No Home

The title is not quite accurate, I have a home—actually several—but we are in a time of major transitioning, and it’s not the first time for certain: It will be my thirteenth move. Some moves have been easier than others. Certainly, moving off to college was exciting, as was the move into our first apartment in Trenton, New Jersey. Newlywed bliss blinded my eyes to the shock of city life, just as practicality made living on the other half of our Jewish landlady’s home on Hummel Avenue bearable. And, of course, moving into our first house/home in Latimore was so exciting. It was the place where we brought home two babies, and when the “For Sale” sign was being driven into the front yard, and two-and-a-half-year-old Tommy asked why, I stood at the sink and cried. But we had surrendered to the Lord’s call and were heading to Bob Jones University to write another chapter.  That beautiful, Greenville home, which the Lord allowed us to rent, certainly made that transition much more palatable. (The call from the owners of its availability came into the office on campus while we were standing at the desk seeking a place to rent!)

Shavertown, Noxen, Damascus, Glen Allen, Daugherty Run, and Steam Valley—all the places we’ve lived—and none of them were places we “owned,” but they all were home, sweet, home.

“But Lord, I love my home! I love my neighbors! I love living on top of a mountain! I love that we get all that snow that Mom doesn’t get down in the valley! What about my birds? And my pond, and my fish?”

Suddenly, it was all happening, and it all came crashing down on me. I couldn’t do it! How could I get through this? How am I supposed to live with my mom and also take care of my home and husband?

This is now my life. I’m living two places and not sure that either feel like home. One morning while still up on the mountain, I took a walk back our dirt road—the road I love through the woods! I cried out to God and He heard my cry. Do you know that we serve a loving God? He is so patient and loving and good and kind and all-knowing. He is full of grace and peace, and He graciously gives us that peace… IF WE WILL YIELD!

We have now been at Steam Valley for fourteen years. Our daughter got married here, our youngest son graduated from high school from here, and our ten grandchildren have come to visit Grandpa and Grandma in this home. We have always believed that part of the reason God brought us to this area was to help our parents. Tom’s were an hour and a half away and mine were twelve minutes down the road. They are all gone now except my Mom, and she needs help. My prayer has been that when she needed fulltime care, that God would graciously bring along an assistant pastor who would eventually become the senior pastor, and all would dovetail together. GOD IS DOING JUST THAT!!!

As my heart found a resting place, ever so gently, my Savior said, “I know—I was homeless for three years. I had no place but borrowed beds and stars for my canopy.” My heart dropped with shame! How could I complain about leaving my mountain when Jesus left heaven for me? He left paradise for a cross!

What is He asking you to leave? Please know that you cannot do it alone, and He doesn’t expect you to. He puts us in these places to continue to shape us into the mold that He knows is best! Only trust Him.

You may ask, “How do I do that?” It’s not easy and we are all so different. You may need to go through deep waters—but He will go with you. You may need to let go—but He will help you lesson that death grip. You may need to be broken—but He will put all the pieces back together more perfectly than they were before! Only trust Him!

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