After years of living in almost every corner of Nashville, separately and then together after we married, Michael and I finally moved out to the country.
We have coyotes in our back field and limited internet service and beauty as far as the eye can see. We only have two neighbors and one of them actually goes to our church. I love the drive down our country road, dotted with wildflowers on both sides, and the little country farm stand selling watermelons and tomatoes on the honor system.
Most days I feel overwhelmed with gratitude for this house, the one that the Lord provided at the very last minute when we were desperately looking for a rental, and how perfect it is for this season of life. The wrap around porch, the tall windows letting every drop of light pour in, the basement apartment for Michael’s parents. Enough room for everyone, plus some. The picturesque view on all sides, dotted with the neighbor’s horses and cows (that we get to enjoy, yet not be responsible for!)
Breathtaking sunsets and big fat snowflakes and warm breezy afternoons. This place is such a tangible blessing and a daily reminder of God’s faithfulness!
I think the Lord knew that I would need a physical reminder of his promises to me, one that I could look at every single day. He knew of the challenging season ahead and chose to settle us into a home that would shelter us during the volatile weather of middle Tennessee and simultaneously stand as a memorial of His provision, leading, and perfect love.
I still miss aspects of city life, although I am certain that we are where we are supposed to be. Taking little trips ‘in to town’ (town being any sort of cosmopolitan civilization) are a treat these days, especially if I am able to go kid-free. When I find myself at a coffee shop meeting with a friend, or at dinner for a night out with Michael, I love that perfect mix of nostalgia and excitement. Nashville is growing like crazy and everyone has an opinion about it, but I’m over here just grateful that I was able to live in the cool kid’s city before it was cool. Most of my dear friends have flown the coop for other cities and towns across the country (and I don’t blame them with the real estate market here as tough as it is) while a few still remain, sticking out the transformation. It’s an interesting time to live here, whether we’re in the front row seats or watching from the balcony. But I digress.
Today, as the details of our life -the money, the schedules, the exhaustion- seem to float away, just beyond my reaching grasp, I have to allow myself to be reminded. My natural self is clawing for control, fighting to open the door to anxiety and stress and to let that voice BE LOUD. The Holy Spirit within me is pausing, however, peacefully taking a moment. Telling me to look around at the very house that I’m sitting in as I write this, surrounded by walls and windows and coffee in my cup and chicken in the crockpot, and be reminded of the Father’s concern for me. For my life, the details that holler for prominence and the big stuff that ultimately bow at the throne of a truly big God.
It is easy for us to forget that the true spiritual battle waging is the one happening on the inside. I forget this all the time and have to be gently reminded. Sure, there are things going on in the world that merit our attention, but before we can even be prepared to go there, we must address the war going on inside ourselves. For me, today, it is a battle about who I will ultimately put my trust in…myself? My husband? Our ability to make money? Our citizenship or government? Our hopes and dreams? No. I choose to put my trust in the one true God.
The living God who has led us out of cities and towns to the quiet countryside to hear and know him more intimately. He continues to lead us, as a patient and good Father does…and also as a righteous King, teaching us to fight these daily battles and raise the flag of victory in his name. I needed this reminder today, friend.
Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm.