Colby and I have been married exactly 6 1/2 years this month. For 6 1/2 years we have been looking forward to the “next step” to get us where we were going. Looking forward to God’s plan for our ministry and spurring one another on through the hard times with little “means to an end” pep talks. We have moved five times: three houses, two apartments, three states and over 4,200 miles. The first cross country move we left family and everything that we had ever known as home. The second cross country move, we found what it meant to have a “home away from home” and a close knit family where not one of us were blood relatives. It’s been an exciting and emotional journey to say the least!
A few years ago, I realized something about myself. I never hung pictures. After our first little “newly wed” house that was perfectly decorated with all of our registry gifts, I never got around to hanging every last frame and set of curtains. Why? I even thought it was weird…until I realized it was almost a protective mechanism. I knew what the next step in the journey was and that we wouldn’t be in that place forever. I finally forced myself to hang up *most* of our stuff on our last seminary apartment walls…after all, we did live there for almost 3 years! I laugh at myself because, even now, I can see one of our framed family photos out of the corner of my eye- leaning against the wall on the floor. We’ve been nomads, roaming from place to place, not knowing where we would eventually land for good, and being a nomad is not easy.
Moving to Texas was a dream taking the shape of reality as we came to work with Hope for Orphans (HFO) and it was exciting to know that this is where we would be…indefinitely. Our rental house has been great, but still left an empty and very temporary feeling. We have always wanted to buy a house, but after living in the SF Bay Area for a while, we doubted if it would ever be a possibility! When we were looking to move to Texas and saw their great housing prices, we made a commitment to the Lord. Lord, if you see fit to allow us to own our own home, then- whatever the size- we commit to filling it with kids that need a family and ministry to the community around us!
We are super, super excited to share that as of today we are putting down roots…WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!! Yes, I know what you are thinking- you’re in the middle of an expensive adoption process that’s terrible timing! Well, pretty much, yeah haha! But after just doing a little research on where we may want to live, how much we could afford, etc…we ran across a foreclosure that had been sitting on the market since September without one single offer made. It was in a great neighborhood, and listed at a great price, so there had to be some major issues- right? Nope. Just gotta slap some new paint on the walls (I’m talkin’ super ugly, glossy maroon! Ew!) and replace the flooring and pretty much everything else was perfect! We know it had just been sitting there on the market waiting for us! But, back to that commitment we made….Had we never heard that everything was bigger in Texas?! Let none of this be as boasting unto our glory, but only unto the Glory of the One who gave us this beautiful gift!
Our new house is a FIVE bedroom, THREE full bath, plus an office, plus a huge bonus room upstairs (this seems to be the Texas version of a finished basement), plus it’s on a cul-de-sac with a fenced backyard almost twice the size of most of the other homes, and our yard even backs up to a green space! It’s 3,000 sq. ft., people!!! (???) If you even knew how impossible this was or how blown away and humbled (and maybe now a little scared of that commitment we made?!) we are, it would knock your socks off too. And the crazy part is that the difference in our current rent and future house payments are barely noticeable…man, we serve a crazy-good God!
We are also excited that God is already going to be putting this space to good use! The weekend after our offer was accepted, HFO was hosting a young, new college grad to interview her as their very first intern. I was enjoying getting to know her on Sunday at lunch after church when I asked where she was going to live. She responded that she wasn’t sure…so, naturally, I blurted out, “Wanna come live with us?! We are about to buy a five bedroom house!” with a stupid grin plastered on my face. She said, “Wait, are you serious?” Me: “Ummm, hold on, lemme go ask my husband!” Haha! So, all of that to say, we are so excited to have Lauren come to live with us by the end of this month in our downstairs bedroom and bathroom!!!! We look to the future with anticipation at how many ways God will allow this home to be used for His Kingdom as we build our own family, as well as strengthen, and be strengthened by, the Family of God.
Last week, we had the chance to spend dear and precious moments with some of our SF “framiliy”- the Wakefields and Harts…and Ryan and Evans too! We celebrated their being sent out into the ends of the Earth, bringing justice and mercy to those who have never experienced it. There was so much laughter and comfort and tearful goodbyes, and it reminded me- yet again- of the sweet hope we have of Heaven. Our new home is becoming beautiful as we settle in and welcome friends and family to be together with us there…but it is a mere reflection in a mirror! I am reminded of a Day that is coming where time and space and distance- no, not even Death!- will be able to separate all those who have been adopted into the Family of God, through Jesus Christ, the Son. We will all be in that most glorious and beautiful home forever and ever. Amen!