• Mary Grothe

Ask God to Change Your Heart

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

My husband and I just closed on a 35-acre farm property… this was a year in the making and I want to share the story. It certainly wasn’t as easy as ‘Hey you want to buy a house? Sure.” HA! I wish.

In fact, I experienced extreme conflict in my heart over and over again. This house hunt certainly took a toll on me over the past year. Here’s why.

I love Jesus first. Above all else. He is my best friend. God is my father, and I speak to Him throughout the day and ask for guidance and for Him to help me. I choose Him over everything. He is all that matters. Houses, cars, jobs, money, and even family (yes, that’s a hard one), cannot replace His #1 spot in my life. With that, finding my dream home was hard. Because I didn’t need it. Because my life is no greater because of it because He is all that I need for my life to be great.

But I had to face the fact that I am a human, and the flesh side of me wants to build my dream farmhouse and live on a large property.

Thankfully, when I would get too wrapped up in everything, I ask God to change my heart. Pull me back to Him and away from the over-excitement of this house. I only wanted to have this house if God wanted our family to have it. Not because it was just another thing I could add to my life’s list of accomplishments, because He created me with the talents to afford things like this.

Here is the whole story.

I didn’t use to care about houses… especially farmhouses. When my husband and I bought our first home together, I felt I did a much better job being his wife and submitting to him as I submit to the Lord, which is the scripture that has always guided me as his wife. We had such a joyous experience house-hunting together. We looked together and we made decisions together. I didn’t have much preference for any type of house back then… I was just happy to have a house to live in.

I lived in one house for 14 years, from birth to when we moved from IN to CO. After that, I lived in 18 different houses or apartments between age 14 to age 30. I never got attached to a place. I moved so often, I didn’t have many belongings. A few times, when I left a home, I left all the furniture and just took my clothes and essentials with me.

House hunting with my husband, the first time, was pure joy because we were looking for a home that we would build a family in. I didn’t care too much about the shape, size, lot location, color, or floor plan. We chose a beautiful home that backed to endless open space. It was gorgeous. And, we built a family here.

Throughout the years, I started watching HGTV and learning more about different types of homes and styles. I fell in love with the farmhouse style. Fixer Upper became a near obsession for me. I have watched every episode, multiple times. I listened, watched, learned, and realized a farmhouse-style home makes my soul sing. I started envisioning living in a farmhouse with a LOT of land. This is how the house hunt process started.

There are neighboring cities to Castle Rock, where we live now. They have lots with 5+ acres and views of rolling hills and mountains. They’re gorgeous, but they’re also pricey, and sort of rural. I started sharing my hopes with my husband about living in one of these large acre properties one day, but he expressed his satisfaction for where we currently live and felt those types of homes were better for retirement. But, I wanted that house now.

Then, the open space behind our house was torn out and the land was being developed for a new community. That broke my heart. We had a breathtaking view, and it was taken away. Then I turned into a house-hunting monster. I let my emotions take over and I let disgust grow inside of me. All of a sudden, I started hating everything in our home. The layout, the floor plan, the lack of entertaining space, unused square footage in rooms we never or rarely use, the carpet, everything… you name it.

It’s easy to be negative if you let yourself. It was a horrid process and sometimes I heard the words that came out of my mouth and I was shocked at how ungrateful I sounded. Yet, the monster in me was rearing its ugly head and I continued on my house hunting journey. I looked at Zillow once, sometimes twice or three times a day looking for new listings. We drove our realtor nuts. I found a property FAR outside my price range and somehow convinced my family it was a great idea to take on a jumbo loan, over-extend us financially, and even asked my mother-in-law to sell her house and move in with us so that we could afford MY dream. This was not the answer. I let that house become an obsession. I fought to convince everyone that I could make it work. I lost so much sleep… what a waste.

Thankfully, my family, although not easy, helped wake me up. We didn’t move forward with that house, praise Jesus, and I decided I needed to take a step back and collect myself. I put my family through the wringer on that one. I prayed nightly and asked God to kill my dream. I didn’t want to think about a new house all day every day. I asked God, even begged Him to please remove the dream from inside of me. He did, for a little while.

Then we started a year-long journey of me chasing new listings; both land and existing homes. I met with contractors, architects, and my husband and I walked and toured so many houses and lots. He was over it. He started telling me he just didn’t want to go. This broke my heart. I didn’t want to do this on my own, I wanted to do this together. But he just wasn’t into it.

So, I continued on and kept searching. Thankfully, after a year, I had a very clear idea of what I wanted. I wanted acres of land, I wanted to be in the city of Castle Rock, and I wanted to build my dream farmhouse, buy my dream farmhouse, or fixup my dream farmhouse. I wouldn’t settle.

On May 25, we drove past a 35-acre farmhouse, in Castle Rock. It was perfect. Well, fixer-upper perfect. It’s just 3 miles outside of downtown and a super short commute for my husband. I thought to myself, this is it. This is everything. It’s even in our price range and will leave us enough money to do a renovation!

But… my husband was less than thrilled. This wasn’t his dream, it was mine. And my marriage is more important than a house. I became discouraged and upset. We finally found “the property”, but I was the only one pursuing it.

I knew I couldn’t move forward. And it broke my heart again, but that’s what needed to happen. I needed God to change my heart because I was going about this all wrong. I asked God to either kill the dream, forever, for good, or just tell me what to do. And clear as day, I heard him say that I forgot to submit to my husband. That I wasn’t honoring him as part of this.

I thought back to our first house hunt and how joyous it was and I realized I had just left him in the dust on this and I wasn’t honoring him and how he would want to go about buying a new home.

Thank you Jesus for helping me through this. It’s not easy to realize and fully understand that I am a type-A, stubborn, high urgency, driven, fearless, over-achiever who married such a kind, gentle, steady-Eddy husband, who thrives on a routine life of little change and frugality. We are two very different people, and that’s what makes us work. But with big life decisions, I can’t steamroll him and act like his opinion doesn’t matter.

God is so good and I am so thankful for His help in changing my heart. He helped me proclaim that my marriage was more important than any dream, wish, or desire that I wanted to pursue that was of this world and not of the spirit. I submitted to my husband. I engaged in a series of conversations and just genuine moments with him as we aligned ourselves on our future. Turns out, my husband had incredible ideas on how to purchase this property while being able to stay in our current home, keeping it as a future investment, and also giving us a safety net in case we hate farm life and want to return to our current home. I am so thankful I slowed down and decided to engage him fully and listen. I love realizing that I don’t have to solve all of life’s problems. God gave me a partner in life to LIVE this life WITH. As a partner. Not a shadow.

I love my husband and I am so thankful he puts up with me… all of me… and actually loves me for who I am and embraces all the risk-taking.

This farmhouse is so special. In seeking the Lord and asking Him if He wants us to have this home, I could clearly hear Him say “yes, as long as we build it together”. Nothing gets me more excited than hearing from my daddy abba father in Heaven! Those moments are so powerful and His words rush through my veins and my soul. I am so grateful for His unending love and everything He has given to my family.

So here we are. We now get to start 5-month journey of renovating our new fixer-upper and building an epic new property to spend the next chapter of our lives on.

My favorite scripture throughout the process was:

For where your treasure is, your heart will be there also. Matthew 6:21.

It’s important for me to check myself whenever I start to get excited about anything of this world. I will always ask God to change my heart if I am not focused on Him and His will for me above everything else. Thank you Jesus for my farmhouse, for strengthening my marriage, and speaking so much life into me through the process.

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