My great grandparents lived just four doors down from us in a two story farmhouse cobbled together over the years. Guinea hens ran unopposed in the yard, at least until us kids made it our mission to try and commandeer one and the warmth of the wood cook stove in the kitchen mingled with the oil heater in the living room made every winter visit come to a drowsy end.
In the summer the heat of the house drove everyone to the screened porch to hunker by the fan and I can see Pop and Anna sitting regally in fringed throw covered chairs – probably passed down from their parents – and us on squeaky gliders passing the time on a random evening. Pop called everyone ‘boy’ whether you were one or not and drove his bride to church every Sunday in a baby blue Chevy pick-up returning just in time to reclaim her at 12 noon.
For all the things I remember and know about them and where they lived one question always ran rampant in my mind, “What was upstairs in that house??” My younger cousin had the run of the house since Anna babysat her almost everyday but in all my years of visiting, I was never invited past the living room. Whatever laid beyond the narrow doorway framing those crooked stairs was left exclusively to my imagination. Were there ancient toys I could play with? Mementos of my father’s or his family’s? Old pictures to study? The allure for vintage things started early it seems.
When I bought the house I live in now, I made arrangements with the sellers that if they would accept my lower price offer, I’d finish cleaning it out. The lady of the house had long since passed in a nursing home and the property being willed to relatives who had already scavenged much of the contents needed serious TLC. I saw it as my own personal treasure trove– after all who wouldn’t want someone else to swoop in and clean up their mess? They conceded and the task was at hand. But after a sweaty afternoon excavating the attic and eradicating the junk from the shed, we had little to show… just a few old papers, some rickety furniture and a trailer full of trash bound for the dump.
Seems what I found tucked away in those long forgotten storage spaces wasn’t as useful or exciting as I anticipated. Seeking earthy treasures left me with moths and rust.
And this curiosity extends past closed doors and more often into a future that I wish I knew how to navigate and plan for. The right path to take. Why I traveled wrong ones in the past and how to do better.
I’m reminded that Eve wanted to know things too… it’s what drove her to sample that fruit so foolishly long ago.
But what to do with this longing to know?
We can try to find out more about ourselves- what our personalities tell us about our strengths and weaknesses, but even those have meager meaning. Ever a sucker for a quiz I took one a few weeks back where I scored high as a golden retriever/otter mix… you know loyal and fun loving… But I’m not sure I’m sold on the canine identifier.
Just last week I tried another only to be labeled as idealistic (one who cherishes or pursues high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc. also known as a dreamer) but as I scrolled down the dictionary page looking for further insights, idealistic could also be defined as, “not being compatible with reality.” And though that could possibly explain a lot about me, I’m not sure I like that discovery either.
Some days I feel like an anomaly– I thrive on routine but I dislike repetition. A girl who typically fears change yet still remains curious about what promises await. It’s a little exhausting maintaining this double life. It’s our human nature to want to know things but maybe it’s not always God’s timing or purpose to reveal it all.
Luckily God impressed on my heart this idea for when I’m dying to know and be known and it comes right back around to a choice in a garden — Do I want to uphold my pride or His promises? Will I put stock in my efforts to search out solutions to a situation or will I let Him be sovereign? Because to trust in His provision sure lightens the load and relieves us of one of the many responsibilities we women seem to shoulder in this information saturated age.
Knowing who I am IN Him- saved, cherished, loved, redeemed, safe, heard, royal, and precious- knowing who He is in this world and knowing what promises lie ahead for those that love Him keeps me content with not knowing what lies out of sight because I have a personal relationship with the God who sees and knows all.
Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God. ~Corrie Ten Boom
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