In Hope of a New Day: Chapter Ten.

‘A Dream Come True.  Literally.’

It was now the end of February. We were a little over a month away from closing on the house, and there was quite a lot that still needed to happen before we could be sure it would be ours. We had a modest amount of money that we could use to repair any major issues that may have showed up on the home inspections, so we were very anxious about what they would find. If the repairs that needed to get done right away were going to exceed our budget, we would have to walk away from the house and pray that God would lead us somewhere else. Above all, we knew we needed to be wise– not allowing ourselves to get upside-down financially in the house, owing more than it was worth, before we’d even moved in. We anxiously awaited the report, biting our nails down to the nubs and steadying ourselves with prayer.

On the 28th of February, we got the inspection report. Everything looked great, except for one thing.

The FIREPLACE.

Do you remember the dream that Chris had that I wrote about way back in Chapter Six? That was three months prior to this point in the story. Let me re-write it out here for memory’s sake:

Chris had a dream that he and my immediate family were walking through a house. In the dream, Chris said he just knew it was our new house. He and my oldest brother, Jared, walked over to inspect the fireplace. As they peered into the fireplace, they noticed something wasn’t quite right. My brother Jared started telling Chris that the fireplace was inoperable. He was saying that the fireplace seemed to be made out of material that would just burn up if you tried to light a fire. Chris said in the dream it looked like the inside of the fireplace was made out of wood or cardboard. As they were checking things out in there, the rest of my family started freaking out because they looked out the windows of the house (he said there was a big window on one wall in the dream) and they saw a tornado coming right for the house. In the dream, Chris felt calm, and he knew that the tornado was not going to hit the house. He kept telling my family that it was okay and that the winds were going to shift, but he led them all down to the tornado shelter so that they would feel more safe. Then he woke up.

Chris had this dream months before we’d even found this house. He’d had the dream back when we didn’t even know what state we were meant to end up in.

What the inspections revealed was that the fireplace in the house was indeed inoperable. The interior of the fireplace box was made out of… thin wood, like plywood. If we had tried to light a fire in there, it… would not have gone over well. haha. It would have all burned up in there. There was a grate in the fireplace when we looked at it, and wood sitting inside ready to burn, so we had assumed it was in working order, but the inspections revealed otherwise. It was almost as if a fireplace insert had been removed, and what was left was just the wood framing that had held it in place. There was also an issue with the chimney. We braced ourselves for how much the repair estimate would be. If it exceeded our allotted budget, it would have to be a deal breaker for us.

You see, the fireplace was a necessity for us, much like the storm shelter had been. In such a rural and removed area, where winters bring ice storms and long power outages, we knew it was a feature that our family would need and rely on.

The initial estimate that came back to bring the fireplace into operating order was around the $10,000 range.

Ten thousand dollars?!?? There was no possible way we could swing that. No possible way! At first, we were completely discouraged and distraught. It was a hard blow. We tried to hold fast to the belief that God had plans for our good, even in this, but it felt a bit like the wind had been knocked out of me. We moped around in a fog for well over a day before I remembered the dream that Chris had had.

The dream! The fireplace! The insides made of wood!

Hope sparked up in my heart again. God had given Chris that dream for a reason, and now I was going to cling to it like a lifeboat. We prayed that God would make a way for us, once again. That He would somehow come through and make the impossible possible.

We decided to get a second opinion on the fireplace. The second guy that came out to look at it had a much less bleak take on the situation. He told us he could repair it and make it operable as a wood-burning stove for around $950.

Uuuuuummmm, yes please. We’re gonna go with the guy who can fix it for over $9000 LESS thankyouverymuch. That was a number that could fit within our budget and meet the needs of our family.

***********************************************************

Now, if you’ll allow me to, I’d like to step out of the chronological timeline I’ve had going here for the last nine chapters and tell you quickly about the other part of this same fireplace dream that eventually came to pass.

A few weeks after the fireplace scare, we had another scare involving a… you guessed it… tornado.

The weathermen had been calling for a rash of severe storms to come through the area for a couple of days, and they were warning people that the set-up for these storms was a cause for great concern. The storms were going to be sweeping through the state in the middle of the night, when everyone would be asleep, and they were going to potentially be so severe and so strong, that words like “Joplin, Missouri” were being thrown around. People were on edge, and the weathermen were telling everyone to rest up as best they could during the day on Saturday so that we could be awake and alert when the storms started rolling through after midnight.

At 3:00 in the morning on that Saturday night (or I guess it was Sunday morning), we heard the storm sirens going off here at our house in the city. The sirens were coming from the nearby town of Edmond, which is North of us. We turned on the TV to see what was going on, and I kid you not, we were immediately greeted with the radar image of a massive storm headed RIGHT for the new house. We sat, frozen, on the couch and watched the black core radar image of that storm cell pass directly over the pond behind the new house as the weather men were saying, “We can’t confirm it visually, but if there’s not a tornado on the ground with this storm right now, we’d be surprised. Everyone needs to be in their shelters now!!”

It was pitch dark. It was 3:00 in the morning. We had NO idea if the house would still be standing when the sun finally came up to reveal the damage, and all that we could do was WAIT until we could drive up there and see the house for ourselves.

