We are letting go of Beit-Shalom. It is up for sale. We have never been able to finish it and, with Dave being in a lot of pain 24/7 and no money, we won’t be able to now, either. Our middle son and daughter-in-love have invited us to move in with them so that Dave can get off his feet and not have all the work of trying to take care of Beit-Shalom and the property hanging over his head. He needs to get off of his feet. So, we are planning on moving to Texas!
Our dream was to provide a place of shelter for people who needed to get away and find some peace. We wanted people to be able to come and sense G-d’s shalom on our property and in our house. We talked about what we hoped we could do with the land to make it inviting and retreat-like. That was the dream we had.
For many reasons, the dream never came to pass and the storms of life have continued to buffet us. We have had other dreams that also did not come to pass, which has led us to ask the obvious question, “why not?”.
Of course, the first thing to look at is our choices. Did we make poor choices? While I am not about to say we made all perfect choices (we obviously did not), I do believe that we did make pretty decent choices overall. We got hit with a lot of things and tried to make the best decisions we could with what we knew and what we had at our disposal. We were left reeling many times in various ways, but we just kept standing in faith and moving forward as best we could.
We also need to consider all the things that were beyond our control…and there were many, both positive and negative. We have been through a lot of things. Hardship. Betrayal. Miracles. Blessings. Attacks. Support. Gossip. Being cared about and for. We have seen the hand of Abba move in so many amazing ways and the hand of our adversary trying to steal our joy. I could go on, but you get the idea. Life happens. We have seen good and bad and Abba has gotten us through it all.
As Dave and I were praying a few mornings ago, we were thinking about how our vision for Beit-Shalom has not happened. Suddenly, I got a picture in my mind of a man pushing against a huge boulder in the pathway. It made me think of the story in which G-d tells a man to push a boulder. (You can find a version of the story here.) When I shared it with Dave, he said what I was thinking…that it was about obedience, not “success”. We both felt that Abba was saying that it did not matter that our dreams and visions had not come to pass. We were not failures and it was not bad for us to dream. Abba had given us dreams to aim for, just as G-d told the man to push against the boulder in the story. It was not about accomplishing the dreams, but about being obedient to Abba. It was about what He was doing within us and others through our obedience.
We have wanted to be used by G-d. He has been using us, albeit not as we imagined He would. But that is OK. We are here to serve Him for His kingdom purposes. We have learned a lot. I am praying that, in Texas, a break will finally come for us. We really need one.