaving the kids with a babysitter.
The house still gave me the same sinking feeling…but it also erased the doubts I had about there being enough space for us all.
When we got outside and began walking the property, the shades on my limited vision dropped away.
In the magical evening hours, sun sinking low in the sky, the farm lay around us in gentle hills, tall birches and sprawling grasses. I imagined my children running the lengths of the farmyard and chickens pecking at the dirt outside the small shed.
We ducked through the doors of the old barn and gazed around at broken down horse stalls in the dim light. The air was thick and musty, carrying me back to my own childhood days on a farm in Wellington County.
We hiked up the barn hill and turned in circles in the empty hayloft, a barn swing soaring in my mind’s eye.
There were falling down little sheds all over the place, hidden piles of wood and tin and opportunity waiting for eager small hands.
By the time we left…I think I knew.
It kept me awake for hours each night for the next week.
I’d wake up in the stillness and lay wide eyed, anxiety laying heavy on my chest as I tried to imagine leaving our home.
This wasn’t the plan!
I imagine He smiled, reaching down to stroke my brow tenderly as He gently, slowly eased the fears away.
Trust me; my plans are always good.
I grasped for something solid in it all.
If you believe what you say you do, you do not need to believe the lie that without this safe, beautiful, comfortable home you will not be happy.
What if the greatest adventure of your lives is staring you in the face and you are too afraid to seize the day?
A few weeks later, after hours and hours of agonizing, dreaming, praying, youtubing and researching…it is officially ours!
To give wings to my faltering faith, our home sold in less than a week with multiple offers coming in.
While at a conference during the week of our home going up for sale, a speaker introduced this acrostic for the word FAITH.
I smiled as my husband squeezed my hand.
It is sort of cheesy, but it keeps playing around the corners of my mind as we sign papers, take our kids to see their new home and dream up future plans.
Fantastic adventures in trusting Him.
I think God loves to show us pieces of Himself.
I think He must delight in our confusion and amazement at each new revelation of just how omniscient and good He is.
I think He must patiently wait for us as we stand quaking in terror at the tip of each new ledge, awaiting the moment when we finally take the leap and realize He has caught us!
And there, in those moments, when we have been filled with fear, overwhelmed with grief, crushed by anger and sadness or paralyzed with confusion…when those big arms catch us and shore us up…it is then that we learn to trust Him.
It is then that we see just how big he is and how His largeness fills all the voids and covers the distance between our dreams and reality.
It is then that we embrace our not enough for His more than enough.
It is then that we can start to believe that these stories we live are not ours, but His. One grand, sweeping tale where He plays the main role while our parts come into perspective as merely sidelines to the main plot.
I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds.