When Dan and I came to tour our prospective home in 2014 we had little idea of how much the Lord was going to blow us away with His goodness! We were in awe of its magnificence. It had everything we ever dreamed of in a home, and then some. There are details that the Lord included that were so personal I’m not sure retelling them would be as profound to you as they are to us.
The home was advertised as “4-bedroom”. This alone was as a refreshing upgrade from our cozy little two-bedroom ranch, which housed our family of five. Dan and I had lived there for all 11 years of our marriage and we were eager for more room to grow. During the tour we were guided through the first 4 bedrooms and then we were invited to go upstairs to the 3rd floor to see an additional 4 bedrooms!! This unexpected double portion flabbergasted me!
To my surprise the homeowner was a foster parent who remodeled the attic into a foster care suite! First of all, I have a background in foster care and I can appreciate what a blessing it must have been to be a foster child in THIS home!! And the fact that I was currently employed by the same foster care and adoption agency that the homeowners had years before (unbeknownst to me) adopted their daughter from was clearly a divine connection!! God is so amazing!!
Within a week of viewing the home I begged the Lord in prayer to let me know if I was nuts for even thinking this upgrade (2-bedroom home to an 8-bedroom) was possible. During Sunday worship that week I asked Him directly if we were going to get the house or not, a simple “yes or no” question. I was prepared to accept whatever answer He gave me; I just needed His direction so I knew if I was to continue pursuing this dream home. I could not afford one more huge deferred hope to add to my already sick heart. Right there in the middle of worship He answered me. Instead of giving me a yes or no, like I requested, He simply whispered “OASIS”.
I knew the word, but being an articulate person I didn’t want to miss any detail of what He was speaking to me. I sat down right in the middle of worship, smartphone in hand, and I began to research His answer. When I Googled “Oasis” the first thing that popped up was a rock band. I knew that was definitely NOT what He was speaking to me about. I closed out of Google and I opened my dictionary app instead.
As my eyes absorbed the words, tears began to flow. I got a lump in the back of my throat and I suddenly found it hard to breath. It was as if the whole world went fuzzy and all I could focus on was precisely what the Lord was whispering to my heart in that very moment.
Oasis= a fertile green area in a desert… just like those bible verses in Isaiah 43 that references a pathway through the wilderness and water in the wasteland (vs. 18-20). Scriptures that I felt led to put on my vision board at a ladies spring retreat several years prior. That passage weighs heavy on my heart.
Oasis= having a well. This house has a well… and a stream… and a hot tub, sauna and indoor pool!!! It’s wild and crazy, I know. The Lord was serious about covering all His bases! Oasis has water!
Oasis= something serving as a refuge… I immediately thought of the foster children who found refuge here. The homeowners actually received a waiver of special permission to house an abundance of children simultaneously, given the amount of room (and love) they had to offer. This is a home of love and rehabilitation. “When your mother or father forsake you, the Lord will take you in.” The foster children who lived here abided under the shadow of His wing. They got a whole suite to themselves!! The Lord is that good!! It wasn’t the physical features of the home that made me want to live here, it’s the heritage of the home that gripped my heart and made me feel like “I belong here” and I want to keep this moving forward!
Oasis= A pleasant change from what is usual. The Lord astonished my heart when He sheepishly whispered, “That part is for you, Amanda!” I couldn’t help but think of all the ways this home has been a blessing to His people in the past and then to dream of all the ways it could bless His people in the future yet He interrupted my thinking to remind me that it’s meant as a blessing for ME too. It humbled me to my core. Our “usual” ranch home was 1/5 the square footage of this one. We could literally fit our ranch home in the garage here!!! It really IS His desire to give us the Kingdom, not just me, but YOU too!
Fast forward two weeks later and the contract was signed and we were moving in! As I unpacked a box of household items tears streamed down my cheeks. It had been a very long and very painful wilderness season so my heart rejoiced for the change. As I reflected on all the possibilities that “Oasis” had in store the Lord admonished me, “Do not despise the days of small beginnings. Although you started with little you will end with much (Job 8:7)!” More tears poured from my eyes and down my face. I knew He wasn’t just talking about houses. I repented of all the times I despised the process. I knew He heard my words and saw my tears. He concluded with this “I am moving you from the cocoon to the castle.”
Know that the cry of our heart is this, “We are blessed to be a blessing” (Gen 12:2)! We are so eager to share what the Lord is pouring out in the Oasis of His presence, in this hour. If He can do it for us He can do it for you too, bigger and more wild than your wildest dreams!! He is faithful to refresh….to revive…. to renew.
When we first moved into this physical dwelling we began to sense all that the Lord was pouring out through one Oasis. However, after a few years of abiding in His presence here we now sense how He is creating a movement that flows, by the direction of His Spirit, carrying the Oasis of His Presence wherever it goes.
We invite you to open your hearts to Him and drink deeply.