Our house in Charleston was on the market with showings almost daily. We had just closed on our house in Dothan and were overseeing renovations, and we were anxiously anticipating the arrival of our second child and my heart longed, more than ever, to be back home in Dothan. Home, for me, has always been where family is, and I was beyond excited to be moving back closer to our family.
The devastating news had come just eight weeks before we were supposed to leave Charleston: abnormal lab results were detected at my mother’s doctor’s appointment. She was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer just days later. Unsure of the future, I immediately made the nine-hour drive from Charleston and temporarily moved in with my mother to care for her. Just five weeks later my mother died suddenly, and I found myself 38 weeks pregnant and temporarily living all alone in my childhood home. In three weeks time, I experienced six of life’s seven top stressful situations: selling a house, buying a house, moving 500+ miles, the birth of a child, starting a new job, and the death of a parent. To say I was at a low point would be an understatement.
In spite of my circumstances, God gave me a real peace that surpassed my understanding. He reminded me that, although I was in between houses, I was not without a home. Christ used my suffering to draw me closer to Him. I found comfort in the Psalms, specifically Psalm 94:18-19. Many days I felt like I was “slipping” and many “doubts filled my mind,” yet I was reminded of God’s unfailing love and His “consolation brought me joy.”
I had to let go of what I thought our home in Dothan would look like and instead trust God for His perfect plan. My hopes of my children growing up minutes away from their grandmother had been crushed. But God. But God had greater plans and wanted to show me a home much better than the one I had planned. My mother’s death not only gave me a new appreciation for the reality of our home in heaven, but it also forced me to find my rest and solace in Christ. Christ is my home.
- Read Psalm 94:18-19. What anxieties can you turn over to the Lord to allow his consolation to bring you joy?
- Read Psalm 30:11 and John 16:20-22. Do you agree that tragedy can be a blessing? Has this been true for you?
- Read 2 Corinthians 5:1. Do you tend to focus more on your earthly tent or your heavenly home?
- A book I found helpful this past year was On Milk and Honey, How God’s Goodness Shows up in Unexpected Places by Morgan Cheek.
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