Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will do it. (Psalm 37:5-6)
Sometimes in the process of trying to live a life that pleases God, I begin to view Him as someone who wants to keep me on the narrow path for my own good. I forget that it is He who leads me along this narrow path, my hand in His, as we journey together in sweet communion. And because He has created this path uniquely for me, He has placed beautiful things along the path that He knows will delight me. He likes to set my face alight with happiness, especially when I know that He alone is the giver of great gifts.
He has done this for me this week. Let me tell you how. I have always had a dream to own a cabin next to a creek or a river–moving water of some kind–because I love the sound. But that dream was one of those dreams that all of us tuck deep in our hearts because we think, no, it will never happen to me. Other people realize those kinds of dreams, but most likely not me.
About a week ago, I decided to check the real estate listings in my area just for the heck of it…I love real estate…and occasionally I look to see what “water properties” are available. I live in Washington state, so we have a lot of water–lakes, rivers, creeks–but nearly every water property is either spendy or too remote. Then I saw a listing for property with a creek running by it. The only photo listed did not look so wonderful, but, what the heck, why not check it out? It was raw land with 2.5 acres and the price was relatively affordable.
My boyfriend and I drove over to take a look, and it is as wild as it is beautiful. The creek borders it on two sides because it bends in one corner of the property. It has two levels–one that is street level that extends out about 2/3 of the property, and then a cliff that drops about 20 feet to creek level, with the other 1/3 of the property below. The topography looks like the rain forest…every imaginable forest plant lives there, including various ferns, wild phlox, foxglove, salal, Oregon grape, native bleeding hearts, and even nettles. (Ugh.) And lots of trees and beautiful moss. The flora was so thick that I was glad I’d brought my rain boots, and at times, it was nearly to my waist.
We fell in love with the property. And suddenly, what was once only a distant dream seemed within reach. Of course, we’d have our work cut out for us. (Yes, we plan on getting married first.) We’d have to start from scratch. It almost seemed too good to be true.
We timed the drive back to his business…only 15 minutes. (I work out of my home.) We thought about it for a day. I talked to my realtor and she sent me the plat map. Two interesting things came to my attention. First, the property was listed for sale the day after Ed’s and my first date. (As usual, God was already at work.) Second, the property has dropped $40,000 in assessed value in the last two years. (Hmmm…God had already been in the process of making it affordable.)
Ed and I went back and walked it again. We prayed together about it under a big old cedar as the rain fell in a fine mist around us. We asked God to lead and guide us. For His will to be done. And then I called my realtor to make an offer.
The next day, as I was standing in my kitchen, where God often speaks to me, He brought back to remembrance a walk I took about 4 years ago when I was still married to my ex-husband. During that walk, I heard God ask me in my heart, “What are your dreams?” Of course, God knew my dreams, but what He wanted me to do was pull them out from the deep, dusty recesses of my heart where I’d hidden them away, afraid if I acknowledged them, I would be disappointed. He wanted me to acknowledge them, because they were desires that He had placed there, and He wanted to show me that He could bring them to fruition.
Since He was encouraging me during that lovely walk to talk about them, I hesitatingly brought them out, one by one, afraid I was asking or expecting too much. When I got home that evening, I was glowing, not so much from the fact that I’d talked about my dreams, but that God cared about them, and we had a lovely time of sharing them.
A year or so later, my husband and I bought a log cabin in Sandpoint, ID as an investment that I planned to fix up (driving back and forth from Washington) and rent out. It was a lovely home with a gorgeous pond, and I thought it was God’s answer to my longing. But my marriage was crumbling, and I alone drove back and forth fixing it up, and it was lonely, and the pond, although beautiful, did not move with that lovely whooshing sound.
I’ve been divorced nearly 2 years now, and I sold the Sandpoint house a couple of months ago at a loss. And I’d nearly forgotten that lovely walk God and I took about 4 years ago until yesterday, when God brought it back to mind. And it was as if He was saying, “I remember. You wanted a log cabin next to a creek.” Yes, Father. And that lovely whooshing sound. And He said, “Now, you won’t be alone. I’ve given you a wonderful, godly man who loves you the way you’ve always wanted to be loved, and the two of you can build your home together, exactly as you dreamed.”
I stood there in my kitchen, tears pouring down my face, amazed at His grace. His tenderness. His faithfulness. His gifts. His incredible, sweet love. And I am so glad that I have walked down the path behind Him, my hand in His. His way may be narrow, but it is also wild and inordinately beautiful.