The stunning glass stretched twelve feet high and ten feet wide. Light invaded the living room and together, we laid heavy upon the rug. The aged windows made me fall in love with the house from the moment I first saw it and nearly every morning for more than three years I’d met with God on the warmth of the rug that sat beneath them. My exchange with Him that particular day was bittersweet.
If leaving this house means Frank will find you, then please move us, Abba.
For reasons I knew and others I didn’t, my loving husband did not share the same affection the boys and I shared towards the house. Recent discussions of a possible sell made my heart unsettled. When we’d made our first visit to the house I stared at the breathtaking pine tree lined back yard to find three teenage boys playing. A second glance proved the yard to be empty but I was certain of what I’d seen. It was our boys.
I slipped away to be with God on the front porch and cried softly.
“Never get attached to four walls, Callie. Home is where your heart is,” Patty, a precious friend and neighbor shared with me. As much as my heart seemed connected to that old house, it was far more connected to the man I love.
The house sold quickly and within a few months this country mouse headed forty miles away to live the city life. As it has a way of doing, time moved quickly and there were many blessings that came with urban life. God led our family to a local church where the pastor, his wife, and their members deeply impacted my heart. My favorite pizza place and coffee shop were only minutes down the road. Our neighborhood had a beautiful pool that made entire summers feel like vacation. There were good times, but after more than a year, no matter how hard I tried to make the city our own, my heart remained unsettled. I missed my parents who after we moved became more than an hour drive away. I missed my hammock. I missed my wonderful neighbor, Rebekah. A writer and creative like me, we shared one heart it seemed. We were always baking up a treat for the other one and sending them via our children to their doorstep. It was the simple yet beautiful moments I missed the most.
“We don’t belong here do we, honey?”
I don’t recall who said it but my husband and I both felt it. Seventeen months after moving in, another for sale sign decorated our front lawn. With a red-hot housing market, we knew we’d have no trouble finding our forever home. God had other plans.
A two to four week visit with our gracious extended family members turned into a three-month move in. During that time, three contracts on three different houses fell through. Just when we thought we had finally found our home, it would be jerked out front underneath us. A dear friend’s apartment opened up and provided us with time to regroup as a family to decide what we were going to do so we packed up yet again.
“I’m sorry, honey,” my husband told me one afternoon when one of the contracts fell through.
“Sorry for what,” I asked him.
“For taking you and the kids out of the house you all loved so much. If I had it to do all over again we would’ve never moved."
My eyes must have opened as wide as the Grand Canyon. I never thought I would hear him say those words.
“It’s okay, honey. We’re going to find our home.”
In the midst of our search, the same neighbor and friend who reminded me that home is where the heart is, kindly offered our family her home near the beach so we could get away from the stress of the house hunt. We kindly accepted and tried our best to relax but the absence of a house to return to loomed heavy so we cut our trip short.
The eight-hour drive gave us ample time to begin our search afresh. Frank and I took turns driving while the other booked showings for the next morning. With only four remaining to view within our budget we set them up.
“Your phone just went off, honey.”
I was driving so I asked my husband to read it to me:
…I heard you guys may be moving back to the area. This may sound strange but as I was pulling into my garage I sensed I needed to reach out to you now. We believe God is calling us to move away. Would you happen to be interested in buying your old house back?
It was the owner of the house I had loved so dearly.
My heart leapt as I tried to contain my emotion. The very idea that God would even consider moving us back there made my heart smile. Little words were exchanged between my husband and I regarding the text until bedtime. He asked me how I felt about it and I spoke freely.
“I know how much you didn’t like being there, honey, so if this isn’t even in the realm of possibility, just say the word and I will not mention it again.”
Morning came and I was excited to spend time with the Lord.
If this is your will, Father, please show Frank – not me.
Here is my journal entry from that day.
The four showings that morning were so bad we didn’t even go inside the houses. Less than an hour later I received a text asking if we’d like to come and take a look at our old house again.
I showed the text to my husband.
“They’d like to know if we want to come look at the house.”
A time of silence passed.
“I would like you to go. I don’t need too.”
My husband reached for my hand and guided me onto his lap. Through a broken voice as his tears wet my shirt, I heard these words.
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Callie, I’ve watched you seek Him day in and day out for the past seven years and this is your reward. I firmly believe God uses me to bless you. I’ve thought about this all night. I dreamed about it this morning. As far as I’m concerned, we’re not looking for another house.”
Within each other’s arms I wept. God had answered my simple but earnest prayer to show my husband.
I write to you now beneath those same charming windows of my new old house. God didn’t just bring us a home, He brought us home.