Today, we made an offer on a house in the hopes that it will be our home. Surrounded by great towering trees, the house is a classic ranch-style home built in the 1960s. The prior owners started remodeling it so that it feels more contemporary. They tore down the original interior walls and opened up the living space so that one feels free to breathe. However, their hurried, unplanned departure leaves the kitchen straddling two different eras of styles. I feel discombobulated just taking it in. Yet, the house is a place with old bones and walls holding half-a-century worth of stories.
Our decision has been fraught with a whirlwind of emotions. Purchasing a house entails a good amount of commitment, much like a marriage. It is our biggest financial undertaking, and we feel the weight of that choice. We are offering to take it all, with its potential and its baggage. I daydream of refinishing the kitchen and adding an island, so that it resembles a Pinterest picture. I also dread the day that the old cast iron pipes start to leak, and I have to call a plumber for an overhaul. Through good and bad, we are staking our claim in this house.
This house reflects our hopes and priorities for the future. We are currently newlyweds, DINKs (Dual Income No Kids), at the start of this season of life. Our hopes for children mean that we prioritize space, safety, and education, which comes at the cost of convenience and time. We step into spaces visualizing where our kids could ride bikes and walk to school. Being the planners that we are, we prepare for the next 20-plus years, hoping to set up our future children for comfort and prosperity.
But therein lies the rub: one can only plan for and control so much. What if our jobs change? What if our children have disabilities? What if our definition of success does not jive with our children’s? What if it is not what God has for them? One can only play the “what if” game for so long.
In this decision, we sense how we have great choices but are ultimately powerless. It is an odd dichotomy to hold. It reveals how we have been abundantly blessed yet remain utterly dependent on the Lord.
We move forward and choose hope with open hands. The Lord may give; He may take away.
In this house, we hope for peace, joy, and flourishing and that our marriage will deepen and grow through the years. We hope for the coming of babies and for their bright and happy future. In this house, we hope to make mouth-watering meals and break bread with new community. We hope to offer rest and a warm bed to family and friends. In this house, we hope to meet the Lord, worship Him, and know Him more. And with Him, we hope to fill this house with our own stories and, in doing so, transform it into our beloved home.
Aimee is an Asian American physician, recently married to the love of her life. She loves deep, honest conversation, being silly with her husband and pondering God’s presence in this broken world. She is honored to contribute to Red Tent Living, but requests anonymity in respect for her personal and professional privacy. b