my striving, His promises, and buying a home

 I burst into tears telling Dan, “I just don’t feel like God wants us to have nice and good things.” Whoa. Where did this come from? I got in the shower, where I seem to do my best processing lately — maybe it’s the lavender bath salt I’ve been dumping out every time — and I pretty quickly figured it out.

In the past month, we’ve decided to commit to staying in Indianapolis when Dan finishes residency, unless we feel a strong calling to go elsewhere. The appeal of the Pacific Northwest and other more glamorous, scenic areas of the country is strong. Our minds tell us to go and explore living other places while we’re still young! But our hearts are telling us the Lord has called us here and we need to lay aside some of our city-hopping desires to commit fully to our friends, church community, and city. Like, invest in the good of our city. 

With this commitment, we’ve started talking about home buying. When we should do it, where we should do it, if we should do it, or if we should ride out this we-don’t-have-to-mow-the-lawn situation as long as possible. Our home buying decisions were majorly sped up when I walked by my “dream house.” We (foolishly?) went to see it before taking the other steps one usually takes before touring homes for sale.

This house sent me into a tizzy. I wasn’t sleeping well. And I was obsessed with the thought of relaxing baths in a nice, new bathtub, and our children playing on the floors of their freshly carpeted bedrooms. I wanted it badly. We started looking more closely at our finances and talking about goals and contacting banks. And then the tears and frustration and fear and worry hit.

Because, here’s what I have foolishly taught myself: If I don’t work hard enough and fast enough to get something I want, God will take it away. Unfortunately, I still kick myself about not overnight mailing a specific document for our international adoption a few years ago. It’s truly possible that if we had overnighted it, our boys would have been home two years ago. I can’t let it go. And I use it as The Example for why I must always work hard and fast. And The Example for why I think God sometimes punishes me for not working hard enough and fast enough.

That’s a load of sad, yucky, untruthful lies, isn’t it?

I burst into tears, got in the shower, and realized I’m believing the lie that I must work as hard and as fast as possible to get a good thing God has set before me. And that if I don’t work hard and fast, He will take it away.

The very real truth is that He has plans for me and He wants my good. Ultimately, this “dream house” may be out of our reach financially. Or we won’t get things in order in time to make an offer on it. Or we will find out it’s not a good option for our little family. I don’t need to strive and fret. I don’t need to dwell on the paperwork that wasn’t overnighted. I can feel peace and hope going forward at all times.

  • Amen. I am forever struggling with “if I don’t work hard and fast enough, God will take this away”. Thank you for the reminder to rest in His goodness.

  • MollyWalker

    This was a really helpful post to read this morning. My husband and I are currently contemplating a move to a small rental home a few miles from where we live now, in an apartment in an old Victorian in a beautiful historic neighborhood. I’m in love with our neighborhood, but landlord and space issues also have me longing for a home to myself. This house is perfect–the only downside is that it isn’t in the neighborhood I’ve lived in and invested in for the past 5 years. We put a deposit down on the house this morning and have 24 hours to back out without losing our money. I’m an over-thinker and a worrier, so I can’t help but contemplating the what-ifs and rehashing my concerns over and over and over. Do we take the plunge or remain content?

    This was really long-winded and a bit of an over-share, but I really appreciated this post and it’s so helpful to read about someone who is dealing with similar feelings and emotions. Thank you for your honest sharing.

  • Ashley Smith

    That’s how I [wrongly] feel too! Thanks for putting words to it. The document thing is a terrible burden to make yourself carry. If you believed in karma or chance, that’s one thing. But you believe in the sovereign grace of God, who gives perfectly and in His timing. 🙂 Praise the Lord, right? Blessings as you wait!

  • You’re so write in being conscious that our wants and our callings from God can be different things! Blessings!