I’ve been longing to move to another house. Our house is too big, I’ve been thinking for a while now. I want to ‘downscale’, live a simpler life. After all, we are only four people living in this house. Why all this space? Why not live somewhere more appropriate to our needs? Well, my needs actually. A place closer to school, more charming and more cosy. Well, really, to satisfy my never ending discontentment with what I actually have and to fulfil some or other misplaced longing for something new. For the past few months I’ve been looking at houses, finding myself desiring other spaces and finding fault upon fault with our house. How distracted I’ve allowed myself to become.
But, this morning, God touched my heart, as only He does, and I realized that if I choose to live in a smaller house, I also choose to reduce the size of my heart. Then I choose to be blinded by our physical reality. Because, the truth is, we are not a family of four. We are a family of six. A father, a mother and four children. This is the truth. Truth is not relative. Truth is truth. And our house is perfect for four children. Maybe a little too big for two children, but definitely more than adequate for four. This is the house that my husband built. And he is a father of four children.
I tend to forget this fundamental truth in our lives, the one that we are indeed a family of six. Because we, my husband and I and our two children, are not physically part of the other two kids’ lives. A few kilometres from us live an eighteen year-old who bears his biological father’s names, as well as his fifteen year-old brother who bears a striking resemblance to their biological father. They are my husband’s sons, my stepsons and my children’s half brothers. They are my husband’s parents’ grandchildren. They are part of our whole family. But we do not know them and I doubt that they know of our existence. If they do know of our existence, it’s most probably clouded by untruths. Because another truth is, we want to be part of their lives with all our hearts. But, we are not allowed to be. The reason for this is beyond our understanding.
Some wounds run so incredibly deep in our beings that they become just another part of our existence. They become like the air we breathe in and then out, they become part of our ‘normal’. Because of that, we sometimes tend to forget about these wounds. But we always carry it with us. Some wounds are much like rocks we carry with us that get lighter and lighter over time because we can get closure, but still, it never goes away. Others are like rocks we carry in our pockets that become heavier and heavier. This wound in our lives is like that. It has been going on for such a long time, the better part of fifteen years, that it has become part of our normal. Sometimes, in the everyday things, we tend to forget. But every so often, the realization of it hits us with its full might and takes our breaths away completely. Then, it is not breathtakingly beautiful, but breathtakingly awful and perspective is immensely difficult to grasp. That is when the hurt and confusion get heavier.
Yet, we console ourselves that we suffer deeply, because we love deeply. Yet, we have our faith. We know that our deepest hurt will be the cause of our biggest joy that is yet to come. We will not doubt that our God is love and that He is good. We believe that He is truth and that this will prevail for the benefit of all involved. We will not succumb to hopelessness and helplessness. We have the hope that surpasses everything else and that will never disappoint. We believe that His mercies are new every morning and we will not be dictated by what happened in the past. We will be thankful for what we have now and we will be intentional in what we do from now on that will impact the future. We will not choose death. We will choose life.
Hence, the need for space. For the day when all of us will be under one roof. To have this physical space is to culture the hope of it one day being filled with sons and daughters with joyful hearts. It is to fill all the empty, unnecessary spaces I see today with love and laughter. It is to dream boldly of the warmest light that fills every dark corner. It is to not give up hope. It is to choose to fully grasp God’s mercies that are new every day. It is to enlarge our hearts with every chance we get to prepare for what is to come in the future.
And that is all I need to know now.
“Enlarge the site of your tent to make room for more children;
Stretch out the curtains of your dwellings, do not spare them;
Lengthen your tent ropes and make your pegs firm in the ground.
For you will spread out to the right and to the left;
And your descendants will take possession of nations and will inhabit deserted cities.”
Isaiah 54: 2-3