JOURNAL

Coping and Combat

We looked at a house a couple of weeks ago.

One of at least a few dozen that my husband and I have looked at in the [almost] three years my husband and I have been married.

This one had a heck of a lot going for it. There were a few downsides, but that’s what J is good at doing: fixing the imperfect things about a house and making it beautiful.

It had a creek running behind it with a giant weeping willow tree, and a perfect outdoor hangout area. It was cute, in a great area of town, and I could see us in it.

We talked to our realtor on the front yard, telling him we would think about it while he got more information from the selling agent. I left feeling hopeful but guarded.

I knew I couldn’t get attached, because I’ve learned the hard way a few times in this process.

On the two minute drive back to our house, we got a call from our realtor.

“Don’t think too hard about it. The house went pending this morning; the selling agent just forgot to take the listing down.”

I wanted to laugh at the irony, and cry at the discouragement that I felt deep in my heart. But I couldn’t do either, because back in March I had prayed that God would immediately shut the doors to each house that wasn’t in His plan for us.

Once again, I don’t know why this house was a “no.” It was, though, and I have to believe that God has a better plan for us.

In the meantime, I’ve found a way to cope with the waiting and the hoping and the disappointing. Each time we look at a house that doesn’t end up working out, I find a small project I can work on right where I am.

This time, it was a small bookshelf in our bedroom. It’s nothing fancy, but it was an outlet for me to do something I enjoy, and at the same time it fought the disappointment with being content in this season.

Once I realized how healthy this pattern was for me, I began to let it seep into other areas of my life as well.

If we combat discouragement and anxiety with good things, things that we enjoy and are passionate about, we stop letting the negative stuff weigh us down. It’s not as controlling, not as life-altering when things do go south.

Because as we know, it’s a matter of when, not if. And I don’t know about you, but I’d like to have some applicable strategies in my back pocket to combat the bad.

Who knew that putting up a shelf in my bedroom would teach me such deep lessons?

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