Our little family is currently on a house hunt in different areas of town. While we absolutely love where we live, the girls will start Special Education preschool meetings at 27 months, and the current school system we are in does not provide for the girls’ needs in the ways they deserve. This makes me sad on a whole lot of levels; one of them being that other human beings who we are no more deserving than are having to send their children to less than adequate school zones because they can’t afford elsewhere. All others areas of Birmingham are more expensive than the city limits, and so we are having to be very creative in our house search. I hate it for Hugh because he works harder than anyone I know, but residency is tough on families, both because of the time they require of him, and also the lack of money we are given back. The name doctor is certainly not all it’s stereotyped to be. They work incredibly hard to gain the knowledge they have to help the people that need it most. Anyway.
So here we are, on this creative home search (that hasn’t been going on long might I add). In the beginning (so last week), I fully trusted God to provide His best for our family, and was ready to land wherever He had us. A couple days ago, we discovered a gorgeous home in our top school district choice that was within our price range. We knew there had to be a catch, but when our realtor mentioned a “huge electric power supply” and “impossible to resell”, I honestly brushed past it because I was determined that this was the house God had for us. Why was I so determined? Because it was what I wanted. My desires. And, God wants to give us the desires of our heart, right?
Yesterday, we pulled up to the house and I saw it: the tower. This huge electric power supply was in fact a massive tower right in the front of my dream home’s yard. Determined, I attempted to look past it and walked up to the gorgeous place I was now going to call home; God’s respite for the Cheeks. I walked inside and each and every room was redone and absolutely gorgeous. It looked like a home straight out of a magazine. I decided right then and there I wasn’t going to let some silly tower stop me from getting God’s best for us. It was in our price range, in the right school district, and gorgeous. It had to be ours, right?
Our realtor, being the authentic person that she is, firmly told me she did not think it was a good idea, for numerous reasons really. I sat inside this beautiful oasis, and attempted to tell myself that the tower didn’t exist. It was too perfect of a deal, it had to be it. It’s what I wanted. I found myself getting more and more bothered by the whole thing. As I drove home, trying to talk myself into why this was a good choice for us, I realized something: no matter how much I wanted to pretend the tower wasn’t there, I couldn’t change the fact that it was. It got me thinking about our hearts. You see, initially, I was trusting God with what His plans were for us, emptying my desires for His in order to step out in faith in the direction He led us. A couple of granite countertops and double-headed showers later, I was in a completely different place. Why? Because I had allowed my flesh to rationalize a lie, a lie I believe we all struggle to run from. I told myself I deserved what I wanted, and that what I wanted was in fact God’s best. Friends, this is not truth. Truth is this: as we look to God, as we ask Him to point us in the direction He wants us to go, He makes our paths straight and we begin to see things through His eyes, therefore His desires become our desires. Where in His Word does it say that this means material comforts and getting exactly what we want? It doesn’t. In fact, I have often found that because His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8), usually what He has planned is way different than what I would have written. But, you know what? It is always better. Furthermore, when we set up towers in our hearts instead of looking to Him as our strong Tower, we are missing out. We are missing out on the satisfaction and peace that comes from leaving the plan in His hands and stepping away from anything that may seem right but in the end will fail us. Many times, we try to continue on in our walk with Him, in a “have my cake and eat it too” kind of way. (By the way, I have never understood this. If you have cake, isn’t the point to eat it? Anyway.) Not only is this lukewarm, but just because we act like the idols, those towers, aren’t there, doesn’t make them any less consequential. We can ignore them for a while, but they always end up making themselves known, often in ways that lead to more sin and more despair.
So, as I sat there in the car, fuming, I said aloud, “Why does the stupid tower have to be there? God, why do all these stupid towers have to be a part of my life?” Heart pounding, blood pressure rising. I realized right then and there that it wasn’t really about the tower in the yard; it was about all the towers I feel like are building up around me. I try to stay in a place of struggle, find truth, struggle find truth, but if I’m honest, right now I just need the grace to be mad at all the things seem to be being thrown at our family right now. Not trusting, yes. You see, I know in the deepest parts of me that if He allows it, He ordains it and it is good. But today, I just want the towers to disappear. I don’t want to have to paddle. I’m ready to float, if even for a minute. Honesty.
As I began to let go of the idea of this house being our dream house, or even the concept of “getting what I wanted when I wanted it”, I realized something else. You see, while this tower seemed big, while all the towers surrounding us seem so big, my God is much, much bigger. When I fix my eyes on Him, all else fades away and I am able to see things as they truly are, not as my flesh wishes them to be. His best. All the towers are like grains of sand in light of His abundance.
I know that He is going to provide us a new home. I also know that it may not necessarily have all the temporary things I set up as important, but you know, that’s okay. It might even be better actually. For as we are stripped of our comforts and our petty wants, we are able to see more of Him and receive more of His fullness. More of Him, less of me. True satisfaction. When it is the right house, I won’t have to pretend a giant tower isn’t in the driveway. I will look to my gracious, loving Tower and bow in gratitude at His best for our life. Am I there right now? Not really. But, I’m persevering because deep down inside, I know He’s worth it. And even in the midst of my temper tantrums, where I stomp at the Holy One’s feet and beg for a new normal, He stays the same. His arms, always open wide, as open as they were that day on Calvary in which He shed His life for me. Constant Love.
What towers are in your heart right now? What are the things that you would like to pretend aren’t there that are trying to eat up who God has called you to be? Are you looking past all the seemingly large obstacles in this world and looking to God as your All-Knowing, All-Loving Tower? Today, let’s be real with ourselves. Let’s not get caught up in the things we think we want. Instead, let’s look to Him to lead us to the things we need, namely Him. He is faithful, friends.
“Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with Him, we will also live with Him; if we endure, we will also reign with Him. If we disown Him, He will also disown us; if we are faithless, He will remain faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.”- 2 Timothy 2:11-13