Our home was referred to as a starter home; so with four kids plus other people occasionally living with us we were “cozy”. We often talked about adding a room to the house but it wasn’t until after an auto accident that we finally got serious about it and my husband built a four-season porch. However, it was never really “just” a four season porch – it was our “Upper Room” – a place for me to go and be alone; to pray and heal. It was a place with lots of sunlight and breeze where I could hear God without all the “noise” of this world. As God healed me physically, I also grew spiritually; learning to praise and worship in the midst of suffering and much of my discovery happened in the Upper Room.
It became a favorite place for others as well; the atmosphere catering to great conversation, laughter and enjoyment of life! Thus, besides being the room where I studied the Bible, worshipped, praised, prayed, and poured my heart to God in writing, it began to serve other purposes; family gatherings, women’s bible studies, worship, praise, and prayer meetings, holidays, home school; dining room, playroom, and nap room among them. Though we were smack dab in the middle of the city with neighbors on three sides and the constant rumble of traffic, the Upper Room gave the ambiance of partaking in a small tidbit of country life!
For nearly a decade of the seventeen years we lived in our home, we enjoyed the Upper Room. But the time came for us to move on. To be honest, we never intended to stay so long. We thought it was a transition house of two to three years; just long enough for us to find and afford something in the country. But just like that…seventeen years had come and gone and God said “Now” – move on!
As silly as it might sound, leaving the Upper Room behind and moving on was difficult for me. It was the place God’s presence was tangible and His healing touch concrete! Naturally I “knew” it was just a room; God is present everywhere I go so I knew I was in good hands! But still…the memories, good and bad, seemed to haunt me! I remembered the emotional pain of not being able to help my husband build the Upper Room because I was in too much physical pain. I remembered the intimacy I experienced with God and others in the Upper Room; the healing and deliverance God did in the Upper Room; the laughter and tears collected as family and friends gathered and enjoyed God’s presence in the Upper Room; the peace, the celebrations, and other special times spent in the Upper Room! How could God top that? How could I leave such a special place He created for me? Would I ever have an Upper Room like this again?
The morning we were selling our home, I did one final walk-through before leaving for the closings. The myriad of emotions were incredibly powerful and I welcomed them all. That is, until I reached the entrance to the Upper Room! There I felt paralyzed and unable to go in! For just a split second, the sense of loss was overwhelming! The tears came; I let them! Then I left the house without going into the Upper Room one last time; the same room I had walked into every morning for nearly a decade; the same room where I experienced a splash of freshness every time I entered.
I cried sweet, cleansing tears as I drove to the closings; a funny, ironic term for selling and buying! The Realty company we were with had a motto they ended all their correspondence with; “Consider it closed”. While driving I thought about this slogan, realizing how true it rang in my spirit. Very soon, the door to the Upper Room on Garner Avenue would be closed to me forever and I could “Consider it closed”! I was also aware of a new door opening on Guarani Street; I just didn’t know if that door opened to another “Upper Room”! The closings went smoothly though I must say it is strange to hand keys to a home you invested so much in to people you just met…AND receive keys in return from people who invested much of their life into their home. One minute we loved and owned a home and the next minute we owned a home we would soon love!
Within hours of closing, all our belongings were unloaded at our new “old” home and thus began a new chapter of life! We moved on a Monday and three days later it was the fourth of July. Family and friends were coming out to celebrate our nation’s independence. It was the perfect opportunity to take a break from unpacking, cleaning, arranging, and rearranging. We had been going non-stop for weeks packing up our home and preparing for our daughter’s wedding (she got married one day before we loaded the trucks and two days before closing).
From the day our offer was accepted on our new home to our actual relocation I had occasional thoughts about where my special place would be in the new house. Would I have an Upper Room or was my old Upper Room a “once in a lifetime” deal? But once I “considered it closed” I determined to stop thinking about the old Upper Room. After all, mulling it over just kept the door open! So, here I was the morning of the 4th of July, wandering around the house deciding where to sit and write. I settled in the loft where our bedroom “suite” is located! (I’m still in awe we have a suite)! It felt great to sit and write as I was accustomed to doing nearly every morning in our old home!
I was writing about not being in a hurry to discover God’s surprises because then we might miss them, but rather be content to wait and let God reveal them to us in His time! Suddenly Holy Spirit whispered, “Julie, stop and listen!” I did! Then He said, “Look out your window!” I did! Then I heard a favorite song in my mind: “Look out your window, see what you can see; Silence is broken by opening your door. Look out your window, see if you can see; all the wonders of life you’ve never seen before.”
When we moved in three days earlier, a friend told me being in the loft was like being in a tree house. When I looked out my window I had to agree with her. I really WAS in a tree house; all I saw was sky and the upper third of trees! But more than that, I heard the effects of the wind blowing through the trees; a beautiful, soothing sound. It was one of those moments when time stands still! Then I heard Holy Spirit say, “This is your new upper room. The old was for healing, restoration, and celebration. This one will be just as special but has new purposes to be unveiled over time.” As I spilled a few tears of joy over experiencing this unexpected visitation, I continued to look, listen, feel, absorb, ponder, and smile at what God was doing!
Now, let me also tell you the “climb” to our master suite is steep! I had just mentioned the day before to my husband how much of a workout I get in each day climbing all the steps. I suspect most people our age are looking to live on one-level yet here we were moving to a three level home; with steep steps no less! The beauty of it was exposed that morning!
To get “high up” takes some effort; it means we need to climb! I now have an “Upper room” in every sense and I know whatever God has in store for us is very good! My earlier questions “How could the Lord ever top what He had given me in the former upper room? How could I leave such a special place He created for me? Would I ever have an Upper Room like this again?” were answered in an instant even though I wasn’t looking for answers.
We read in Luke 22 how Jesus instructed the disciples to go to a large, furnished upper room to prepare for the Passover, ultimately in preparation for His suffering and death! Upper Rooms are places we prepare! They are real and important places available to every person who loves the Lord and is called according to His purposes. (Romans 8:28) Wherever you live I pray you find your Upper Room with Jesus and spend time preparing for true life with Him.
Perhaps today, you need to “consider it closed” when it comes to some things in your life! Just remember; silence is broken by opening new doors! Looking out and up gives a new perspective to see all the wonders we wouldn’t see by always looking inward. Just look out your window and see what you can see (literally and spiritually)! We all see something different because we are all uniquely designed by the Creator of the Universe! (Psalm 139:13) Look out your window and see the wonders of life!