Plans...we make them...the Lord changes them. Or so it seems to be the case in my life over the past year. Wait...upon further thought...it's been happening a lot longer than a year. This afternoon I told a very good friend something hard for me to tell her. She wasn't surprised. Which I, of course, mused over for the rest of the afternoon.
The Lord has been teaching me in a variety of ways over the past year the truth to the lyrics of a song I've been singing for just as long...
All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong
Chorus from “Where I Belong” by Building 429
If you've read some of the past posts, you know that we moved to the country almost a year ago. Praise the Lord! It's been awesome. Challenging. Freeing. It's something we've talked about for a long time. A Dream. Come. True. I thought we'd only be changing our address. Silly me. The Lord seems to have had a much different idea of what this move would change.
Another homeschooling mom moved out to the country about 6 months before we did. She told me that when they did so, they decided that when they moved to the country...they would MOVE to the country. By that I mean leaving their church family and searching out a new one in the country. Not easy to do. I was impressed.
I reasoned that our life and outside activities would remain much the same...we'd just be driving a little farther (and be able to have a larger vegetable garden and chickens!). In our search for a home these were things we kept in mind as we chose which locations to look at. Doesn't that seem reasonable? I thought so.
Here are some of the plans we made and the Lord rearranged...
1. Selling our home quickly became 6 months with two mortgages...during that time the Lord changed the way we did a few things...
- We dried all of our laundry on a clothesline for 5 weeks because the dryer was not working. The best comment was from a little boy in our lifegroup who was 6 at the time. He saw some rugs on the line and asked why they were hanging there. I told him they were drying. He said, “Why don't you just put them in the dryer?” Priceless... : )
- We began burning our trash and bringing our recycling into town on our own. My man is our family's recycling “sorter.”
- We survived without air conditioning in another hot, Kansas summer.
- We canceled our vacation plans a few weeks before we were supposed to leave, only to have it “rescheduled” a few days before we were supposed to leave thanks to the generosity of family.
- We found out our furnace stopped working with the first cold snap in early October. With our emergency fund near zero, we opted to use our wood stove and some space heaters to keep the house warm until we closed on our other house at the end of the month.
- We closed on our home on October 24th, 2012 for less than we bought it for in 2005. And we were happy!
2. Our plans of continuing at our church “in town” gave way to stepping down from our leadership of a children's church, attending a Messianic congregation that meets on Friday evenings, and visiting churches in our new community. (We've been going to one “across the street” since Christmas and have really enjoyed it. Lots of other homeschooling families and going through the Word systematically.)
3. With the redirection in our church home, we also stopped meeting with our lifegroup. Another plan change we did not anticipate.
4. We planned to have our chickens in the “lean to” which was already on the property. A week or two before closing on the house, we decided to build a new coop closer to the house. My husband's dad and stepmom came out with a few weeks notice and built a coop together.
5. We planned to begin remodeling the kitchen, including a gas stove, as soon as possible. Our plan now is to replace the bathtubs and flooring in the upstairs bathrooms along with the sink in the master bath.
As I sang the song, “Where I Belong” during this time period, I would think about all of these changes. What hit me is how much we want to make things on this earth permanent. We want to stay in the same church. We want to stay in the same house. We want to know how long we're going to be somewhere. We want to “settle down.” We want to put down roots.
The Lord has been teaching me that I don't know the future. I don't know how long we'll be part of each church we worship at. I don't know how long we'll live in each house we move to. I don't know how long being a part of various groups will last. I don't know how long my life will last. Or that of my husband. My princess. Or my warrior.
I can make promises...but I'm learning that the Lord has the right to change them. That is hard for me, because I do NOT like to break my promises! In fact, I remember someone asking if we'd still be attending our church and leading the children's church and I said something like, “Of course we will. None of that will change!” It seems I made another promise years back that we would move back to the area I grew up in one day. Another promise broken...unintentionally. Why? Because I didn't know the plans the Lord had for us.
Thankfully, the Lord doesn't change His Promises. He Promises to be faithful. He Promises to bring good out of bad for those who love Him. He Promises to be with us when things are going well...and when they're not. He Promised a Messiah to the Israelites, the Jewish people...and He sent One. To them. And to us, the Gentiles. Praise the Lord!
Through this Messiah...He Promises to forgive our sins. He Promises to make us a new creation. He Promises to give us His Holy Spirit as a teacher...a Guide...a Helper. He Promises to set us apart for His Glory. He Promises us a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus is there now, preparing a place for us in His Father's House. He Promises us eternal life in this House...provided we have put this life on earth in His Hands...
So, if you look around and feel like this isn't your home, there is a reason for that. This is temporary. Our home. Our church home. Our social groups. Jesus is permanent. He is the only thing Solid enough to last through the changes in this life and into the next...
He is like a man building a house, who dug and went down deep and laid a foundation upon the rock; and when a flood arose, the torrent broke against that house and could not shake or move it, because it had been securely built or founded on a rock.
But he who merely hears and does not practice doing My words is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation, against which the torrent burst, and immediately it collapsed and fell, and the breaking and ruin of that house was great.
Luke 6:48-49, Amplified
Where is your home? I want mine to be on the Rock. Even if it means a lot of digging down deep...