Jireh – The Story of a House

It’s January again. I don’t know how a new year sneaks up on you, but it does. The month of January tends to drag on like it’s a year in itself…and even though it’s finally almost over, it has me looking back.

If you had told me last January that God would provide for my needs in a huge way, I would have been excited and thrilled. If you had told me last January that God would provide for my needs by having us uproot ourselves and move to a new house, I would have laughed in your face. There was no way I would move. Never, ever ever. Nope. I wasn’t doing it.

I loved my house, with its bright and happy wall colours. I liked everything about it, and it didn’t even annoy me (too much) that the front hall was tiny and it only had one bathroom. My house was a home and I loved it. I was never ever ever ever going to move. I hate moving!

I can’t exactly pinpoint the moment I knew moving was necessary. I’m sure it was one of the many moments where I was in pain walking upstairs after being to the bathroom. I don’t think I was even fully conscious of it until the I heard the words, “I think we’re going to have to move” come out of my mouth. I don’t think it even fully registered until a few days later my husband watched my struggle up the stairs and I heard him say “It’s time. Let’s call a realtor.”  (Shout to our awesome realtor, Micaiah!)

What I do remember clearly is that my husband and I were laying in bed praying together and he asked the Lord for a new house by Christmas! I laughed out loud. It was early November – no way that was going to happen! Friends, when the Lord has a plan and He puts it into motion, things happen.

One day I was sitting in my living room with green walls that made me so happy, and days later I was sitting in a living room that looked like it didn’t belong to me at all – with furniture that wasn’t mine, art that wasn’t mine and grey colours that definitely weren’t mine!

As I sat in the quiet, looking at the room around me I was completely overwhelmed with all that had happened the week before. My mom had flown in to help us tackle the astronomical painting jobs we had (the whole house!), and we had asked our church if anyone could lend a hand in order to prep our house to sell. I can’t even write the words to express how flooded with love we were when several people came through our door to sand, paint, repair, lay flooring, provide meals, and hang out with the kids. We even had friends offer for us to store an exorbitant amount of boxes at their house so we didn’t have to rent a storage unit!

We listed our house and it was sold before the For Sale sign even hit the front lawn. Everything moved so quickly, it feels like a whirlwind when I think about it now. Mortgage approval, accepted offers, paperwork signing, meeting with a lawyer – all these things that took several weeks the last time happened in a mere number of days.

We packed up our house and moved in the middle of the week, which wasn’t ideal. With a mobility barrier, I wasn’t sure what help I would be but I took the day off anyway. So many people showed up – friends, family, and friends who are family. I sat on the lawn on a frigid, yet snowless December day on my favourite yellow chair watching people swirl around me with furniture and load up the moving truck.

Later that night, when we were getting ready to clean our house for the new owners, I realized it had already been done. I sat down on the stairs and wept, because I’d never felt so relieved in my life. I was so exhausted, so emotional, and so blown away by God’s provision. When I later talked to the person who’d done the majority of the cleaning, stunned that she had come in the midst of really hard circumstances going on in her own life, she said “the Holy Spirit prompted me to come over and help you today, so I listened.”

The night before we moved in, I couldn’t sleep well. Not just because I was excited, or because sleeping in the hotel bed was making my back hurt – I couldn’t sleep because I was thinking about our new house. Specifically all the things about our new house that were answers to prayer that I hadn’t even prayed. I was thinking about the fact that I wouldn’t have to go down stairs unless I wanted to, and even if I wanted to,that the specific stairs we had weren’t as hard to climb as the ones in our old house that I’d loved so much. I was thinking about how the basement was set up like an apartment, and how well that would serve our family when my autistic teens become adults who likely won’t be ready for the real world right away, but will still want some independence. I was thinking about how the shed had lots of space for the tinkering my husband likes to do. I was thinking about the craft room that I would have that wasn’t necessary but that I was so excited about.

As I lay there staring at the ceiling, I thought about ways the Lord could use our new house for His glory and the good of His Kingdom. Before we bought the house, we’d prayed we would be placed in the neighbourhood where He would most use us. I thought about this especially as it’s in a neighbourhood that doesn’t have the greatest reputation. I thought about the backyard and how it would be a great space for the neighbourhood kids to come and gather together and hear about Jesus. I thought about the extra, unnecessary rooms and how maybe some day they could be used for people who needed a bed to sleep in and someone to love them.

What I didn’t know is that the day after we moved in, we would discover the house next door was a group home housing autistic teenagers. I lay on my bed and sobbed for a good, long time at the thought of those parents whose children lived elsewhere. At the thought that only by the grace of God were we still all together as a whole family. At the thought that we specifically prayed we’d be in the right place, and God moved us in right next to a home filled with all the things we intimately understand, and yet others we don’t. It is our prayer that God would use us for as long as we are here to be His servants in whatever way we can be.

Remember how I said my husband prayed we’d have a new house by Christmas? We moved in exactly one week before. God expanded our faith, increased our desire for Kingdom work, and blessed us with a house to provide for all of our needs.

The story of this house is that it was handed to us from Jehovah Jireh, our provider. Philippians 4:19 says “my God will supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.” The story of this house is a testament that the Lord can do infinitely more than one could even imagine. ❤️

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