Monday, November 14, 2016

What my mobile home taught me about change, growth, and faith.

The answer was no.

Not that he was really asking. More like telling in the nicest way possible.

"Do you think we should buy a mobile home when we move to Texas?"

This was the question to the emphatic "NO" I was giving.

The truth was, he'd already done the research, weighed our options, and found the mobile home purchase to be the most fiscally responsible one. Little did he know, I was not about to move 10 hours away from my family and friends into a mobile home. No thank you.

You see, I had a bit of an entitlement issue. I had a problem with thinking I was too good (based on what foundation, I have no idea) to live in sub-par housing. 

This was the very beginning of my marriage, when Jacob and I still had about $20,000 of debt to pay off and no jobs. In fact, the only things we had to our name were a really nice mattress my parents had bought me and a fist full of gift cards from our wedding. 

So, regardless of my protests, we moved, not only into a mobile home, but into an entire mobile home park. If I look out any window in my home, all I can see are other mobile homes, reminding me where I am, not only physically, but in life. I'm in a mobile home phase of life.

Now, since I've been here for three and a half years, I can honestly say, I quite enjoy our mobile home and the park where we rent the land beneath it. I like our neighbors. I like the pond in the center of the park where the ducks and geese should throw a parade in my honor for keeping my bird dog from "playing" with them on a daily basis. 

I've grown to love this little housing community and the house that has provided shelter for me and my husband for what will be the first four years of our marriage. I know I'll look back on this humble home with admiration, longing, and nostalgia. Jacob and I will look at pictures of it and reminisce on the love we built in this house. 

Yet, today, when I think back about the moment he ask-told me we were moving into a mobile home in Texas, I realize I couldn't imagine what it would become. I was entitled, spoiled, and frankly, not very nice about the whole thing. 

At the heart of it, under all the ugliness of feeling better-than, I was scared. I was fearful of change and uncertainty. I couldn't fathom moving at all, let alone all the way to Texas and into a type of housing that seemed unstable to me. 

Sometimes our fear of change brings out some unattractive attributes in us.

I say this as I prepare to move again. Jacob and I have no idea where we'll be moving next. We're fairly sure we won't stay in Lubbock though, so I know I'll have to do the whole moving process again. 

This change ranges from new grocery stores and dentists to new friends and church home. From the inconvenient to the downright heartbreaking. I'd be a big ol' liar if I told you I wasn't dreading it all and resisting the change with everything in me. I don't want to move, and my heart will break on the day we drive away from this place that has become our first home together. 

Yet, change is part of our human life. Changes happen all the time. Some are big, like moving, having a baby, getting married, or getting a new job. Some are small, like learning to eat healthier, starting an exercise program, learning to be better with money, or finding out you need glasses. 

I know you're experiencing some kind of change right now, and you're probably struggling to accept it. It's ok. It's normal. There is a time of grieving that you should work through, not try to ignore. 

Then, once you've gotten a chance to be sad about the change, you can begin to accept it, embrace it, and learn to love it for what it has to offer. 

As I look at what is upcoming for Jacob and me, and, yes, as I resist what is upcoming, I have to keep reminding myself not to spurn it like I did the mobile home. The mobile home is my reminder that I can do hard things, and that when I do, and I trust God throughout it, they can become beautiful things. 

The key is to try to not control the situation or wish it away, and instead let God guide you through this seemingly unwanted change so that you don't miss what God has in store for you within it. 

To me, the mobile home stands as an example of God's provision. It stands as an unwanted change that turned into one of the biggest blessings of my life. The relationships that have been deepened, the marriage that has been grown, the lessons that have been learned within the walls of our mobile home are irreplaceable. What I saw as a step down in life, God showed me was a leap forward. That leap didn't come without pain, but then again, neither does any type of growth. 

So today, as you're struggling with the change in your life, lean into God. Know he is growing you, and that the pain you feel is real, and worthy of your grief, but then afterward, worthy of your faith. God has got this. 

This change might not end up like you want it to. This change might devastate you, or this change might be one of the greatest joys of your life. You don't know yet. What you do know, though, is that you're not alone, and that there is something within the change that will grow you into the person God is asking you to be. 

Have faith, my friend. Even in the change, have faith.