How Losing Our Dream Home Taught Us About Futility

The moment Joe and I found out we were pregnant, my mind immediately started thinking about all the things we were going to need to buy and all the preparations we were going to make for the arrival of our child. As you might be able to guess, the more research I did into what all was “required” for a new baby, the more my heart and mind became overwhelmed.

I know many of you parents are chuckling under your breaths! Just because an article from a “reputable source” says I need a wipe warmer, doesn’t mean it’s going to magically turn my experience as a first-time-mom into something easy, enjoyable, and perfect! It just means it’s something else taking up space on our changing table, and doesn’t really amount to much.

This month I decided to follow She Reads Truth’s Bible plan on the book of Ecclesiastes. I’ve read through this book before on my own, so I was really intrigued to see what their take was on this tough-to-read section of Scripture.

The first day of our reading, we focused on the first eleven verses of the first chapter. Here, King Solomon is searching for meaning in life and soon realizes that everything here on earth is “futile”. But what does he mean by this, exactly?

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, the word futility means “the fact of having no effect or of achieving nothing”. For me, the part that stood out to me the most was “the fact of having no effect…”. When was the last time you were trying to make a decision and thought about whether it would have any effect on your life further down the road?

For us, it was just a couple weeks ago. We received word that an investor was interested in purchasing our home, when we originally had no intention of moving. Their proposed offer created an enormous profit for us; it would give us the opportunity to be able to move to a better area of town!

At first, we weren’t one hundred percent sure what to do. We had entertained the idea of moving and had visited a couple of open houses, and driven past a few more on the way to another destination, but had never truly thought about the possibility of uprooting our lives right before our daughter was due.

Once this reality hit us, we decided to take a risk and at least start to look at our options. Very soon we were consumed in the home-buying process, yet again, and had no idea what we really wanted again. Sure, we had talked about what we would love in a dream home, but we hadn’t even really considered what our budget was going to be or how much time we’d need to find a home, go into contract, and close.

It took us a few days to get all our ducks together, but soon we realized that moving could potentially be in our future. We found a home that we liked, but then it went into contingency before we could attend our scheduled viewing. We then found a few other houses, which we visited but didn’t like. We were then presented with a potential home that wasn’t on the market yet, but the owners were wanting to sell and move quickly.

It just so happened to be our dream home, and was well within our budget. It was in a good school district, but on the opposite end of town. It was about the same distance to our family, maybe a little farther, but significantly further from our friends. We didn’t know how worth it this relocation would be, but we decided to take the risk anyway.

Instead of taking the time to truly think about how this decision would effect the future of raising our daughter, we grabbed excitement by the horns and jumped at the chance. Ultimately, it came to an extremely painful end and we lost the house.

At first, we were devastated. Our hearts were so broken and splattered that we had no idea where to turn. My husband was so upset about the entire endeavor that he wanted to swear off moving for at least the next few years, but I wasn’t quite ready to move on yet; but do you wanna know why?

I wasn’t ready to let go of something my heart was leaning into in this world. I wanted to find joy, peace, and happiness in something that was crumbling between my fingers. I was grasping at thin air and wasn’t understanding why I couldn’t hold on. It was frustrating and down right humiliating and didn’t know what to do.

Now that it’s been a few weeks, Joe and I have had time to settle our emotions. While sometimes those feelings of hurt and betrayal still pop up, this morning I came to another realization: I am more than thankful that we aren’t moving, and my reasoning was remarkably simple.

We love our Westerville community and neighbors, even though the neighborhood itself isn’t exactly ideal. We love how our lot backs up to Alum Creek and gives us incredible sunrises, even though sometimes we have to deal with a miniature river in our backyard when it rains too much. We adore how close our home is to Easton, which gives us plenty of things to see and do, even though the traffic can get pretty rough over here. But above all, we are still incredibly close to family and friends, our pediatrician, and reasonably close to both our works.

When I now look back at the desperate attempt we were trying to make to purchase that house so far away, I scoff at myself. We are not only saving money, but we now have the opportunity to do things in this house that we have been dreaming about for years. I don’t have to leave the nursery I worked so hard to prepare for our daughter. We can teach her how to use the stairs without them being too daunting because we have a split-level home. We don’t have to worry about school districts because we are already in a decent one.

And best of all? I realized the home we could have moved into wouldn’t have changed a thing about our parenting. Truly, purchasing that home would have been futile in the world of raising our daughter. And I’m sorry, but I don’t want to make decisions that end up being futile. I don’t think anyone wants to do that!

So I guess what I’m trying to say in this story is this: although we went through some pretty painful stuff recently, I’m really glad God protected us from making a mistake. We serve a God that isn’t futile, and everything He does has a point and is part of His plan. His will is for His glory and our good, and that’s all that matters to me.

If losing out on our dream home means following God’s plan, I’ll take that any day. Because instead of resting my life in the fleeting net of our earth’s culture and offerings, I’m being held together by the Father who doesn’t change. And I think that’s exactly what we all need.

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