In our lives, we have times of transition. Some of these transitions can cause upheaval and propel us to walk down a path we are not really wanting to walk down.
This has been the direction my life has been taking the past few years. A little over three years ago, my husband and I felt God directing us to sell our home. We spent a lot of time praying over this and let me tell you, this was an extremely difficult thing for me. I absolutely loved that house and location. It was my dream home. It was at the bottom of the mountain with an amazing view and I did not want to give up that home. I wept a lot of tears over giving up what I felt like was a dream come true for me. This was the second house my husband and I had bought in our over thirty years of marriage. We lived in our first home for twenty-three of those years and in my “dream home” which we bought, for the next eleven years. My childhood and teen years we lived pretty close to poverty level and from the time I was 15 till I got married at 21, my mom moved us seven times. That evened out to once a year for six of those years and twice for the seven year.
I have always had a difficult time with change. Growing up, my life was extremely chaotic, stressful, and the complete opposite of a place of rest and peace. Because of that, when I felt I had settled into a place that brought me a measure of peace and contentment, any changes left me feeling uneasy and anxious.
This house at the bottom of the mountains, on a quiet, country road, was the first place where I felt safe, peaceful, and contented. In my entire life, this was the place where I had felt the most joy and happiness. What I came to realize and would learn through this process of selling our house would change my life.
Once we put the house on the market, I felt like I was on an expressway to a “destination unknown.” Within a week, our house was sold. When we knew we were to sell the house, we began praying about where we were to live next. My husband made the comment one day about us buying a camper and living in it for a while. He was not really serious about that, but I felt this strong prompting inside that we were to do that. Now I loved camping and we had done a lot of camping over the years of our marriage. When we decided to sell our house, some deep-rooted fears and insecurities were awakened in me. The thought of actually living in a camper for more than just a week-long camping trip really stirred up those fears to the point of panic.
For years I had dealt with some claustrophobia issues. If you read my previous blog, I talked about my fear of tunnels, mountains, and bridges. The thought of living in a camper, a place that was considerably smaller than any house I had ever lived in, caused me to have panic attacks. The house we were selling had a large open space for the living, kitchen, and dining areas. The entire house was very spacious. A camper, in my opinion, was definitely was not roomy.
We purchased a 30-foot camper with two slide outs. For a camper, this was a fairly large size, but to me, however, it was still pretty small! About two weeks before we were to move out of our home, when I would think about living in the camper, my heart rate would increase, I couldn’t breathe, and panic would well up inside of me. It was rough. After we moved into the camper it got worse. Some nights when I would lay in my bed, I felt the walls closing in on me like they would crush me, and I couldn’t breathe!
This whole experience was a time of growth for me. It revealed some things in me that I didn’t even realize were there. I always knew I had some claustrophobia issues, but never realized how much they kept me from doing certain things. I spent a lot of time praying, speaking specific scriptures over myself, worshipping through music to and over myself, and crying out to God! He got me through it! He actually delivered me from it and I have been able to do things I couldn’t do before, like driving in mountains, cross large bridges, go into tunnels, all without fear. We lived in our camper for six months. It was truly a time of growth and transition.
As I walked down the road of letting go of my “dream house”, I had some major revelations about how much I didn’t really trust God to keep me safe, to truly want to give me the best. I came to realize that to me having this “dream-house” meant that I had “arrived”. It made me feel safe and secure, as well as accepted, and very important. Growing up, I felt shame because of the many things that happened, where and how we lived was a chapter in that book of shame. I didn’t realize that shame was attached to my feelings of giving up my “dream home”.
I realized that parts of my identity were connected to having this house. Having a nice, large house made me feel like people wouldn’t look down on me anymore or label me in a certain way. I came to realize that I had actually put that label on myself. I thought that to be someone important, to have people think highly of me, to not associate me with my childhood and how I grew up, I needed to have this nice looking, bigger house to feel like I belonged. With our culture and lifestyle here in America, I believe it is easy to get caught up in the trap of comparing ourselves, what all we have compared with what those around us have. We compare not only our homes and lifestyles, but how we look, what our children are doing and what we ourselves are doing to be considered a “success”. What this does is cause disappointment, discontentment, and unhappiness with the blessings Father God has already given us. It can also cause us to feel depression, insecurity, even resentment.
An important key I have found during this journey of letting go and moving on, is to know whose I am and who the great I AM is to me. I am a daughter of the King and my Father looks at me so differently than I often look at myself. Father God, the great I AM ALWAYS wants the best for me. He is always taking care of me. I can trust Him with where I live and what I have. I can trust Him with every part of my life. My identity is not in how nice of a house I live in, what kind of a car I drive, nor is it in how many possessions I have! My identity is in God the Father – in who He created me to be. It is about how much He accepts and loves me, unconditionally and is not based on what I have. I don’t need to have what others have to be loved, accepted or a success. I find I have all of that in Jesus Christ when I seek to find my identity in Him alone! That brings me peace and I don’t need to fear the future any longer.
My husband and I recently purchased another home. It is a much smaller house than the last one we owned, and it is different than what I was expecting we would get, or even what I thought I wanted. I’m feeling really blessed these days with our charming little ranch house, but I’m still learning and continue to grow in how to walk in my identity being in Christ. It’s still a choice I have to make to let go of my doubts and fears and instead totally trust my Abba Father to take care of me and keep me safe.
I leave you with this verse that has become very precious and special to me. It is Psalms 23:1-2 and I love how the Passion Translation reads.
The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd. I always have more than enough.
He offers a resting place for me in His luxurious love.
His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss.