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  • Writer's pictureShelby

This Story Deserves to be Told

If you would've showed me this picture seven years ago I would have balked at it. Because seven years ago, I moved here with two little boys to get separation from an unhappy marriage. I had all but given up on hope for better or more. We wanted different things in life and we were ready to go our separate ways. But God. He used these two people right here, my parents, in a huge way to help us heal. They prayed for us and encouraged us that God's best for our life was not raising our boys by passing them back and forth. My dad called Josh who was still living in Virginia and offered him a job and an opportunity to heal our marriage. They let us live with them for 7 months while we sought counseling and both surrendered to letting go of old ways that weren't working and until we found a house. They had faith the whole time, when we didn't. And sometimes that's really what you need in those hard moments in life, someone to be the pillar of faith that you lean on when yours feels weak. I'm so thankful to them because I'm honestly not sure we'd be in this moment today without them.

And I'm not going to lie, Indiana is not our first choice for where we wanted to live. The whole time we've lived here thus far, we've felt like we've had one foot out the door waiting until we can move back to Virginia. Oh how we miss the mountains. But at the beginning of last year when we started talking through our dreams for the new year, we both had separately felt a peace about letting that door close. We felt confirmation from God that we were right where He wanted us. That this was the community and environment that would best support us to grow up a next generation of Godly men.

So once we let that peace settle on us, we asked God, what next? If we're going to put down roots here, what does that look like? Josh has always wanted to own land and live outside of town and I've always wanted to fix up an old house so we started looking and letting some people know what we were looking for. But finding an old house on acreage in a small town is a pretty tall order. Lots of old houses pass hands through families and most land never goes up for sale and just gets sold through word of mouth.

Well, one of our farmer friends that we mentioned that we were looking for land and to keep an ear to the ground for us, actually did! We were one of the first to know that a piece of land was going up for sale before it ever hit the market. And HERE'S THE THING. I told Josh when he said we might have to compromise and just buy land without an existing house that I had stipulations: I didn't want to live off a main road, but I also didn't want to live off a dirt road. I wanted to live off a side road, but not TOO far off a side road. I wanted to live in the woods, but I didn't want to have to have a long driveway. I wanted to feel like I live in the country, but I didn't want to live too far outside of town (I still need reliable internet, right?). And I wanted my view of the sunrises and sunsets to be breathtaking (this is Indiana's main selling point IMO). Well, would you believe that God checked EVERY SINGLE one of these boxes?

On January 4th Josh and I went out to see it and see that it checked every single one of these boxes. We stood out there and prayed. I had a holy anticipation while I was out there and started to let myself get excited. Well once we started to crunch numbers, the excitement started to wane quiet a bit. Josh and I ALWAYS have lived well below our means and vowed to never be "house poor". So asking my parents if they wanted to dream with us was a no brainer. Their current house isn't ideal for living out their retirement years which are around the corner for them and I knew my Dad had always wanted to build a house so asking them to dream with us felt right. We took them out there and showed them where they could build their ideal home to live out their days with us as their neighbors having the honor and privilege to help care for them as they get older. We dreamed of a joint vegetable garden and chicken coop and cut flower garden right in the middle of our homes that we could tend together. We showed them the extra plots of land we hope to give to our boys one day if they'd want to live close by too. It really felt like immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine but that's what our God specializes in. They were in.

The way it all came together just feels like God is in the thick of the details. I get tears in my eyes just thinking of His kindness to those two broken people who moved out here 7 years go with open hands and surrendered souls for old ways that weren't working. The third son He gave us on our 10th anniversary we thought we'd never have. So many gifts that we have to be grateful for.

So now, our plan is to spend the next several years clearing and preparing the land to build our future homes. Since we're compromising with a new build when my heart is for an old home, I'm going to spend the next several years thrifting and salvaging all the things to make this new house feel old. Maybe it'll be #thehousethatthriftingbuilt but it's already for sure the house that God built.


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