That Time I Didn’t Win a Dream House

Every year in Springfield, several contractors in the area support St. Jude by building a dream home. Raffle tickets are sold for a chance to win the home and several other really great prizes. All proceeds go directly to St. Jude. It’s really an amazing fundraiser.

In the past, Dan and I have gone to the house, and have bought a raffle ticket to support the cause. We always laugh about how fun it would be to win, and then forget about it. This year, we made a little date out of going to the house. We ate out, and then went to walk through the house.

Dan and I have been praying about getting out of debt. We have big dreams, and having no debt would allow us to live those dreams. For weeks before we walked through the house, I was feeling like we would never get out of debt. We have a plan and are slowly making progress – it just isn’t fast enough for me. I was starting to feel trapped by our debt and the slow process of paying it off.

The day we walked into this years dream house, I fell in love. It’s hard to explain, but I felt at home. It wasn’t our style or color scheme, but I could see us in it. I could hear our children running around in the halls. I could see myself cooking in the kitchen. All of my dreams… I saw them in that house. Then I felt like God whisper to my heart, “I’m creative.”

As we walked through, Dan must have seen it on my face, because he barely asked if I wanted to buy a ticket. I told him to buy the winning ticket. We bought one, and as we walked out… I believed we had bought the winning ticket.

As we drove away, Dan started to do the math in his head. We realized winning that house would open so many doors in our finances. It’s that moment that I figured out what God meant by His whisper to my heart. I realized that sometimes the way we THINK our dreams come true isn’t the plan God  has in store for us. Proverbs 16:9 says this in the Passion Translation:

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

In my mind, the only way to pay off our debt, is to stick to the plan we have created, but the reality is God isn’t limited to what we see in the natural. He could use a dream house to reset the course of our lives.

Now, let’s be real together. I totally believed I could win a dream house, but I felt silly telling my friends. It felt selfish and silly to pray that God would bless us with a 2,600 square foot house for free. However, all throughout the bible God shows us that He is a God of abundance – not just enough, but more than we can imagine. It’s not selfish to ask God for big things and it’s not silly to believe He will do it. I love what John 10:10 says in the Passion Translation:

A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter, and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow!

I don’t think it is unbiblical to believe that God wants us to have a full and abundant life. He is a good God that wants us to live rich full lives. This doesn’t mean we should live beyond our means, we should be wise with our finances. However, it’s not selfish to ask God for more. It’s not selfish to pray that God provides big. John 10:10 says “Everything in abundance, more than you expect…” Honestly, I feel like God isn’t offended by our big prayers, He is offended when we don’t ask. The bible says faith of a mustard seed can move mountains… why aren’t we asking for more mountains to move?

After walking through the house, we had about 6 weeks to wait. During those six weeks, Dan and I dreamed about where we would put our furniture. We talked about how nice it would be to have a 3-car garage again. Dan’s parents visited, and we walked through the house together. As we walked, I prayed over every room. One night, as we dreamed about what could happen in that house, I realized how much joy I have lost in my wait. Friends, I want to be pregnant so badly, however it wasn’t until we were dreaming about this house that I realized that pregnancy has lost it’s joy for me. I am so worried about getting pregnant, that I have forgotten about dreaming about what life will be like when we have children.

I know not everyone who is reading this blog is dreaming of having children, but I am sure there is something you desire. Something you are waiting on God for. I want to encourage you not to get so lost in wishing for the thing, that you forget to dream about having it. When we are waiting with God, we do not have to be miserable in the wait. Dreaming is fun!

As I am sure you can guess from the title of this post, we didn’t win the house (or any of the other cool prizes). Honestly, I was devastated.  However, after I took a minute, I realized the lessons that God taught me haven’t changed. God is still creative. He said no to this dream house, but He hasn’t said no to being debt free. I do not regret walking in big faith or dreaming big. I believe faith is like a muscle. When we practice using it during the fun times (like believing God for a dream house), it’s easier to practice big faith in the hard times (like unexpected storms). God is still a God of abundance. He said no this dream house, but it isn’t because He wants me to walk in lack. Finally, God is fun. Waiting with Him doesn’t have to be miserable.

Don’t forget what Proverbs 16:9 says in the Passion Translation:

Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.

Today I want to encourage you – as you make plans for your future – continue to dream big. Continue to pray the big prayers. God is a good and abundant God. He hears every prayer you are praying and He hasn’t forgotten you. Keep using your faith “muscles” – your faith will not put you to shame.

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