Sometimes God calls us out of our comfort zones. Sometimes He disrupts things and allows things to get turned on their heads so He can lead us into something new. I’ve heard it over and over in the last couple months, He’s not doing the next thing, He’s doing a NEW thing! And sometimes, part of leading us into the new requires that we let go of things we call dear, comfortable, and safe.
Hindsight is a crazy thing. So much is enlightened on the other side–but first we have to make it to other side. And most of the time that journey is a process. This last month has been filled with inner turmoil as Dave and I went back and forth (and back and forth) before finally coming to the conclusion to sell our home back in Colorado. I've been pretty mopey and withdrawn the last month. I keep finding myself thinking, But it’s not fair, I just didn’t know…I didn’t know that when I was depersonalizing our Colorado house last July in order to get it ready for VRBO/Airbnb, I was actually getting ready to put it on the market! I didn’t know we weren’t going to come back. I didn’t know I would never worship in my basement again. I didn’t know I wouldn’t bask in the sunlight on the living room floor again. I didn’t know I wouldn’t be able to watch the deer bed under the front tree any more. I didn’t know I wouldn’t host a table of my beautiful friends on my back porch again. I just didn’t know I wouldn’t be making any more memories in THAT home again!
We came to Redding, California following a heart prompting to ‘Go!’ If you know any of our story, you know we aren’t afraid of risk (well that’s not entirely true, we do get scared, but we end up doing it anyway)! We want to experience more of God and His goodness and so we said ‘yes’ to this yearlong (or so we thought) adventure out West. Of course, in hindsight it makes sense that God sometimes takes us and leads us in Baby Steps to our new thing, but it doesn’t make it easy.
Our home was a haven, a gift. We had made a swift emergency move to be close to family following a hellacious season in our marriage. After living with family for four months we found a for-sale-by-owner home–a quaint Cape Cod style home with a round-about driveway on a quiet cul-de-sac in an older established neighborhoods with a great yard and lots of trees. The first day I saw this house, I knew… this was our home! For so many reasons, this home felt like a gift the Lord was handing us–a place of rest, redemption, and the start of a new season in our lives.
Shortly after moving in we were invited to the Oprah show, which ended up being her Favorite’s Things Show in the farewell season. We were gifted two of many incredible things. Several of the gifts ended up being for the home, including custom closet makeovers, a 60” 3D TV, a set 18-soy LAFCO candles, and gadgets galore. It was too much, I know Oprah was the conduit, but it felt like were being kissed and lavished by the Father. It was overwhelming (in a good way) to simultaneously be coming out of the pits of hell while physically being blessed with unthinkable housewarming gifts. And of course, the best gift was our family. What was attacked and severed was salvaged…yes, Dave and I were bloody and bruised, but we weren’t taken out! Love and grace were our stakes in the ground! This was the home that would be the foundation to rebuilding our family. I love that home! We have pictures of Asher and Jadyn each going off to their first day of kindergarten in front of that house. Both of them learned to ride their bikes on the front yard (followed by endless laps around the cul-de-sac). They both lost their first teeth in that house and we threw many a memorable parties and get-togethers within those walls and in the spacious backyard.
So here I am reminiscing and realizing that my emotional ties to that space are valid and real, but my fear in letting that space go is unwarranted. Yes, that home was comfy, homey, and a place of renewal but what that house stood for in the physical was a symbol of what had taken place in the spiritual. It’s inside me and if I let go of that space I don’t lose all the healing/memories that took place in that space. That was a season, and it served its purpose sooo well, and now it’s time for a NEW season.
Do I really think God’s goodness is limited? That He won’t provide another space that is exactly what our family needs for the current and upcoming season? He is good and He can be trusted. He is the Good Shepherd, leading us to more of His goodness, not less. Dave and I are riding the fence, trying to keep a foot in each state, and in doing so we’re not fully present there nor here. I think we’re also worried about hurting our beloved family, friends, and community. I know it feels permanent, but deep down I know relationships transcend distance and all that love us want us to do what’s best for us, not what’s safe.
Yes it’s cliché, but it is true, one cannot receive anything new when their hands and arms are full. Despite wishful hopes, we’re not octopuses, something has to be put down–or laid down–in order for something else to be picked up! It makes the most sense in the physical, but it also holds true in the spiritual. In my case, I have to emotionally let go of a house before I can physically let it go. How about you? What's stirring in your spirit as you read this? Where are the spaces (physically, spiritually, emotionally) that you need to release in order to find new depths of freedom, healing, and renewal? Remember, He’s not just doing the next thing, He’s doing a NEW thing!
Morgan is a storyteller at heart. After running an NGO in Uganda for 7 years, she and her husband, Dave, currently record a weekly podcast called Chasing Unicorns, produce and host The FIND series, run the CB Ideas design agency, and mange Yes& Collective. Morgan also co-authored the newly released children’s book, The Girl Chronicles: A Story of Good. She’s a mom to two middle schoolers, Asher & Jadyn, and so when she’s not driving them around, she fills herself up with yoga, reading, air-popped popcorn, and all things coconut flavored. IG: @MorganHansow & @HansowFamily www.HansowFamily.com