So, Bridget and I have been married for almost 19 years. For at least 10 of those years (I really think it’s more), we’ve dreamed of building a house. To feed that dream, we’ve gazed upon easily thousands of various house plans. Oh, it goes in seasons; there’ll be seasons of spending a lot of time every day looking at plans together, then there’ll be seasons of not looking at plans at all for weeks. However, as time passes, we’ll inevitably find ourselves looking at house plans again. Yeah, we’ve looked at them, studied them, saved them, rethought them, deleted them, and saved them again.
It’s fun to go back and see how our tastes and “must haves” have evolved over the years. At one time, we were saving 2500-3500 sq ft homes with 4, preferably 5, bedrooms. You see, we wanted a bedroom for every kiddo, so that when they were married, every couple would have a place to stay over the holidays. Then time passed, and priorities changed. Our new priority was a house with enough space to host church meetings. Then more time passed, and we moved into a 208 sq ft travel trailer. Our priorities changed again, and 1500 sq ft seemed cavernous. Then we moved into a 360 sq ft fifth-wheel camper, and we learned to live with less and bunk the kiddos in together. Now, our saved plans consist of a living room, dining room, two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms (must have!), and a writing space. Amazingly enough, that can all be found in under 1000 sq ft.
We’ve only ever “owned” one house, and I really think that’s when the bug for building one bit us. I remember thinking how small that house was starting to feel as our family grew, so we looked at bigger houses. For months. Then as we planned our way, the Lord directed our steps. In a different direction. And we moved, alright. We moved from Texas to Oklahoma into my parents’ house. Which was a little smaller than the house in which we were living. And now we had two extra people. And our priorities changed.
After some time, we moved to Florida, still looking at house plans, still wanting to build our dream house. We moved into a bigger house (2400 sq ft), but it was with another family. We had six of us, they had four of them, and there were ten of us in that house. It wasn’t easy, but we made it work. Then we moved into our own place, a nice townhouse around 1400 sq ft. Not as big as we thought we’d like, but we made it work. After some time, we grew to really love that place. Not necessarily because of the house itself, but because of all that went on in that house. Meetings, dinners, sleepovers, movie showings, laugh fests, cry fests, LIFE with saints all took place within those walls.
We thought we were really settling in there in Florida, so we decided it was time to buy another house. We were only renting at the time, and we wanted to “put down some roots”. So we started looking. And we looked. We looked some more. Finally, we found one; it wasn’t the one, but it was more than suitable. And it was at the very top of our budget. So our first and only bid was the best we could offer. We were outbid and sent back to the drawing board. Or MLS listings. After another month or so of looking, we found another one. This one wasn’t as great as that first house, but we could certainly put some work into it and make it our own. We offered, we were accepted, we had inspections done, we were headed toward closing, and then we were blindsided by a fluke mistake: somebody forgot to get one initial on one piece of paper during the foreclosure process. But instead of being able to go back and get that one signature, the sellers had to go back through the entire process again – another six months. We didn’t wait around for that house again. But we found another one after another month or so. We moved quickly to put in an offer, but we were told that the sellers weren’t even entertaining offers for another week. So we waited.
Wanna know what happened next?
He changed our priorities again. For the longest time, we had a desire for a house. We wanted to build a house. We wanted to buy a house. We wanted a house! Then God whispered in our spirit, “What about My House?” We were in Florida to be a part of God’s House! We thought, “Surely this is good!” And God whispered just a little louder, “What about My House?” What about Your House, Lord? “Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. Where is the House you will build for Me?”
To make a long story short, without very cool details, and end abruptly, we moved from trying to buy a house in Florida to living in a travel trailer in California. Why? For God’s House. Basically, He asked us to lay down our dream of our own house for His dream of His. He was looking (and still is!) for somebody to join Him in the work of raising up His House. David did it. Nehemiah did it. Peter did it. Paul did it. Countless others have done it. So we answered the call. We laid down our dream, and we picked up His. Why? Because IT’S NOT ABOUT US. It’s absolutely, totally, 100% about Him.
Now please consider that we have not come to a mountain that can be touched, but to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. We’re not referring to that building on the street corner with attendees every week; we’re referring to a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. God’s House is spiritual in nature and therefore eternal. It’s also practical in application, therefore here and now. So, we haven’t given up our dream of building our own house just to build another building and put God’s name on it. This is spiritual and eternal. This is heavenly in nature. (Side note: this would be a lot easier if it was just building another building and putting God’s name on it.)
Have you caught sight of God’s House? His true House? I have so much more that I want to say about it, but that’s what this blog is for. We’ve got several contributors who have caught sight of God’s House, and they’re all going to share with you, too. Dear reader, God’s House is worth the laying down of our dream. His dream is the One worth chasing. May we see that, and may we be willing to answer the call of God’s dream House.