It was late summer or early fall when we moved into our house so long ago. And if the walls of this place could talk, oh the secrets they would tell.
My dad was the chief contractor when we build our first and only home in 1976. It was always his dream to build his only daughter a house. He built it strong and sturdy; it has stood the test of time and tempest for forty years.
My Sweet William and I lived in an apartments when we married, newly weds adjusting to life together as one. We were completely different personalities coming from totally different backgrounds. It was like cold and hot air moving toward each other until the swirl becomes a potential tornado.
We had no idea what we were in for.
Our son was three years old when we moved into our forever home. I recall tender, sweet memories of being his mom. High chairs, potty training, and bicycles. First grade, middle school and graduation. Drum lessons, soccer practice and boy scouts. Carefree childhood, homework, and his first real job. The accomplishments, the worry, and the prayers.
Every mother knows the joy and sorrow that accompanies raising a child. It happened within these walls.
I was with child twice more in this house, and I lost both babies. We cried and could not understand. And how do you explain to the small son that there would not be a brother or sister coming?
We had parties, sleepovers, and play dates here. We celebrated birthdays and holidays, inviting family and friends. I fixed so many meals and cleaned up after them. I packed about a zillion lunches.
We had fun here. Games and jokes and silly antics brought relief when stress threatened to crush us. Laughter is always a good medicine.
The dating years were interesting as the one an only son brought girls here to meet us. The young woman he finally picked was his perfect match. We loved her from the start.
We held grand-babies here, one after the other, nestling them in our arms and watching them grow, loving on them every chance we had. Those were precious times when childish merriment echoed once again through the halls.
We cried a bucket of tears as well. We grieved our losses and comforted one another. We climbed hard, rocky mountains and we braved terrible storms. Sometimes we felt like we were drowning; sometimes the fires of tribulation scorched us. Sometimes we wondered if we would recover.
At times we needed spiritual surgery, our lives infected by disobedience and wayward hearts. We were torn apart like a piece of cloth pulled in two, leaving ragged edges on our souls.
But God did not leave us there, all battered and wasted. His discipline is for our good. His purpose is to redeem the rubble, to rescue the perishing, to welcome home the prodigal.
In all these years, all these trials, all these experiences, God has been good. He was working in the darkest shadows when we were fearful. He was working in the long night seasons, and He always brought the dawn.
If these walls could talk, they would tell some tales. But the overarching story is one of redemption and triumph. God takes our feeble efforts and worthless failures and remakes them into something new and beautiful.
Even in an old house like this.
“Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds.” — Hosea 6:1 NIV