Last year my husband and I bought an old farmhouse that was built in 1929. I fell in love with this house. It sits on a beautiful piece of land with a creek that flows through it. The driveway is lined with trees that make my heart smile every time I look at them. Our plan was to restore and remodel this house. You know, Chip and Joanna style (cue all of the shiplap.)
We would have friends and family come over and it was funny to see their reaction. They couldn’t see it. They couldn’t see the way I imagined myself in that kitchen in the old white farmhouse. To them it looked like a house built almost 100 years ago that had not been taken care of… and to their defense they were correct. But I could just see it. I pictured us raising our family in that house. I saw our kids running in and out of the back door of the kitchen while I watched out the window. It was my dream house.
As we moved forward in the process problems started to pop up, as you could imagine. But my husband and I had our hearts so set on that house that we would try to push through to make it work… until it just wouldn’t. We had many professionals tell us that it would be best to tear it down and start over. We didn’t want to hear it. It wasn’t just a house they were talking about, it was our dream.
I decided to fast and pray over this decision of restoring or tearing it down. At the end of it, my husband and I both had peace that tearing it down was the right thing to do. Peace doesn’t always mean happiness and joy. I had peace, but I was still sad that the house had to go.
At the end of that fast the Lord showed me something even more real and powerful than tearing down that house. He showed me dreams and plans in my heart that He was asking me to tear down. He showed me places that I was trusting in and pushing for my plan and not listening and waiting for His.
He reminded me in His Word of these powerful verses:
Look, I am about to do something new;
even now it is coming. Do you not see it?
Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness,
rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 4:19 CSB
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.” This is the Lord’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth,so my ways are higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9 CSB
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB
My mind knew these verses so well, but my heart hadn’t yet taken them as promises and really believed them.
So here I find myself watching my dream house come down, all while watching the walls of my heart come down and open up to what the Lord has for me. Somehow I find extreme kindness from the Lord and beauty in all of it. How kind of Him to give me an external example of what is happening internally for me. How kind of Him to allow me to watch the old go away and get to see the beauty and excitement of the new that is coming.
I think we all have plans and dreams for our life. I know for me when those things don’t happen I find myself so easily pulled into disappointment. For me when I see those things happening for others I find myself so easily pulled into jealousy. I want so badly to flip that script in my life and I imagine that maybe you do as well. When the Lord asks me to tear something down in my life, I want to rejoice in knowing it is because He has something better. When I see Him giving to someone else what I long for, I want to rejoice with them because I know and trust that His story is different for me, not just different for me, but best for me.
So today if you feel like the Lord is asking you to tear down your house (I am hoping you are not actually tearing down a house like we are, but if you are give your girl a call so we can walk through this together!😉) If He is asking you to let down those walls and surrender those dreams to Him, my prayer for us is that we let Him in and allow Him to do what only He can do in our lives. I pray that we can open up our eyes and hearts to see the beauty of restoration. The beauty of letting go of the old and rebuilding the new. His ways are higher, His ways are better, His ways are good… all the time.