Arms Wide Open

Me and God have a history when it comes to houses. Newly married, my husband and I were building our dream home nine years ago. Mid-construction, God opened up the door for us to go into full-time ministry but that required us to give up the house.

And we said, “Yes God.”

After living with my parents, moving in and out of a roach infested apartment in a three week turnaround, and living in a cool, but tiny loft in the city, we finally purchased our first home. Certainly not my dream home, but a house nonetheless. I put blood, sweat, and tears into making resemble my dream as closely as possible, but God soon opened up the door for us to work at a church three hours away.

And we said, “Yes God.”

That journey found us living in a cute small cabin in the woods and then moving into the windowless church basement for almost a year, before we moved back to the area we had left, and rented a tiny old house from a friend.

None of the situations exactly ideal, but the Father always provided, and for that I was thankful. Then three and a half years ago, God blessed us with the house of my dreams, and I mean the house of my DREAMS. It’s a cool story, one that I will share with you someday. And like a four year old on her birthday, I gladly received my shiny new toy and placed it on a special shelf in my heart. The more I fell in love with my house, I began to find my identity in my house, and I found my fingers clenched tighter and tighter around it as something I could not picture myself without.

I no longer prayed “Yes God”, but began to pray “Yes God, as long as I can still have my house.”

This past year, God has been working in my heart and gently and lovingly prying my tightly gripped fingers off of my new toy. But this time, he didn’t ask me to give it up. He asked me to do something even harder. He asked me to share it.

And the four year old in me whined, “But’s it’s mine!” And then I read this article and it really messed me up.

And I quietly whispered, “Yes God.”

In June, we invited my sister and her two daughters to share our home and our lives as we learn to practice love as a lifestyle. It hasn’t been perfect or necessarily easy, but like a loving parent, the Father is teaching me how to share what He has given me.

So I choose to no longer hold His gift in a tight grip, but to stand with my arms stretched wide as I offer it back to Him.

And I once again pray, “Yes God.”



photo credit 

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  1. This is absolutely beautiful. It never amazes how wonderful, yet how extremely difficult, the most valuable lessons He wants to teach us are.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Thank you Jennifer. It has been a long and hard lesson I have had to learn, but I am so grateful for His grace and patience in teaching me.

  2. I love this. Love it. Saying “Yes God, but…” and the challenge to open our hands and our doors and our hearts. Thank you.

  3. Beyond lovely.

  4. Amazing post – thank you for sharing the article link as well. 🙂

  5. Amanda- your words impact me as we are in a similiar story. About a year into our marriage (11 yrs ago) my husband left his job as an engineer and went back to seminary…something we had anticipated, that also meant saying goodbye to our house that I loved. Now through the years, from Seattle to Minnesota and now PA we have lived often in places I’ve liked, but not been “my home”. As we are now settling in, I find myself at times so focused on a house, that I need to let go and remember who God has been in all of these moves. Your words are encouraging to me. Now to read that article above.
    Stopping by from Five Minute Friday.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Melanie, Thanks so much for stopping by! I think so much of our identity as women is tied up in our homes, because they are a place where we can so freely express who we are through our decorating, our hospitality, and just simply the atmosphere we intentionally create. After three and a half years, I have finally realized that my house is just a house, and that the essence of who I am as a homemaker will travel with me wherever we live. I can now truly say that if God told me to sell my house today, I would march out to the front yard and put up a “For Sale” sign. And until he tells me that it’s time to move on, I will enjoy everyday that we still get to live here.

  6. Hi Amanda, after reading this I’m examining what things am I clinching onto too tightly. Beautifully written. Glad I stumbled across your blog today.

  7. Amanda, your words so speak to me today. Over a year ago I left my full time job to be home for my family. It didn’t make sense for us financially at all but we trust in Him daily for provision and He is so faithful. Thank you for sharing your heart as it touched mine. Blessings.

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      Wendy, If there is one thing I have learned in the past ten years is that He IS faithful to provide for our needs. Blessings to you as well!

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