Homeless /ˈhōmləs/ - a person without a home, and therefore typically living on the streets.
In March of this year we closed on the house we have lived in for four years. Twenty-one days later we were to be in a new house (the one above). This twenty-one days turned into a little over two months. Let me clarify, my family was never without a place to stay. I would sometimes tease about being homeless, but that was far from the case. I have been on enough missions trips across the globe and in my own backyard, to know that we have a great life. God has richly blessed my family for reasons I will never know. I would, however, like to share some lessons learned during this two-month time!
Lesson #1 - Routine is not overrated.
For my few faithful readers out there, I have not posted since March and here we are at the end of May. Routine has more implications than whether or not I write. This blog, though, is a great illustration for what can happen when life gets out of sync. You are not always making the wisest choices. We would say things like, "Let's just do what we need to to get by." You eat out more, you spend more, you are not yourself in a lot of ways. And it weighs heavy.
Lesson #2 - Find your equilibrium sooner than later
It took the full two-months to settle into normal. I thank God my work-life was stable along with several other things. I just hate that it took us that long to be ok. To chill out. To realize that it is what it is and make the most of it. We knew it, but that is much easier to say than to live. To really act it out. This doesn't mean you stop striving to be better, do more, grow, etc. It does mean to be content in every situation as the apostle Paul says.
Lesson #3 - Trust God
I know this should be Lesson #1, but I am a slow learner. This is in fact a lesson I have learned many times in my life. You would think by now, I would have it figured out. Every time a new situation arises, I have to learn the lesson all over again. I am thankful that you all have this one figured out better than me.
Lesson #4 - It's Not About the American Dream
We have a beautiful, "American Dream" house that we just moved into. This was never our intention moving to Memphis. And we didn't go looking for it. Our hearts moving to Memphis was to serve God and our church. We had the mindset of missionaries. I remember sitting with my wife as I was typing up a resume for our now pastor. "We are not here for the American dream, but for God's dream." It sounds cheesy and cliche, but it was truly our hearts. My wife decided to not get a job to help with the youth and homeschool our kids. (She is brilliant and more than qualified for any job, by the way!) We decided we were going to make the finances work for us. As we were about to close on this new house, I felt a little ashamed and humbled that God would bless us the way He was. Who am I to deserve anything that I have, especially a new house. The Holy Spirit spoke to my heart and said it was because we were seeking first His kingdom. I don't understand all that God does, but I know His dream is better. Period.
Lesson #5 - He is better
God is better than you think He is. He will sustain you through the wilderness times. He will keep you in the uncertain moments. He still loves you through the mess that is you. He is good. Every time we would normally ask a question such as, "Why would God...," should instead start with, "He is good." This always comes first. It is His nature. He cannot be anything but that. You can trust that He is for you. He has your best interest in mind. He is not hiding His will from you. He is not what we for so long have perceived Him to be. We have crafted Him into a likeness that we have formed, and as such, become idolators to something that is not God. God is love. God is just. God is faithful. God is merciful. God is truth. God is for you. God loves you. God can restore you. God can mend your heart. God can heal your hurt. God can redeem your moments. He is enough. He is better.
You are never 'homeless' when He is your 'home.'
(2019 TYM Camp Plug!)