I’m feeling a little vulnerable today.
A photographer came through and took photos of our home in order to list it for sale. I went through and took a few of my own on my phone. It was easier for me to see what needed to be changed still. Here is a small glimpse of our refuge.
I understand that vulnerability and the feeling of nakedness is part of selling a house; you’re not just selling a house, you’re selling a dream and a lifestyle. While our lifestyle has not been what you could call opulent, we’ve been very comfortable and happy here. When I look at photos of our house, I see the holy and horrible moments that we’ve had, the beauty and the bedlam. But to open our sanctuary to the eyes of potentially anyone, especially nosy and curious friends and relations who aren’t actually wanting to buy our house but who just want to find out how much we’re pricing the house at? Yes. I know you’re there. It makes me feel even more like life is just one big fishbowl.
It’s just a tiny reflection of what our family has been dealing with on a larger scale lately.
We’ll go into Target as a family, and one child will have a meltdown, and all of a sudden, a member from another church will come up to us and ask about our ministry in France while we’re trying to address our child’s needs. Or our children will be surly and unresponsive when asked questions. Or I will just be DONE with all of the people-ing required. Or in sweatpants. Or we find out that many more people realize who we are because news gets around, and we have no control of what the “news” is regarding our family. It seems like people see us at our worst possible moments. So in turn, I tend to share some of our better possible moments or the things that we’re doing okay-ish at. And I think that is the source of some of my uncertainty with this blog. I don’t feel like I can be candid because people might see me as I am and judge my husband’s and family’s capacity to minister based on my words.
We’ve learned so much about churches in the last year of support raising.
It’s been interesting to have a deeper perspective of what churches in our community prioritize. We had a church recently tell us that they were at their “financial and relational capacity” for missionaries. They’ve apparently met their quota for forming new friendships. Michael and I had to laugh at that one, or it would have hurt. They’re missing out on something huge. We believe in what God has directed us to. And because they’re already at their “relational capacity,” they’ll miss out on watching the bigger picture of God’s plan for hope and healing in our world of sin and suffering.
So why are we selling the house, when we’re not able to move to France yet?
It’s a very advantageous time to sell a house, and it will help us become financially secure as we move into a career that does not provide permanent financial stability. In short, we don’t feel that it is ethically or morally right for us to use support money given toward our ministry to pay off our college debt. So the house sale will vanquish all of our college debt and enable us to feel free to minister without financial qualms.
Because I’m an introvert, our home has been my place of peace, where I can go if the world is too large or scary. I have at least one introverted child who also is mourning the loss of their home as they know it. Toys have been put in different areas. Rooms look a little bit different. Their junky color-coordinated plastic bowls are now traveling in the car as emergency meal plates instead of in the kitchen cupboard.
It’s uncomfortable not knowing where our next “place” is going to be. I feel like the emperor in the instant he realizes he’s not wearing any clothes. His nakedness is exposed to all, heralded by the small voice of an innocent child. But it also keeps me humbly remembering the refugees we long to be serving. People without a permanent place.
And you can bet, as I go throughout my day, that I have this Rich Mullins song stuck on repeat in my head.
“Birds have nests foxes have dens
But the hope of the whole world rests
On the shoulders of a homeless man
You had the shoulders of a homeless man
No, You did not have a home.”