There was a time in my life when the biggest thing I dreamed of - the thing I believed for and prayed for and invested all my time in - was a house. A big white house with Charleston green shutters, a red front door, green gables, and a wrap-around front porch. I had dreams about this house. I knew that I knew that I knew that this house was destined for me and I for it. I figured the reason the "Lord" had put this desire in my heart was because of my gracious hostessing skills (ha!)and because He had some fabulous home ministry planned for us. I believed this statement so much that I was absolutely convinced the Lord was going to give me my house. Not "provide a mode of payment" or "supply an excellent mortgage rate." No, I believed the Lord was going to flat-out give it to me. I was certain that I would come home one day to find a deed in my mailbox. Seriously, y'all.
My husband wasn't quite this dramatic, but he too desired a house like this one. Even as a teenager, when I asked him what he wanted for his life, he responded, "I want a wife and a family and a home (with a swimming pool) where our children can grow."
But in the past year (more accurately in the past six months), the Lord has done some work in our hearts.
It has been a long time since I stopped believing for that house. It wasn't a big, dramatic event. I didn't decide one day that God wasn't going to do it and so I should just give up on praying for it. No, what has happened has been more gradual, more grueling, more (I believe) eternal.
The "American Dream" that we have always wanted has been replaced by a different kind of dream. Bigger houses and nicer cars and well-paying jobs suddenly seem insignificant.
I don't know what that means for us. I don't know where this new world-view will take us. What I do know is this... I don't want what I want anymore. As I look back over the past 6 years (since Hubby and I have been married), the Lord has systematically given us everything we have asked for (in one form or another), and what we have discovered is this: the things we want - the things we have spent time and energy and prayers and faith and money and our life trying to achieve - they are vapors. Paper. Bricks and mortar. They don't last, and they often disappoint.
So now? Our goal is to get away from them. Proverbs says "The borrower is a slave to the lender," and boy don't we know it. Because of the debt that we have accrued, our time and money do not belong to us and therefore cannot be committed to God or His Kingdom. So, for now, we give Him what is His (the tithe of our money and time) and we bust our booties to buy our freedom. Because this time, freedom will look different. It won't look like houses and cars and nicer clothes.
It will look like surrender.