Something happened the moment Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden. There was a longing to return to perfection, the place of perfect union with the Creator God, a place where there was no pain, no toil, just rest, peace, and perfection. Once one had tasted and seen, how could they long for anything less?
We are promised perfection again one day, if we believe. If we believe in the God who saved us and rescued us from the life of sin and death that was foolishly chosen in that Garden of Perfection. But in the meantime, we wrestle. We wrestle and strive for the life of the Garden to be our own.
I have found myself there again, longing for the Garden. Not necessarily to be surrounded by greenery and lushness, but to have things be and remain a little more to the degree of perfection. It seemed to sneak up and surprise me. I felt like I had been walking in new levels of grace and contentment, and then we move to a beautiful new house, and my whole perspective shifts, like putting on a new set of glasses, I can see what isn’t perfect and I want it to be perfect. It’s new, it’s beautiful, and I don’t want any of it messed up!
But the reality is, since Adam and Eve were sent from the Garden, it’s like we know better. We long for that which is to come. We long for that place of perfection and peace. And yet, we are subject to hacking away at thorns in order to get the fruit, to endure pain in labor to receive the gift of new life in a baby, constantly cleaning up messes, restoring things that were broken and outdated.
And so the wrestle continues. The beautiful new headboard that I’ve now painted twice, still isn’t what I envisioned, so I will paint it again. The newly painted cabinets are perfect now, but when will the first ding occur? The floor that is mopped one day needs mopping again the next. The house that is mostly put together isn’t yet perfect, the walls are still bare – and do I let people in, do I let the blog world see? I am not perfect. My house, try as I can isn’t perfect, and with six bodies that make it home, I can count the fingerprints on the new stainless fridge as a blessing that I share it with people that I love, or in anxious compulsion with cleaner in hand strive for perfection that will never be found this side of heaven.
So, as I reflect on the last two weeks of moving and settling in to the tremendous blessing our new home, I think about the Promised Land. The incredible blessings that flow from the hand of God. That this house and land was purchased because my husband’s great-grandfather homesteaded in the 1930s. He planted and made use of some of the most prime real estate in the area we live. And then my in-laws for the past twenty plus years have continued to cultivate and improve the land and home we have purchased.
It’s at this place that I realize the Promised Land isn’t as much about reaching the land of perfection and finding the abandoned Garden, but pruning and being a faithful steward of what began years ago.
It’s at this place, a year after I began this blog, I realize the new land is not the end but the beginning of yet another process. A process of God working and pruning me, and cultivating a story to be written for our family. After all, memories are not written about perfect houses, but the people who interact and belong there.
There is so much more to come.