A few months ago we packed up all of our belongings and moved to a home in the country. As we moved out of the move-in-ready home that welcomed us to Waco, the previous fours years ruminated in my soul. I looked around at the home where our boys stood at the big window facing the back yard on rainy days longing for the warmth of the sun and the freedom to run and play. I lingered on the living room couch remembering Christmases and birthday parties and game nights, and I took in all of the finer finishes that I was giving up in the move.
I admit that the idea of living in a rural area in a home that runs on things like wells and septic systems is more nightmare than dream for me. Throw in things like snakes, mice, and chiggers, and I’m almost willing to cash in our retirement plan for a month at the Four Seasons. So why did we trade in polished and pretty for an old, run-down country home on five acres? Two words. Our boys.
We love these little men more than life, and they push us to make sacrifices and choices that we would never make on our own. There is something about love, unconditional love, that drives us to give of ourselves in ways we cannot fathom.
And suddenly the love the Father and the sacrifice of the Son sinks in a little deeper and draws a little more emotion.
As Chris and I lay in bed last night talking through budgets, timelines, and future renovations, my breathing became heavier and more controlled. Chris saw it; he pulled me in a little tighter and whispered, “This isn’t Fixer Upper, and it isn’t going to happen in an hour. But when I see the boys exploring, I’m so glad we did this. Aren’t you?” Breathe out. Perspective.
As Waco residents, we are almost required to be fans of Fixer Upper and Chip and Joanna Gaines. There is something satisfying about seeing something hopeless turned into something beautiful in 60 minutes. The biggest disasters are often turned into the most drool-worthy homes right before our eyes, and suddenly we want that.
As I published our story this week, I realized that I had skipped the painstaking process of restoration that took seven years, thousands of dollars, millions of tears, a cross-country move, and the will of God to get us to the big reveal.
While we want to give hope to those that are finding themselves in a hopeless situation, we also want to do so with an acute awareness of the time it took us to heal. This is not a process that can be rushed, and our first two years were very much a day-by-day evaluation of what we needed, what we could handle, and how much we could trust God to work a miracle in our marriage.
We are all a work in progress. Chris and I will be the first to admit that we have areas that need refining, areas that are marked by our past, and areas that are just flawed. We do not have it all together, but we do have a desire to use those areas of deepest pain to step out and into the suffering of others; to walk alongside those that are hurting and offer our ongoing presence. As carriers of Christ, that is our hope; that we can carry with us the light of Jesus in us into the darkest of hours on the darkest of days.
Each person’s story is different, and we would never assume that what worked for us would work for everyone. But we can know for certain that the One who worked for us, will work for everyone if given the chance. Use that as a starting point. It’s going to take more than an hour, but don’t you want to see the big reveal at the end?
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? – 1 John 5:4-5