Author: Jessica Stinson
Recently, I was sitting in a coffee shop with a friend. We got to talking about Romans 8:28. We acknowledged it is easy for us to think when it says “all things work together for good,” it means good for us, but a lot of the time, good for us is not really what is best.
Sometimes God leads us to good after what seems like a lot of bad. Yet His good is way sweeter than the best good we could have imagined. That is because when we surrender our lives to God, He orchestrates every moment to bring glory to Himself. This describes my last year, and the seven moves within it perfectly.
The first three moves were a result of graduating college and waiting out fifty applications. By July, I was offered a 4th-grade teaching position, and amazingly already had housing lined up; things seemed perfect. Three weeks after moving in, perfect was farthest from the truth. My uncle’s sister offered me a safe place to live while I searched for a better situation, and within hours my belongings were in a pile in her garage. That moment seemed so backward. Here I was now living 1-1 ½ hours away from work depending on traffic, not to mention a different state! Yet, I wouldn’t trade those next 11 weeks. I began to heal and got to spend precious time with her parents who were visiting from Nigeria.
Each night as I walked in the door, Grandpa would look up with a warm smile and sparkling eyes and say, “Jessica, you are home. Welcome.” My aunt was happy to let me rent from her and joked I could stay until my wedding day. However, we both agreed the commute was killer and could be dangerous come winter. By then all the other housing situations I had looked into had fallen through, and I told God that I gave up on looking.
Isn’t it funny that the next Sunday at church I was approached by a friend and asked to consider renting a room from him and his wife? It was everything I had been praying for, except I couldn’t afford it. I was so disappointed. I cried and asked God why He would show me such a great situation but not make it possible? Silly me, 3 weeks would change that.
The weekend after Thanksgiving I moved in with my two friends and their two kids; knowing that we would move again when they bought a house. I’m not going to lie, though I was excited to move in with them, I had fears of everything falling apart. What if it turned out to be everything like Move #4? I’m so glad it has been everything but. I have continued to heal and come back out of the shell I retreated to after being hurt. It has been refreshing to witness the genuine love they have for each other, and a joy to play with their kids. Every day I find myself thanking God that I get to live with them, knowing only God could have carried me through this crazy year.
Clearly, I have thought a lot about home this year. Home is not just a place to rest your head, home is a place to be at rest and belong. The thing is, I can guarantee no matter how great your home is now, it is not perfect. That is because as Christians, our true home is in Heaven. The fact that Heaven is home, gives us hope and freedom while we remain on earth. This year has been an adventure. But my ultimate adventure is following Jesus every day. Which means home is wherever God has called me to be in this moment. That is why I have been able to call the side of a mountain, a foreign country, a dorm room, where I live now, and so many other places home. It does not need to make sense to others, because God will be faithful to provide for me.
I still live across the state border from work. But God has blessed me with a reliable car, a safe place to live, a joyful place to work, great music for the ride between, and funds to survive. Plus, who else gets to see skyscrapers, mountain sunrises, a pink limousine, and cows in their commute?
In return, I will be faithful to go where God leads me and do what he has called me to. Looking towards the future can be ominous sometimes. But by trusting God, and doing what He says, I can be sure that He will make a way. It may not always be perfect, or what I imagined, but it will definitely be good and leave me with a grateful heart as I follow my Savior to my true home.