My husband and I are about to do something that I think is scary.
In my heart I’ve always longed for it, but my feet only know how to keep running away.
We’re buying a house.
I couldn’t be more delighted and distraught at once.
The American Dream… they all say.
And they’re right. I’m losing my heart for adventure, for risk, for trusting God with the unknown.
We’re sinking into mortgage payments and comfortable beds. We’ll have square footage to fill with too much stuff and we’ll end up getting stuck in the wheel of consumerism and discontent.
But there’s a bit of excitement I can’t ignore either, that this buying a house thing might also be an invitation to an adventure instead of just the American Dream. I dare myself to believe that God doesn’t have us moving back to where I grew up because secretly all we want is stability, security, or safety for our children.
We are not buying a house so I can finally decorate the way I want, get a master bedroom with a view, or a big backyard with grass for my kids to run through.
The part of me that fears settling down in a house of our own, is the same part of me that refuses to abide with Jesus. To abide means to remain, stay, to wait for, to take up residence in. Those words make my faith feel stale and crusty like old bread, only good for feeding the ducks.
For the longest time home signified I was moving backward.
I remember when I was young I was supposed to spend the night at a friend’s house, except I didn’t even make it until bedtime. I called my mom crying for her to come pick me up. I felt uncomfortable there, like I couldn’t be myself, like I didn’t fit, everything awkward and strange, right down to the way their house smelled. When my mom picked me up I was relieved, yet embarrassed. Why couldn’t I handle a new place?
The homesickness I experienced that night was so real I felt like nauseated. Everything in me wanted to be home.
And then there was the time when my dad had to drive eight hours to come get me from university. It wasn’t supposed to be that way. I had plans. Plans to run on the track and field team, plans to get my bachelor’s degree. But instead my ache to belong and my need for control manifested in an eating disorder and my world unraveled. Released from the team because I was too weak to run with them, I knew I needed healing and hope. Although ashamed of my sickness, everything in me wanted to be home.
Now, as we prepare to buy a house, leave the Netherlands, travel 5000 miles to be closer to family, I sense the same feelings – embarrassed like a school girl who can’t make it through a sleepover without calling her mommy. Ashamed like an athlete who can’t compete because they’re too sickly and frail.
I’ve always secretly thought that God loves me more when my adventure with Him looks like living in a foreign country, testing the limits of my physical body, constantly trying new things, being strong and independent, or taking applauded leaps of faith for the world to see, be it jumping from an airplane or traveling the world with only a backpack. Maybe you’ve believed something similar?
How could adventure ever be found in things like staying in one place or buying a home or in the quietness of abiding? Where is my trust in God, how am I taking any risk?
This next step in our lives is forcing me to rethink my definition of adventure and I’m realizing adventure is found as we abide in Jesus, drop our nets and follow Him, letting his fiery eyes of love invoke our curiosity to see what’s around the next corner. Abiding is stubbornly refusing to leave His side, seek success on our own terms, or exert our independence.
As the men and women of faith before us knew, the secret to experiencing a real adventure is not being scared to settle…to settle in Him, becoming permanent pioneers on this planet, realizing a home isn’t something we can buy, but a pursuit we are on, as we travel deeper and deeper into His heart, discovering who He is and who we are.
This time around I’m choosing to go home, not reluctantly either. I’m not going backward, but moving forward in faith as I become more at home in Jesus. Home is a journey of more than 5000 miles, it’s daily discovering that my hope, my healing, and my desperate need for belonging are satisfied when I settle into His embrace.
Abiding. It’s the secret to experiencing real adventure, admitting that everything within you wants to be Home.
And just maybe, as author Sara Hagerty says, maybe God is whispering to us, “I like it when you’re weak.”
I’d love for you to join me in taking the most courageous steps towards finding our home in Him and trusting His heart like never before, seeing the windows and doors of this Home as an entrance, a welcome mat for us and others to new beginnings and the trail head of walking in fresh faith. When we lose ourselves inside the walls of His heart we will never feel trapped in our weakness, shame, or fear.
How is God calling you to come be at home with Him in this season?
In what ways do you need to surrender your independence? How would things change for you?
What parts of God’s heart do you want to explore, what does abiding look like in your life right now?
::For Your Heart::
Matthew 4:12-25, John 5:19-20, John 15:1-17, Acts 2:43-45, 2 Corinthians 12:9-11,
Galatians 5:25-26, Hebrews 11:13-16
A Note + Giveaway:
I’m looking forward to all that God has in store for us as we move forward to America. I am overcome with so many emotions, trying my best to soak in the last few weeks of living in the Netherlands, and preparing my heart for what it will be like to end (for now anyways!) 12 years of adventures in other countries other than where I grew up.
I’m excited to continue writing through this season of change and I invite you to meet me on IG where I post images + words to encourage you to step into the unknown, take risks even when it doesn’t look daring to the world, + to simply follow Jesus into the most beautiful adventure of traveling deeper into His heart.
I can’t wait to share with you new adventure resources + inspiration for you to abide with Jesus in the coming months. Stay tuned! For now check out the Art of Adventure shop because EVERYTHING is on sale!