Where I live people say “going up north” or “heading to the cabin” as commonly as hello. It seems many have a retreat. I’m a water lover without a shore to call home. Being near the water calms my sometimes anxious mind like nothing else. It is my happy place. My husband’s happy place is much different. He loves being at a race track. Several weekends between spring and fall you will find us at a race track in a popular lake resort area. It is a good compromise in many ways.
While he works as a tech inspector during race events I explore the lakeside roads and beaches. Last spring I fell in love with a little yellow cabin that was for sale. I fell hard. After chatting with the neighbor lady next door I peeked in the windows and wandered the shoreline. I sat on the deck and soaked in the view. I looked at the online listing more times than I can count. My husband and son tired of hearing me talk about it.
I truly wanted it so badly. In my dreams I worked on this fixer upper and turned it into the gem I knew it could be. It was the ideal location – within walking distance to race track, sunset view, shallow sugar sand beach, and in an area we love. The cabin was big enough to be comfortable yet small enough to limit the guest list. It was outdated but loaded with potential. I love a good project and this was calling my name. I knew I would paint it a particular shade of navy blue with white trim around the windows. It would be bold and a bit beachy.
In the winter we’d spend weekends relaxing around the wood stove and I’d make pancakes on the vintage griddle cooktop. This place checked all my boxes. It would be a dream come true – I’ve wanted this my entire life. I began calling it “our cabin.” I contemplated giving up my current work for a better paying job to make it happen. Because in reality, it wasn’t “our cabin” because we couldn’t afford it.
After a summer of wishing for something I couldn’t have someone else bought “our cabin” and I cried. Because despite logically understanding that we just couldn’t have it the pain of seeing my dream become someone else’s reality stung badly.
On the weekends we are up north I walk past the cabin each morning. The current owners only use it on long holiday weekends, so most of the time it sits vacant. I had petty thoughts of how the current owners clearly don’t love it the way I would’ve. Jealousy makes you think things that aren’t true because for all I know they are desperate to be there every second they can be.
On Labor Day weekend I wistfully walked by. The current owners had a boat in the water, a bonfire going by the shore, a dog playing in the grass and I thought to myself how it appeared they really were enjoying it and I was happy for them. Then I noticed they had started painting the outside. My steps slowed and then stopped as realized they were painting it navy blue with white trim. I’m known to be picky about color and they weren’t just painting it blue, no they were painting it the right blue. The blue I’d dreamt of over and over again. How could that be?
As I stood in front of the cabin an overwhelming feeling came over me – God was having these people get it ready for us. A deep sense of gratitude came over me and tears filled my eyes. As much as I want it to be our time, it isn’t, it is their time. In God’s time, I will have a slice of heavenly shoreline. I can’t explain it, but I feel certain of it.
I will continue to dream of this place and wish it was ours, but now I’m at peace knowing just because it isn’t the right time now doesn’t mean it won’t be in the future. There are so many things that don’t come when we want them to. While that surely feels frustrating, I’m certain there is a reason for it. In the waiting, we are prepared and grown into who we need to be when the timing is right. Those lessons are often learned without us realizing they took place. It isn’t until later that we can appreciate we are exactly where we’re meant to be.
I was not a young wife or a young mother. Both of those roles came after waiting and were so worth the wait. My career has not gone the direction I’d hoped it would over the last year, but I’m certain what I’m learning along the way is getting me ready for something better than I imagined. Purchasing that cabin now would’ve caused financial struggle and stress for our family. We wouldn’t have been able to afford a boat to put at the dock, hell we might not have been able to afford two coats of navy blue paint. It wasn’t our time. In God’s time, our time will come and it will be that much sweeter for the wait.