140 S Morgan St
“What’s wrong with it?” My husband and I look around the sunlit living room and at one another incredulous.
I can’t help question whether this house is listed at the right price. 8 weeks pregnant and perpetually nauseous, I had spent hours in the cab of our realtor’s truck visiting foreclosed and short-sale homes. We visited house after house, looking, we soon realized, not for the home of our dreams, but for one we could merely afford. Afford and not have to renovate beyond our budget.
There was the house that smelled like wet dog, urine, and mildew.
The house with the convex living room floor.
The long skinny house with no hallways, but one room leading to another to another to another. Bedroom, dining room, kitchen, living room, bedroom.
The house we backed out of, because the hole in the basement floor was the smallest problem as the foundation surrounding it cracked and crumbled.
With each house we visited, I became more discouraged. The truth was, I didn’t want to live in Denver anymore. I felt that God had called me to serve Him there and I willingly said, yes. But I couldn’t help feeling that He had sent me far from my Minnesota home and forgotten about me.
I did not know if He even cared enough about me to provide a house beyond just a livable space. He may not give me a snake when I ask for a fish, but maybe He would give me a catfish. Ugly. Tough. Edible, yet unappetizing. To strengthen me in character and further my reliance, lest I become too comfortable.
The measly options we had seen leading up to this house only served to confirm my suspicions – God would call and I would jump, but there was no pleasure in the jumping. No guarantee of safety in the landing.
Except, this house. This house had been loved. Cared for. This house had been a home. Sunlight filtered through the large front picture window. Wood floors and intricate white trim provided the base for the main living spaces, while accent vines climbed the corners of the dining room walls. One bedroom, perfect for our boys, was adorned with a mural of trees and multicolored dragonflies. The kitchen could have used some work, but the finished basement, the large family space complete with built-in shelves and the character only a home from 1939 can possess delighted us.
My husband and I stood in the living room, jaded from weeks of disappointment, but just daring to hope that maybe – maybe this place could be ours. Tears stung my eyes as the pain of disappointment and the ache for hope filled my heart. Could you really be giving this to us?
Forty days later we closed and celebrated as a dozen friends moved us from our apartment to our first house – our home. My girlfriends protested my pregnancy if I lifted a picture frame or bulletin board as we made the trip up and down those two flights of apartment stairs. Packing the old to be brought to the new.
That first night, tired and happy, as we got our 2-year-old ready for bed the aged floorboards creaked under our feet. I cringed, concerned about bothering our neighbors downstairs before I remembered – there was no one downstairs to hear us!
At once, relief filled my body. I grabbed my son’s hands and began jumping up and down, “There’s no one downstairs!” My husband joined as we laughed, jumped, danced, and rejoiced in the generosity and gracious provision of our Heavenly Father.
He gave us more than just a roof over our heads. He gave us a home.
Leah D Everson is a Minnesota girl, a darts rookie, a book addict, and a messy mama. She divides her time between encouraging new mothers in their walk with God, empowering women out of poverty through her work with Trades of Hope, and taking care of her own busy boys. Loved by Jesus, Leah is learning to rest in Him. Leah received her MDiv from Denver Seminary and was the founding director/teacher of The Scum Study Center at Scum of the Earth Church in Denver, CO. Leah is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild and a Compassionate Entrepreneur for Trades of Hope.
Welcome to a guest series I’m calling, “Home: Musings and Memories.” I’ve invited writers from all over the Internet to share their stories from home—in part, because next year, I’m publishing a book called, Keeping Place: Reflections on the Meaning of Home (IVP, Spring 2017). I believe home is our most fundamental longing, homesickness our most nagging grief. Most of all, I believe that the historic Christian faith has something to say about that desire and disappointment.
The story of Jesus is a home story.
Thanks for joining me and these other fantastic writers in the months ahead in our search for home—and the God who makes its hope possible.