She opened her purse and pulled out a kleenex, dabbing her eyes as she admitted disappointment. “I just feel like my soul is unsettled”, she shared. I can relate to this heartache in a way because we are in a very similar situation. I have a feeling there are more people in this boat with us than we realize, considering the current economic nightmare our country is trudging through. We own a house in the city we left to move here and are in the process of trying to rent it to someone…again. In the meantime we rent a townhouse, which is nice, in a safe, quiet neighborhood, fairly reasonable in price and adequate space for our family and two fur-balls we call pets. Deep in my heart is the dream that someday we’ll have our own place, and all our stuff will be in one place. We’ll have more room to have friends in and can really settle in. We’ll have a yard and a garage and on it goes. My friend is in this same boat – she and her husband own a home and can’t sell it. Meanwhile they’re living with family here. We both admitted we have more than we need but we can’t shake the dream of each being settled in a place of our own.
I don’t really know how to let go of this dream. It’s a daily process – trying to remain content and thankful and focus on other things. It’s interesting the things that make us feel settled in our hearts and souls: having a permanent residence, all belongings moved in and in their places, a steady job, a routine we’re used to, comfort zone stuff. Vice versa, temporary situations, not having all your belongings accessible to you, lots of change, living with someone else and feeling like you’re an outsider – like it’s not really your home – all of these seem to keep the contentedness of heart at bay. There seems to be a longing inside most of us to have a place, to have a home, to be settled down.
Maybe that’s why we feel so unsettled in this life. We know deep in our hearts that this is all a temporary arrangement, that we won’t be here forever, that this isn’t really our home. We press on day by day, trying to be content and thankful, trying to find the security we need. I marvel at the fact that Jesus never had a home. I really don’t know if I could live like that. He stayed with people, probably stayed outside a lot, counted on those he was with to help and just lived day by day.
I had no amazingly wise words for my friend but I hope she could feel my heart reaching out to hers and saying “I hear you! and you’re not alone.”
I guess if I can remember that daily I need to refocus, to thank God, to try and hold onto an eternal perspective then I’ll be able to enjoy a fulfilling, peace-filled, even joyful life with or without what I thought I needed. It’s not easy putting a dream on the back burner. Maybe if I do God will show me some dreams HE has for me and my family which are probably even better than a house or having my stuff.
Like my dad told me last year “This may not be the life you always thought you wanted or planned, but this is the life you have. Accept it and make the most of it.” I’m trying!