D and I have discussed disliking the often-asked question regarding our move across the river, “How do you like Bayport?”
And the reason it’s so hard to answer is that we went from our dream-setting of having a sunset-over-the-lake view, to losing that home due to betrayal of his former employer and friend. They had purchased the home for us and told us it was part of his salary package. It would be ours in ten years, unless he sought other employment, and then we would purchase it from them.
When he quit, we received the paperwork, and then two days later, were told that they were keeping the house. Though they’d promised a contract, and talked of it often over the year we lived there, we’d never gotten it.
So, we lost our view, and we lost our “home country”. We lost a ton of money from our investment in the improvement of the property, and the increase of value through our sweat equity. [yes, we knew there was risk, but also had little choice given our circumstances]
I’ve moved many mature perennials from one garden to another, and they need large doses of continual water to “un-wilt.”
I’ve reminded myself in the lonely times, that to uproot a twenty-year planting, and replant, the re-rooting simply takes time.
Don’t get me wrong, we love our home. We really are thankful and know it’s a good gift from our Father. And we have been blessed with great neighbors. Which is saying a lot when we have four encircling us, and at least three more back yards butted up to ours.
We also do like our yard, though we weren’t able to spend much time outside over summer due to mosquitos in droves. [Oddly, there were very few at the lake.]
And we actually like this odd little town with it’s checker-board roads, sporting only yield signs at the crossroads. [I’ve yet to see an accident, but rather expect to!] And it hosts both diverse and quaint houses.
But on Tuesday night, I had a bit of an epiphany.
I am attending a Bible study with my cousin and her friends. We are studying The Real Heaven by Chip Ingram, and the question was posed: “Which of the these three statements do you connect with personally, enabling you to having a more accurate view of Heaven?”
* Perspective in times of trouble
* Perseverance in times of temptation
* Priorities when under pressure
And I’d already thought through many of the reasons that God may have allowed this loss and transition in my life, I’ve been watching for the “aha” moments, and have a small collection of them.
And I’ve asked the kinds of questions any normal person would ask, “Lord, did I love the lake-view too much? Was I enamored by Your sunsets more than You?”And in my asking, I’ve known that I need to rise up above those questions and get into the bigger story. I need to yield my life again to the same call of every Christ-follower:
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. 27 And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
[By this He obviously didn’t mean He is commanding hate, but that we must be willing to make all other important-to-us things – yes, even relationships – SECONDARY to our devotion to Him]
I am not my own. I have given my life to Him, whatever the cost. I am in His hands. I needed to do the “Romans 12:1-2” again. Climb up on the Altar, and align my mind with His again.
And so in the telling of that story to my friends the other night, shards of light came in. I told them, “I am an ambassador here. That this world is not my home, and Heaven is ahead.”
I already knew it, I’ve preached it to myself, but I think I needed to say it out loud.
I’ve noticed an unusual amount of joy in my new living location since Tuesday.
Because resonating in the back of my mind during the hardest part of our move, there was an echo of the words from Hebrews 10:34 “they gladly accepted the confiscation of their property” . . .that great cloud of witnesses that has gone before me had encouraged me . . . as well as my consideration for those who are living as refugees today – totally without a home.
So, as in so many other transitions in my life since following Jesus, I leave the past and the dreams behind, and continue to cleave to Him Who will one day welcome me to my better and abiding Home. Where I’ll have exceedingly abundantly more than any dreams I could have here on this earth.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him–
1 Corinthians 2:9
Yes I will. I will leave and cleave to my Covenant-Keeping God. Whatever the cost.