So, here’s the thing. I wasn’t expecting to get the house. I’m not talking about thinking my offer wasn’t competitive enough. I’m talking about the God part.
Don’t get me wrong…I believed that Jesus had told me that he was preparing a place that the three of us would love. Or, at least, I wanted to believe that I felt him tell me that.
And I believed that God would provide for us. Because I really feel that he has in a lot of huge ways over many years.
And I believed that he would come through for us. Except that I think I haven’t really, deep down, believed that he has come through, is coming through and would be coming through for me specifically for a very long time.
I was sitting on a dear friend’s couch last night, celebrating, and I said, through more happy tears, “I just needed this so much. I haven’t had really good news in such a long time…” And she said, “Yeah, like since Jack’s birth!” (Jack is 13.) She was kidding, of course, but then again, that’s almost how it’s felt at times.
I love God with my whole heart. But I think he and I have some work to do in this area, because I have seen mighty and gorgeous things happen to people I love, and I have seen sweet and small God-things happen to me to keep me going for years, but when you pray for something for a really long time — and I mean, really pray, and in line with God’s will, and for years and years — and it doesn’t come to pass, you start to feel looked over. Passed by. Forgotten maybe. Intentionally left out. Unloved, truth be told.
Psalm 84 says that “no good thing does he withhold”. But my life does not – from my small, skewed point of view – attest to that every day. Many good things have I felt him withhold from me. A few really important things – that I thought he would’ve wanted for me, sincerely – I have felt him withhold.
So, I’ve been slogging through begging him for this house and asking friends to pray for this house and hoping beyond hope, at least for my kids’ sake, that he would come through. I have been praying, Please, please please, I’m begging you. I know you can but I don’t know if you will. But please. But I did not expect him to come through for me. I knew we wouldn’t be homeless. I knew, somehow, we would have a place to live. But I’ve been hurt enough over forty years of wanting things from God – good things, not selfish things, God things – that I have not gotten, that I have closed off in me the deep desire for any more earthly circumstances to work out in my favor.
So, I hoped, but with fingers crossed. I hoped, but with one eye open waiting for the big no. I hoped, but I pictured my response when my realtor called to say it went to someone else. I hoped, but I rehearsed how I’d tell my kids that we didn’t get the house while simultaneously trying to convince them (and me) that Jesus was looking out for us (something that, deep down, I do truly believe).
I am not sure I will ever, ever get this one down. All I know is this. My hope is in Christ, not in my circumstantial happiness. I also know that I know this because I have had to cling to this in ways that I never would’ve expected, in ways that a lot of people don’t get to experience firsthand. And I say get to experience because it truly is a privilege to be bottomed out, to have nothing to look forward to but being with Jesus.
But for today…today I am grateful, beyond grateful, that I have woken up with heavenly hope and some earthly hope tossed in. Today I have Jesus, and I a little something else.