“If My House Could Talk”
Recently, my husband and I went through one devastation most wish to never face, but far too many in our society today are having to work through. We like millions of other hard working, big dreaming Americans have lost our home to foreclosure due to the real estate collapse. This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to experience not so much because of the loss of the house, but because of the loss of relationship from some I thought would never turn on me, and also because of my passion for integrity which I have taught for 22 years. Hard work made no difference. Planning and ingenuity failed us. But God in His righteousness and goodness for us came through in a big way. Because of His care for us, we were able to move into a beautiful home RENT free for as many years as we need to recover, and we were able to do that two months prior to the auction of our home.
I posted a comment on Facebook the day after my final visit to our beautiful home which my husband so lovingly built with his own two hands. I was trying to be funny in my comment, maybe just to ease the pain by saying “I went to say one last goodbye to my house yesterday. It had no response!” But the outpouring of love I received brought me to tears and to this page to share my thoughts. One special woman wrote the following message: “A real loss. Grieve it. Ask: What would my house have said back to me as I said goodbye? If you can stand it, maybe room by room. Remember this is a major loss for Rod and your children, too. Maybe have a “memorial” evening in a special place as a family. Prayers and love as you transition into the new place God is calling all of you.” For some reason, these words caused me to cry. Even now as I read them again, I cannot help but to be broken before God and to wipe the tears from my eyes. You see, although God provided for us in a mighty way and, we are beyond grateful for His grace towards us, we still have feelings, emotions, pain and feelings of loss and yes even failure. Dealing with that is important. So I will heed the wise advice of my dear friend and post the following: “If My House Could Talk.”
If my house could talk, what would it say? First I think it would say “thank you.” “Thank you, Rod, for pouring your heart out for me and on me. You did a fine job with excellent craftsmanship. There is not one area where you did not go above and beyond what was needed or expected. What I appreciated the most about you was that you didn’t curse even when you were tired, and you were patient with everyone who worked for you even in the midst of stress and exhaustion. Thank you, Carrie, for insisting there be scriptures put into my very foundation and then into my walls. That made me stronger and will carry me a long way in this world where buildings grow tired and weary and finally break down. Thanks to all of you for the love, laughter, singing and worship which flowed through my halls and up to my rafters. I have always carried a spirit of peace because of that. Thank you for meeting every morning in my prayer window as you discussed the world events, the Word of God and the future together. The strength in your relationship will be felt in this dwelling for its life. Thank you for tending to my dings and scratches and for protecting me from the destruction of children. I always appreciated it when I heard you scold Newell and Olivia, Carrie, by saying “You may not treat our home that way. Do you not remember how very hard your father worked to build this for us?” I always felt safe with the two of you. Thank you for being silly, for taking time to dance around on my hardwood floors, for anointing every window and doorway, for falling on your knees and often your face as you worked with all of your heart and prayed with all of your spirit to keep me as part of your family. Your tears will forever be a part of me. I heard you as you cried out to God, and I wept with you. On those late nights, as you paced the floor searching for answers, I was up with you. And even though I know you are already aware of this, God was here every second of every day. When you cried, He cried too. When you worshiped in spite of the circumstances, He smiled. And the day you finally threw up your hands and surrendered, He was the one who caught you as collapsed and grieved over your loss.
“The love your family left is overwhelming. You are all so close that it will not matter where you live, your love will be your greatest treasure. I admit I will not miss the pink bunny, but I will miss the two little people who created his life. Even though I cannot go with you, the memories you created here will be yours forever. Remember what Olivia said about needing to come back to get her memories? Well, she already had them with her. I think she discovered that when she saw my empty shell. You packed everything that matters in this life. Treasure that. Treasure the worship nights in the living room, the Sorry games at the kitchen table, the family devotion times, the jokes told, the meals prepared together, the Christmas you were snowed in, the nights on the deck, the mornings of snuggles, the school days in the school room, the book written, the songs created and recorded, the celebration as Rod’s song “USA Today” was performed on live TV by Lee Greenwood, the family get-togethers, the long nights of Scrabble and the baths in the big tub. The bank cannot take those; they are yours to keep, so cherish them.
“One day, you will think of me and it will not hurt. Instead, you will remember the good times. Until then, know that in every crevice, in every corner, in every tiny bit of this home, your family can be found. You have made me unique. You have made me special. And the next family who lives here will be blessed by what you have left behind.”
Thank you for indulging me today by for allowing me to express my heart to you. Maybe you have something or someone you need to say goodbye to. Take the time to do that today. It may hurt for a moment, but it will release you to live out God’s purposes for you. Do it today! Your destiny is waiting!