I’m naturally a laid back woman, until a massive oak tree falls on my house. It’s just one of those things that I never expected when thinking about what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I just didn’t sit there in 9th grade Drama class enviosioning my handsome, hardworking husband, several children and a tree on my dream house. Much less did I even dream of a house, it was more the people. The experiences I would have as a wife and Mother. The house was in the background, and I could see it, but it wasn’t within my reach of focus.
Until we got married and a house was all I needed to make me happy. Surely we would find a place to plant our roots and raise a family. Instead we moved seven times in the course of our 8 year marriage. Always upgrading in certain ways, but each time I longed to make a house a forever home.
I know for sure this longing came from growing up in a single wide trailer with my five other siblings. My parents are amazing and raised us so well, but I was always ashamed to have friends over, always dreaming of when my Father would build the house of my Mothers dreams.
I brought this insecurity into our marriage, always striving to be ” home “. Working hard to fill each home we had with love and organization, the decor we could afford ( which was next to nothing ) and making a house a home, wherever that was.
It wasn’t until I was 27 years old that I felt at home. I felt as if I had arrived to my destiny, a place that would receive all of me. All my wounds and I walked through the threshold of the front door, and I instantly felt the presence of Jesus like nothing I’d ever experienced before.
Knowing full well so many sweet souls had lived here, and that I was only a second hand bystander of all that they had built, sown and reaped before I was even born. A legacy God chose for me to take the baton after so many had been so ragged taking care of it. Pouring their lives into preserving the home and property, honoring its infant days and those who abided for so many years raising children, and calling this place their home.
It was my greatest honor to take over their jewel.
I know for a lot of people a house is just a house. That is fine. That is normal. But for me, longing for an historical home for so long, just a place that is mine , was so important to my heart. A place our children had room to grow and to play. A safe haven for friends.
Sometimes at night, when all is quiet I walk the halls turning off all the lights, and I run my hands along the walls. feeling each detail and groove, acknowledging its history and what used to be. I truly appreciate all this house has held together and birthed. The people that dwelled here and the joy and laughter all these walls have heard.
The expression ” if these walls could talk ” makes me grin. Yes, I do wish they could tell me stories of families gathering here. Marriages mended, babies born, children saved by emergency surgeries. I feel all of it when I am home. All the joy. All the peace. All the hope.
When our oak tree feel onto our home, it didn’t just damage the house. It hurt my very soul. It brought back memories of living in a small space, feeling out of place and hopelessness set in. I had to fight daily to invite peace in and anxiety back to hell.
Yes, it could’ve been much worse. No one was injured.
But the emotional toll it’s taken on me and our daughters hasn’t been easy. We all love this home and property so much that its shaken us up.
Thankfully the children rooms were unharmed and their lives are pretty much back to normal. As for me, I miss my own bed. I miss my room. I miss feeling at home at night. It grieves me that our room is suffering more and more damage as the days pass, and restoration has yet to begin.
In that room, our sixth baby went to heaven and our seventh was born , bringing life and an abundance of joy and hope to my heart.
These things are silly right? Why am I so attached to a house?
It’s because Jesus gave us this home. It’s because we fought for years and years to find it. It’s because we went through hell and back to even purchase this place. It’s because one of the last homes we lived in I was constantly attacked by demons. It’s because Jesus knows the desires of our hearts, and he gives us those things when we obey him. It’s because I am so attached to the heritage of our home, the Godliness that was the foundation for even building this home.
I don’t get to write a lot these days, but I just wanted to give you guys a glimpse into our reality right now. Insurance is slow moving, and we are working so hard to get our home back in order.
We are so thankful for friends and family that have stepped in to feed us, donate funds, and even house us.
It’s situations like these that we see how many people love us. It’s truly a blessing and we are so grateful for everyone who has helped.
This whole situation has taught us a few key things for loving and serving those we love in crisis:
- Do not ask how you can help. Most of the time the person going through trauma cannot even think clearly. If they have children, offer to take them for a day. Bring them a meal. If it’s their home that was affected, bring them groceries. Water bottles. Toiletries.
- Do not offer to help if you don’t really mean it.
- Be a doer. If you’ve offered to help your close friend or family member, show up. Show up and ask what needs to be done. If they have children, entertain them for the parents to make decision and act on those decisions.
Often times we see a crisis with someone we love but do not know how to help them. Because we do not know how to help them, its common we do nothing. I’m guilty of it.
But after this experience I’ve seen hollow offers and words fall short. It’s the actions that speak louder than the text messages.
Show up for people. Be His hands and His feet. Check up on them. Be encouraging.
And above all, be a positive light in a dark season for those who are shining a flashlight to see through the smog.