“Oh, isn’t this just the house of your dreams!?” This phrase was repeated so often when we first moved into our house. Every time I heard it, I really didn’t know what to say.
It’s been well over a year since I first began the draft of this post on paper. And now that we’ve been going through old house pictures and sharing with you the rooms’ transformation (and here), it began burning in my heart again.So let me tell you why I didn’t know what to say to all the well-meaning visitors.
Truth: It wasn’t love at first sight; it wasn’t a dream come true. This house was an answered prayer.
Four years, scores of prayers, a couple moves, selling a house, living in a rental – this house was an answered prayer. “You are so patient,” friends would say. We knew that we had a small budget which limited our possibilities. Yet, even after the tortuous waiting, still this house was not a dream come true.
So what did we pray for exactly? Well a simple request: that God would provide for us a place from which to serve Him better and serve Him more.
We prayed that the dreams that we did have, of the perfect house and perfect locale, would not trump God’s desires.
We prayed that we would remain patient long enough to receive from His good providence with an open hand and thankfulness.
I knew that this was the place of provision. In my heart this place we were praying for God to put us in was going to be ok. And God is so good! Nevertheless, in my mind many small expectations had to be let go (as a side note, let me tell you that letting go was a long process!). The battle with those expectations, though, was not the reason that this house wasn’t the house of our dreams.
“Dream big” , “Follow your dreams”, “Never give up on your dreams”, “Your dreams will come true”, “Make your dreams a reality!” Do these sound familiar? All these are phrases we’ve probably heard from lots of different voices and maybe even said ourselves. The world that denies God tells us that the ‘good life’ is a life in which we achieve our dreams. That world says the Dream is the thing – the house, the trip, the job, the experience. Truth: the real thing is us becoming image bearers of God by whatever means He chooses. During all of our waiting, God wasn’t after us making bigger, better dreams of ourselves. He was working at growing our faith – big faith for small dreams.
So may we not think that happiness lies in the fulfillment of our dreams – the good life is knowing God.
Next time you wonder if your dreams are big enough, pray that God gives you big faith.
“But seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you.”
with love. Damaris