Shelly Eberly
Worship Team Vocalist

When Keith and I got married he was working for his parents on their dairy farm. We purchased a house trailer and put it on the farm. A few years later, we were looking to put down some more serious roots. Since purchasing a piece of land from the farm wasn’t an option, we started to look for a home nearby. When I drove to and from work in Wooster, I would look at a lovely mid-1800’s farmhouse on a hill. I would pray and ask God to give me that house. There was just something about her that I was truly drawn to.

Down the road a year or so, she came up for sale. We met with a realtor and took a tour. Excited about this old home, we contacted my parents and took them for a tour. My dad said, “It will have to be a love affair.” I was thinking… hmmm, I guess I love her so, ok! We bought her. I had no idea what we were getting into!

Old homes are full of character and charm. They are also full of an endless list of complicated, expensive repairs. Owning her has been quite a journey. At one point, the tasks that needed done far outweighed the money available and the delights of updates we had already completed. I was so impatient with our progress that I actually started to hate this old girl. That’s when we started talking about building a home on my parents farm.

We picked out some house plans, met with a builder, and put a downpayment on his services. We put our old girl on the market. We waited for something to happen and waited some more. The realtor only showed the house twice in six months, with no offers. I grew more and more determined to build a house and Keith grew less and less interested. He was content to stay and I was set on getting out of this place. He clearly communicated that he didn’t want to build anymore but it was like I never heard him. I dreamt about building… I looked at pictures… I prayed (more like begged) God to let our house sell and nothing… nothing happened.

Have you ever wanted something so badly that it consumes you? You wake up thinking about it and go to sleep thinking about it. Every waking moment you are saturated with ideas on how YOU are going to make it happen? I was so disgruntled with our home. All I could see was the list of to-do’s making me no fun to be around. I was not going to let go of this dream, even though not one thing was moving in MY direction.

I remember being in our bedroom one morning and a verse hitting me right between the eyes. Have you ever had that happen? When one of Gods truths you’ve heard many times in your life all of a sudden becomes fresh and convicts you to your core? Well, thats what happened to me. Jesus said in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Boom. I was speechless and ashamed. I was being driven by a ‘thing’. This ‘thing’ of getting out of our house was first in my life. Wow, I was gripped by this ‘thing’ and Jesus said…”let it go!” I did. I sat down on the side of my bed and let it go. I asked Jesus to forgive me and apologized to Keith when he got home that night. My relieved husband was gracious to me and we took this unfinished, old girl, off the market.

Know what happened next? Peace. When I listened to God and let go, peace came. When I stopped fighting for a ‘thing’, the peace came. It was like a thick warm, blanket. Nothing had changed. My house was still old and outdated. It was still a pile of updates and repairs. My circumstances did not change but the thing that did change was my heart. Our hearts follow our treasures and building a new home had become my treasure. On that day there was a switch in my treasure. That’s what repentance is… a true switch. God kindly turned my earthly focus back to His kingdom.

This old girl has taught me to long for heaven and remember that this is not my true home. We’ve updated her, but God has also used her to update me. Like my dad said, “It’s been a love affair.” Though not in the way I imagined as a young 24 year old woman. It hasn’t been the love of the house that changed me but the love of my Savior.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21

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