The Redemption House

Moving day is today. Today.  I cannot believe it! Our walls are bare white and any furniture that is left, is waiting to be picked up by new owners.  I sit in my living room and look around at a home that is full of joyful sorrow. This is the first home we have ever purchased and it has housed us during some of the most blissful moments of our lives together, as well as some of the most gut wrenching.

This home belongs to us – we own it completely.  We took the inheritance from my dad’s death and bought our home. The way I know that God can redeem any situation is because He has showed me ways that He has redeemed my dad’s suicide by using the inheritance to free us from debt and therefore send us out to share His message of hope.  We would of had too much debt to ever be able to go into the mission field, but God took what satan meant for evil, redeemed it, and is using it to make a way for us to share Him with people who have yet to hear!

 “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” ~Romans 8:28

Yes, this house has seen it all – the joy of decorating our first nursery; the anticipation of rushing to the hospital to deliver our children and welcome new life; the squeals of excitement after learning of job promotions; the proud parents watching babies take their first steps; the slow dancing of husband and wife; the cookie baking with children; the rocking of newborns; the blowing out of birthday candles; the beautiful everyday mess that comes with a house full of children; and the responding to God’s call to the nations.

These walls have caught me as I learned of my father’s death and nearly collapsed, and these walls have watched as the Lord lovingly nursed my broken heart and crushed spirit back to health. These walls have watched as I planned the VBAC birth of our 3rd child and then they watched as I returned home from that birth after a close brush with death and slowly started learning lessons of how God is sovereign. The beige carpet has cradled my knees as I have fallen before God in prayer, and the large windows have allowed the glorious sunlight to wrap me up in tender moments with the Lover of my Soul – moments studying the Bible that have changed everything.

Part of me looks forward to walking out the front door and never looking back.  I’ll never forget hugging my dad 2 weeks before his death as he walked out the door.  He would never return. This house went from a sweet sanctuary to a cold captivity. Struggling to find joy in the midst of the deepest sorrow became exhausting. Over time, giving up became attractive to me.  Everywhere I looked in this house was a reminder of broken dreams and of being hugged by a dad who would then abandon me 2 weeks later.  As the days grew darker, hope was lost.  The idea of hope became something foreign to me.  But even though I was a mess, God was at work, because He is always good and always faithful. The mending of my heart and the dawning of bright new hope happened in this precious home.  The Lord captured my heart like never before and it was in the midst of the darkest grief while living in this house that He would send me a friend – a mentor who has taught me how to be a disciple of Jesus – to shine her light brightly in my dark living room and ignite a hopeful passion deep within my soul.  She and I spent hours sitting on the same couch my dad sat on during our last hours together. Her faithful friendship, Truthful instruction, and gentle comfort slowly but surely taught me how to find joy in the suffering.  She taught me what a treasure being refined is. She taught me how Jesus had redeemed me on the cross – that it was already finished and that I could live life in victory.  It was on that chocolate-brown couch that my heart learned how to walk redeemed.  This dear sister in Christ has walked beside me closely and knows my heart well.  She held a shield of faith over me when my faith faltered.  She spoke Truth to my heart when lies were all around me.  She lavished me with love when I was convinced I was unlovable.  She was unfazed when I spoke of hopelessness and was full of questions.  She was present when I wanted to withdrawal.  She loves God well and her life is beautifully characterized by holiness and purity. She did not give up and so I didn’t either.

This home which we leave today is the place where I truly learned to live a life of joy in the Lord no matter how traumatic my circumstances were. This home is where my husband and I built our family and where we sat as he decided it was time to follow Jesus no matter the cost.  I first stepped foot in this home in 2007 with dreams of building a bigger and better house a couple years later.  I step away from this house in 2013 not knowing where we’ll be living or how small our future apartment or house will be.  So much has changed in our lives, but one thing is certain and unchanging, and that is Jesus. Following Jesus isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.  I am tempted to look back, but I know I must look forward. In the whirlwind of emotion that comes with today, I have been challenged by the words of Jesus on the cost of being a follower.  The cost is great but the reward is greater! Jesus is my reward….

The Cost of Following Jesus

As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:57-62

Today, the first day of the rest of our lives, started with the interlocking of hands and the brave steps forward of husband and wife.  I leave behind so much in that home but my gaze is fixed on Jesus.  I know we are doing what He has called us to and I believe that souls will be saved because of our obedience.  Yes, my heart is a little more on the sorrowful side today.  We have said goodbye to all that we know for an unknown future.  I know that the sorrow of today is setting the stage for deeper joy and brighter hope tomorrow and so I give thanks.  I give thanks for a God who sees and who affectionately guides me as He creates a Christlike heart within me.  I give thanks for family and friends who support and encourage us.  I give thanks for a mentor who invested herself in me and taught me how to be a true follower of Christ.  I give thanks for the joy and strength only He can give in the surrendering of our plans and the accepting of His.  And most of all, I give thanks that God can and will redeem all things.  He redeems the ugly, broken pieces of our life and makes them beautiful.  He redeems what satan means for evil and turns it around for His glory!

As I stepped across the threshold of a home that has seen it all, I sighed the satisfied sigh of a daughter who is walking in freedom.  I am walking in my redemption. Yes, my Redemption House will forever be etched in my mind and heart as the very place Jesus taught me how to walk in the victory of the cross.  The Lord has truly rescued me from darkness and brought me into Light.  He didn’t choose to deliver me instantly from my circumstances, but instead He chose to deliver me though them.

I am sorrowful, yet rejoicing, rescued and walking redeemed!

The adventure begins!!!!

Saying goodbye to family the night before we moved