I recently received a book on prayer in the mail from a college friend who prays for us and for Soaring Wings Ministries. Anna is the founder of a ministry to needy young children in Syracuse, New York called Eagles Wings Academy. She, having been involved in ministry much longer than we have, sent the book to me to help us to draw on God for strength and guidance. Knowing that we would soon be having two homeless people living at Soaring Wings Ministries, my friend knew that we would need to be in prayer more than ever. The name of the book is Pray the Word by Tiece L. King. The book could not have been more timely received as my thoughts have been, almost daily, centered on the two homeless people who will very soon move into the addition. Who will these two strangers be that will soon be intertwined with our lives? What will they be like? Could they be two young unrelated adults? Or maybe it will be a man and his wife or maybe a single Mom or Dad and a child.
As of right now we do not know who these two people who will be. As I think about who will be living in the addition, I also think about how our lives will change once there are two people living in very close proximity to where we live. No longer will 499 Trinity Lane just be "our home", it will be "their home" as well. Some of you reading this blog know me very well, some of you know me just a little bit and some of you have never met me. For those of you that know me well, you know that I am a private person. I like my space. I like my alone time and I am very cautious and slow when it comes to meeting new people and forming friendships. I am an introvert and so to open up my home, my time and my heart to give to others is not something that comes easily to me. To make matters even more difficult, my husband, Ed is exactly the same way except he is probably even more introverted than I am!!
As you are reading this you are probably wondering why in the world would two introverted people even think about having two strangers live with them never mind actually moving forward on the idea and actually building an addition for two strangers to live in?!!!! It doesn't make a bit of sense does it? It doesn't make a bit of sense....unless. Unless you are a Christian and you absolutely trust God with all your heart. We are and we do. Ed, Meredith and I are all Christians and we all absolutely trust God to be with us, to help us and to guide us in all circumstances. We trust God to bring us just the right two people to live in the addition. Two people who will be a good fit for our family and for Soaring Wings Ministries. We trust God to open up our hearts to make room for two strangers that we don't know. We trust God to give us a Godly love for the two people who will become part of our lives and part of our family. We trust God to help us to hold "our home" very, very loosely so that "our home" will no longer be just "our home" but that it will "their home" as well. Bottom line is that we trust God to bless our efforts in creating a home for two homeless individuals and to bless our desire to open up our hearts to them as well.
Adjusting my life and opening my heart so that I can make room for new individuals is not a foreign experience for me. As I look back on my life I can see so many times that God has caused me, this introverted person, to stretch and bend so that my life would make room for others. There was the time in college when I had a dorm room all to myself! Being a Senior and a Resident Assistant I arrived at college early and took some leisurely time to set up "my" room just the way that "I" wanted it. Time and space all to myself!!! What gloriousness!!! But that gloriousness did not last very long as three day later everything changed very quickly. Our Resident Director informed me that I would not have the luxury of having a room all to myself. An entering Freshman had not been assigned a dorm room and they needed the extra bed in my room. To make matters worse, this freshman had already arrived and was waiting in the lobby to be assigned a dorm room! I quickly pushed all my things to one side of the room, crammed my clothes into one side of the closet and shoved my towels and sweaters into half of the drawer space in the bureau. It turned out to be a very good year and she was a great roommate. Could it be that even then, so long ago, that God was preparing me to open up my heart and home to two strangers at Soaring Wings Ministries? What about the time we opened up our home to foster children? That was not an easy task at all. It was even harder than making room for an unexpected roommate but I learned so many lessons during my time as a foster parent. I learned that opening up my home to foster children required a lot more than just good intentions and warm feelings of doing the right thing. It required me to carry through on my commitment to these children even when I was tired and at times wanted nothing more than to retreat to a place all by myself. Could it be that my short time as a foster parent was teaching me the hard lesson of what it truly means to open up my heart and home to others? Most recently I think about how God has taught me to live in close proximity to others by sharing a house and a home with our daughter Meredith, son-in-law Todd and our granddaughter Payton. When Meredith arrived here with her family from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to serve with Soaring Wings Ministries I had to physically and emotionally make room for them in our house and in my life. I already loved them with all of my being but I had to adjust my way of living, my time and my space in order to make "our home" "their home" as well. This was not an easy task for me. As an introvert, I like my own space. I am also going to admit that I am a selfish person and I like things my way! All of us living together in a small house required me to give up a lot of my own space and it also required me to give up my desire to have things my way. It hasn't been only me that has had to adjust. Our entire family, Ed, Meredith, Todd and Payton, have all had to adjust in order to make living together work. We have all given up our personal desire for space and our desires to have things just the way we like them. Could it be that all of us living together in a small house has opened up our hearts and caused us to become more flexible? Could it be that God has been teaching us to relinquish more of our personal desires in order to hold "our home" more loosely? Could it be that for many many years God has been preparing me to give two homeless people "their home"?
All my life I have walked closely with God and each year that passes I walk even more closely with Him and trust Him even more. I know beyond a doubt that I can trust God. This trust is not based on some vague idea that God probably exists some where up in heaven but it is soundly based on having a personal relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ and seeing Him faithfully guide me in all circumstances throughout my life. I know that He has already begun to prepare my heart to receive two strangers into my life and to make 499 Trinity Lane "their home" not just "our home". One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3: 5 & 6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." I do trust in God with all my heart and I don't lean on my own understanding of situations. I try to acknowledge God in all that I do and so I know that He is directing our paths for Soaring Wings Ministries. I ask that you pray for all of us as we continue to prepare "their home". Pray that our hearts will be prepared as much as the physical space and pray God's blessing, protection and guidance on the two people who will be here at Soaring Wings Ministries. If you would like to know more about what it means to walk closely with God and to trust Him in all circumstances through a personal relationship with Him please contact me. I would love to hear from you.
If you would personally like to see "our home" and "their home" please join us for our annual Fall Banquet here at 499 Trinity Lane, Wellington, Colorado on Saturday, November 4th at 6 pm. This is a fundraiser for Soaring Wings Ministries and the funds will be used to continue the work on "their home". The suggested donation is $25.00 per person. We will be serving a delicious, homemade meal and would love to give you a tour of "their home". If you are able to come please contact us and let us know so that we can have a place set for you at our table. We hope you can join us on November 4th!
May God bless and guide each one of you.
499 Trinity Lane
Wellington, Colorado 80549
Anita Rennells is the author of this blog. She and her husband have moved to Colorado when Ed retired and are in the process of opening a ranch to help homeless young adults.
Soaring Wings Ministries