it's about the journey... not just the outcome
The day after Christmas, Kevin shared the words that were pounding in his soul. I explained I heard the same words echoing in my own. There was the confirmation. "Make room for more." It was time. And it caught us both a bit by surprise.
While we waited for Elie to come home many people asked us if we would move to a larger home. It wasn't yet time. Then when London started to grow in my belly we questioned if maybe now was the time to go. But no, not yet. Then this last summer we thought... maybe, maybe now. We started to actually look at some homes in the area but both agreed that now was not the time and maybe not ever honestly. Our home, while small, was workable for our family of seven. We enjoyed the our community and believed our resources were needed for other things. We had talked of dreams of having a home available for those who needed a place to rest and maybe more children to join our family. However at the end of the summer, I found a place of contentment that those dreams were not for here, not for now. God had called my husband to this job, to this town, to this place where housing takes up a large part of the budget. I would trust that God would use those desires and dreams burning in our hearts in different ways that we couldn't really imagine right now. And then just a few months later, for no real reason, we both looked at each other and knew the time was now. It didn't make much sense really to sell our home in the middle of winter and in the middle of a school year and right after such an intense season in our home.
I have always loved this quote by Martin Luther King Jr, "Faith is taking the first step when you can't see the entire staircase." Step one. We started to look at what was available in our current neighborhood. We thought we would just casually look over the next six months and if something came up we would try to pursue it. And there is was, the perfect home for our family and it was at a price we could afford. There was just one catch - no contingencies allowed. We would have to take step number 2, put our house on the market, with no assurance that this house would still be available when we could make an offer.
We worked like madmen and two weeks later our house was officially open for offers. The people came and came and came and came. Everyday they came. At naptime and dinner time they came. We tried desperately to keep the house perfect, which is no small feat when you have five children living in a small space... especially when the tiniest one is a master of dumping whatever you have just picked up. We learned tricks like throwing all the dirty dishes in a trash bag and stuffing them in the trunk to help us survive. Exhausting, absolutely exhausting. But it would be worth it in the end because we would have our new home. Or maybe not.
When we were waiting for our first adoption referral from Ethiopia we knew there were some things about us that could make the adoption not happen. There was a very real possibility we could get all the way to the final court proceedings in Ethiopia and the judge would look at our file and say No, you do not meet the requirements. A wise older friend looked at me during that time and spoke words that have carried me through so many unknown situations..... Even if you get to the end and there is no baby, it is not wasted time. God has called you to take these steps in faith, he has called you to the process, He did not promise you the outcome.
I think at times I can miss point of the journey because my focus is so much on the outcome, on my wishes and desires. When we decided to get our house ready to sell, we both already sensed that this was about more than just a house. We would learn in a new way to leave the outcome in the hands of our Father. We would take that first step knowing that the house we were wanted to move to might only be a catalyst to get us moving. God used that home to awaken us to make more room. We began to pray for the right person to purchase our home, for the timing of all stages of the process, for where we would go once we were homeless, and where God would want our family to put down our roots.
The initial home we loved did sell and then three more after that one. It has not been easy. God created me with huge emotions. If I set my heart to something I am all in. But even my rock of a husband has felt the emotional highs and lows of it all. And so the past two months have been a rollercoaster of emotions for both of us. Emotions are okay. It is okay to get frustrated or sad or fearful. It is what we do with those emotions that matters. In the midst of the highs and lows, I stand firm on the foundation of my faith. He is good and He is love and He is before us and He is behind us and His plan is perfect. All things work together for my good, the good of refining my heart and my character to look slightly more like Jesus and to prepare me for what lies ahead on the next step. Even though I cannot see where this staircase is leading us, I will trust the One who built it.