Have you ever seen that show on HGTV with the two brothers? They help clients purchase fixer-uppers then go to work…well, fixing them up. I think it’s called Property Brothers. Whatever it’s called, it had me in near tears at the dentist’s office yesterday—sitting in that ugly mauve colored chair leaned back just enough so I could still watch as this woman walked into her newly remodeled home—a dream she had long waited for.
I don’t think the hygienist noticed. She was busy scraping coffee stains. But in that moment, while watching this rather syrupy moment on scripted TV, I couldn’t help but swell with emotion along with the teary-eyed, middle-aged woman. I wanted to stand up, give her hug and say, “Yay, you! I understand! I long for a home of my own design, too!”
For most women, their home is a sensitive issue. I can remember as a young girl, spending enormous amounts of time imagining my someday home. I would draw it, study floor plans in magazines, and even spend hours arranging my “play house” area in the basement into my model home design. I remember somewhere along the way discovering Architectural Digest—one of my friend’s parents had a subscription maybe. Somehow I ended up with a stack of these magazines. I spent hours pouring over the pages. Most the designs I thought too extreme for what I wanted in my home (I was very sure, even back then), but there was so much to appreciate and learn in the way of color, balance, texture, and beautiful spaces.
Then I married a medical student, who was commissioned to the Army and proceeded to live in seven different homes (several of those being apartments) over a sixteen year period. And all that while, I continued to mentally build my home. With each place we lived, I made notations: No to alcove entrances. No to closed off kitchens. Porches are essential. So are mudrooms and walk-in pantries. A big laundry room? Nah.
At some point, I recognized the potential dangerous affects of holding so dear this imagined home of mine. Several times I’ve had to lay it down, place it on the altar, allow it to burn as a sacrifice—praying that it would be pleasing unto the Lord.
Now I am living in my eighth home. We bought it for the time being not for permanent residency. It is smallish for our family—getting smaller every month we stay. The rooms are filling up with our daily living. It has been hard to keep warm this winter. The oven is going out—not regulating its temperature. I’ve had two pieces of bake-ware break on me, the most recent exploded in my hands while I was removing dinner from the oven (not because it was done, mind you, but because I heard the chicken frying instead of baking). By some miracle I wasn’t cut by flying shards of glass.
When we first moved here, there was a plan and a direction for building a home. But, that plan didn’t work out. Turns out it was the wrong plan with the wrong direction. This was such a blessing!
But still I am waiting. We have a new plan and a new direction, and so far this plan and direction seems much more straight and good! But who’s to say? All we can do is keep our eyes and ears open, keep laying down the dream so God can either light it on fire so as to replace it with His better one, or bring to fruition this one because really it was His design all along, and not our own.
Henri Nouwen, in his book called Discernment, says that the word patience comes from the Latin verb patior, meaning “to suffer.”
“Waiting patently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the fullest in the belief that something hidden there will manifest itself to us. When we know we are God’s beloved and we are free to live in the house of love, all patience is co-patience—suffering with the suffering God, thus suffering and compassion that give birth to new life.” (p. 152)
All this leads me back to sitting in the dentist’s chair and choking up over seeing another woman’s deepest longing come to fruition. I don’t know if she thanked Jesus for her home. But I sure did. I closed my eyes and told God thank you for giving this woman her heart’s desire; and to please help me be patient in waiting for my own heart’s desire to be either fulfilled or purified.
And thank you, Father, that wherever we land, it will be bathed in Your new life.
Copyright 2015 by Shari Dragovich