Sunday, July 3, 2011

Work in Progress

We are about ready to sign the papers to finalize the purchase of a "new-to-us" home.  We have waited on this house for well over two years.  This house oozes with character and potential.  It represents the very essences of both of our styles and desires.  It was built for us.  The Cummings may have thought they were building it for them back in 1987...but they were really building it for the Roberts' household in 2011.

We have endured many ups and downs while waiting to see our dream come true.  We thought waiting on this house was tough.  Then we got into the middle of making it all happen and discovered that the fight had only just begun.  We have literally had to fight for this every step of the way.

We have asked "Why is this so hard" many times.  We have both prayed, "Lord, if this isn't you please shut these doors.  We don't want to buy this home if this isn't where You want us." At times the stress was so great that we secretly wished He would stop it.  Our little house was looking better and better at times.  Isn't that just like us in our spiritual walk?  When something is new, unknown, painful, inconvenient, bigger than us and hard we would just rather stay right where we are...even if that means staying in the pigs pen and forgoing the blessing. (Luke 15)  But the peace of God never left us and we knew that we were on the right path, no matter how difficult.

As we barrel into month four of the fight, I can say that the end beginning is near.  We close on July 15th.  Appraisal, home inspection, flood determination, financing, etc. etc. are almost complete and we have now turned our attention to the move and remodeling of the house.  (Rich is, of course, very focused on the landscaping!)

As we pick out flooring, furniture and paint colors we continue to fight.  This house will clearly be a "Work In Progress" over the next several years.  I know that in my head but a part of me wants it all done right now...yesterday.  This is the house.  The one where I want to get every piece right.  I don't want to compromise.  I don't want to settle.  I want the style to flow.  I want it to be what we love...not just like.  This is an investment for us.  This is a place we will live in until we pass away.  We will help raise our grandchildren here.  It will be a huge tool in our ministry.  At the same time, it will be a refuge for our family.  We want it to be right.  Unfortunately all of this takes money and time...both of which we are limited on.  So, it will be a "Work in Progress".

I still want to walk into a finished product on day one.  I want to move right in to the perfectly decorated and remodeled house.  I want to immediately enjoy the beauty of the home.  Just like I want to be perfect in my walk with Christ.  I want to be the ultimate woman of God without waiting on any additional work.  Yet, we all know that is not how it works.  As I nail the "Work in Progress" sign on the front door of our new home, I also have to don a t-shirt that says "Work in Progress".

As I've been working on the transaction of purchasing the home and soon to be physically working on the home, the Lord has been working on me.  Through the pressures of these last four months, He has shown me that I didn't trust Him near as much as I thought I did.  He is so faithful, yet I demand (through my actions and thoughts) that He prove that to me over and over again.  I went into this believing I was strong in my faith.  I very shortly discovered that I was far too weak.  As I'm nearing the end of this trial, I can look in the mirror and see that I am now stronger in understanding just how faithful He really is.  I see the growth in me already.  I rejoice in the pruning He has done in my life.  But I'm a "Work in Progress" and I know that as I enter into the physical work of this project He will continue to grow me...all for His glory and His kingdom.

(James 1:2 - 8 NIV)  Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

Lord God, I do not want to be unstable nor double-minded.  Finish the work You need to do in me so I can be the woman of God You intended for me to be.  I want to be all shiny and new at the end of this trial.  I want to be a rock for others.  I want to look and act more like Christ.  I don't want to be tossed around by storms and circumstances.  I want to stand strong in all things.  Thank you for loving me so much that you insist on pruning me.  Thank you that at the end of this is a beautiful blessing in a home that we never dreamed we could have.  You continue to blow me away.

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