It was the looooongest night of my life. As I tossed and turned, I once again remembered the dream that Chris had had. In the dream, my family had seen a tornado coming toward the house as they looked out a big window on one wall, but then it shifted the other way. I realized that the new house did indeed have a big giant window on one wall- the West wall, and that that was the exact direction that the storms had come from that night.

I wanted so badly to believe that the dream would prove to be true once again, and that the house would be spared, but I was a nervous wreck as I waited for the sun to rise.

We drove up to the house in the morning, and to our complete relief, it was still there- in one piece. Only one of the trees in the front yard had been snapped. All of the other huge trees on the property were still standing strong.

There was no denying it now… that dream had been a gift from God regarding this specific new house- something for us to hold onto when the road got rocky- something to fortify hope and faith in this season of so many ups & downs. I will never again be able to doubt or deny that God speaks to us TODAY through dreams and visions, just as He promised He would do in Joel 2:28 and Acts 2:17.

***********************************************************

Believe it or not, God wasn’t done using dreams with us quite yet. As I jump back into the timeline of the story, it is now mid-March, and I had another powerful dream that had to do with my husband and his work. Chris had still been unsure of what God was calling him to, as far as occupation went, but we both knew that things were going to be shifting in that area since the very beginning of this whole journey- when Chris started having all those dreams about walking away from his paint truck. We were still asking God what he was supposed to do– keep painting in a different context? Paint and produce music? Paint and DJ and help lead the college ministry? Quit painting all together? Our idea of what Chris would do vocationally seemed to be ever-shifting and changing, and we still couldn’t quite piece together how it was all going to work out.

One Saturday night, I had a dream that we were having a big gathering/BBQ up at the new house. There were tons of kids running around, and there was a big play set in the backyard. I was playing with the kids out there and digging around in the soil with trains and tractor toys, when I unearthed a note that had been tied around a small rock. It looked like it had been out there for a while. I unwrapped the note and saw that it was addressed to my husband- written out in a little kid’s handwriting. At the top there was a drawing of my husband holding a child’s hand, and the note underneath simply said:

“Dear Chris- Quit your job when the leadership comes.”

The note had been signed by Finn, who many of you may know is the eldest boy of the wonderful Davi, whose blog I have been reading for yeeeeears now.

I told Chris about the dream, and we were completely tripping out about it. It seemed so specific… so practical, even! It obviously pointed to child-like faith and trust, but we just didn’t know (and still don’t fully know) exactly what the “leadership” would be, or when it would be coming, but it felt like an important piece of the puzzle so we wrote it all down and tucked it away for safe keeping.

{{Side note: If you ever have a dream that felt like it might be even the tiniest bit significant, write it down!! Pray over it! Take the time to do it. You will not regret it, and it may end up being a tremendous help to you, as it has been to us these past few months. God speaks to us in dreams!!}}

That next morning, we went to church, where our pastor was just beginning a series of study on the book of Joshua. In Chapter One of that book, God tells Joshua over and over and over again that he needs to be ‘strong and courageous’ because God is with him. God is reminding Joshua that he does not need to fear any obstacle because the God of Heaven is on his side. The message really spoke to us, and to Chris especially, as he is in this season of so much change and so many unknowns vocationally.

When we got home from church, I emailed Davi to tell her about the dream I’d had with her son Finn in it. She wrote back later that day and expressed how exciting it all was, God speaking so clearly to His children, and near the end of her email she said, “Tell Chris that I say to be strong and courageous!”

The exact same words from the sermon we’d been so affected by that earlier that day!! God was speaking to us with a megaphone, and we were slowly learning how to listen and trust more and more as He kept proving Himself faithful over and over again.

God was going to be with us!! What exactly would Chris’ job situation look like in the future? Umm… no idea! But the GOD OF HEAVEN WOULD BE WITH US! We had orders to be strong and courageous! In all of the unknowns about Chris’ work and balancing out all of the passions he has in his heart, God would remain faithful. He was asking us to trust Him with a child-like faith… and fear no obstacles along the way. After all, He writes history in advance! Why should we fear the future, when we know our ultimate future is secured in Him?

After such an amazing journey as this, we were ready, willing, and able to say YES and to wait confidently for where God would take us next. The God of JOY was not through with the story yet. He wanted to celebrate with us. He wanted us to sing and dance with joy and gladness… to seal and commemorate the goodness He’d poured out on our family over the past few months, and over my life for the past 3 decades. In short, it was time to par-tay.

And so, with one last chapter to go, this story gets to end with a bang. And it all came about through two amazing dreams and a dress…

8 thoughts on “In Hope of a New Day: Chapter Ten.

  1. Aaah for real – every time I read a new chapter my whole body is covered in goosebumps and I cry. I just love this story so much and I love how the Lord has blessed your family. It makes me want to pursue Him on a whole new level and ask Him for dreams and visions!!

  2. Beautifully written, as always! I love how you always give the glory to God. And I can't wait to read the last chapter.

  3. I'm so excited to read the ending, but also very sad that there's only one more chapter. Sigh. :) You should write a book. Seriously.

  4. sniffle….this was so moving. When do we get to see millions of pictures of the whole inside of the house and outside. We want to see it all!

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