So where are you from?
For the past year, this question has thrown me. I long to cling to my status as a Coloradan, yet our stay in Sioux Falls has now stretched to more than a year. Chris and Pippa and I have felt like refugees, having left home, community, (my) family, and possessions over night, and lived temporarily at Chris’s parents’ house and later his grandpa’s. Meanwhile our rented home in Colorado and the life we left behind were waiting in limbo.
For a while, the future of where we should live has been unclear, until recently. The doctors have been happily surprised with Chris’s health, but even with continued clear tests, they want Chris to keep going with treatment for at least another year or two. We soon saw the writing on the wall: It’s time to move to Sioux Falls.
Living near Chris’s family this past year has been great, and we’ve come to appreciate both new friendships and renewed old ones, but we have had to grieve the loss of leaving Colorado. We returned to Longmont with heavy hearts in March and April, determined to pack up the house and say goodbye.
On Thursday, April 6, Chris shared some verses with me in the morning that he thought were for us during our move,
“’You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off’; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ~Isaiah 41:9-10
We affirmed again that no matter where our physical home is, our true home is with God, our greatest good. A few hours later, we took Pippa on a walk in our Longmont neighborhood and discovered a house that seemed to be just what we wished we could find in Sioux Falls. I loved the crabapple tree, Chris loved the two-story, pre-1950s style, and we both loved the fireplace and the idea of the greenhouse we saw (though neither of us have ever grown so much as a tomato!). Finding a house like that in Sioux Falls seemed wildly out of reach, considering these kinds of homes sell above asking price and often before even hitting the market.
That night, however, Chris’s parents called excitedly and told us they had found us a house! Long story short, a good family friend, in response to clear nudging of God’s Spirit, boldly went up to the door of a cute house and asked if by any chance they were considering selling. “Yes! In fact, we were planning to put it up for sale tomorrow at noon. Would you like to take a look?” Soon Chris’s phone was blowing up with pictures of a two-story 1940s house…with a crabapple tree in the front…and a fireplace…and a GREENHOUSE in the back!!
So, site unseen, we made an offer, and by the next morning, we were homeowners. This is the third time God has miraculously provided a place for us to live that has surpassed our expectations and been so obviously from him. What I’ve learned is that it’s not about houses, as much as it is about being loved by him. This house is simply a personal reminder that he sees us and hasn’t forgotten about us, that we are cared for and not abandoned.
G.K. Chesterton, in his book Orthodoxy, writes as his closing sentence:
There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
I like to think that on Thursday, April 6th, 2017, God’s boundless mirth surged and bubbled over in deep laughter as he gave so generously and specifically…and then watched the smiles on our faces grow as we unwrapped the gift of this day.
All I know is that more and more, I don’t care where my house is, I just want to be where He is!