I knew He could, I hoped He would, I feared He wouldn’t! But even still I am amazed at just how God has worked out the sale of our home. But honestly this is not really about a house sale. That is important, but that is not eternal. What has been worked out are kingdom issues or faith and trust and freedom to serve and be a blessing to others and I am immensely humbled and grateful.
From the beginning…
Perhaps, as I have shared numerous times, it’s mid-life crisis, but I have been feeling the need to shed the “stuff” – the stuff in the garage, the cabinets, the debt, the mortgage, the obligations. I want instead to be free to bless others financially, to be free to go on missions trips, to be free to respond to God’s promptings without having to reply, “But God, I have too much stuff to…”
This led us to begin cleaning out closets and considering when and if we should sell our home. But it was still just a thought as we pondered the type of life we wanted instead of our reality. This led us to keep an eye out for a town home in an area near the church as the only option that would make it worth our while to sell, but even then we thought the Fall would be a more likely time frame.
Just before I left to take kids to camp we discovered a town home became available and it was an updated one and worth checking out. The rental market here is crazy competitive and so we went to see it right away. As we were walking through it we were excited because it fit our needs and likes really well. But here is were the God-part comes in. The owner is a parent of a church member and when they discovered who we were our app went to the top of the list.
So while at camp I get word we were accepted. This is July 9 and we interpret this as God’s doors opening. I knew it was crazy to commit to a rent before our house sold, but it seemed to us as being so God-led. So we prepared to “step out of the boat”.
The week following camp was a whirlwind of preparing our home for sale, getting it listed, having a garage sale, moving personal and extra items out to storage, home inspections, and home repairs, all while planning for 2 weeks of Day Camps, preparing for a sermon, and Diane having some medical procedures. And the entire time we are feeling still so led by God. As I posted earlier, we shared our plans and impressions of God’s leading with many whom we trusted to be honest and everyone agreed with us.
As the time neared for us to move and the reality of adding a rent payment to our mortgage payment loomed. Fear began to set in. I began to doubt, not in God’s ability, but in my ability to discern His promptings. Had I injected my wishes into His plan for us? But over and over through worship and prayer, through confirmation of others we were assured we were on the right path. But the home did not sell the first weekend or the second. I had some fantasy that the very first weekend we would get multiple offers and a bidding war would take place. But it didn’t. And of course we heard of that happening for other homes in our area. So fear was taking hold.
During Day camp I had just about lost it. I was trying to hold it together, but I had gotten my eyes on the “reality” that in just a few days we were going to have to pay money we didn’t have with no end in sight since there was no offer on the table. Again, I shared my fears with others, they prayed, I prayed, we felt we were doing the right thing despite it seeming like VERY unwise stewardship. And the day we were at the emotional bottom, someone offered us a bridge loan to help us. It was humbling as that money they set aside is for a very special and dear purpose for them. Yet they were willing to share it with us for a while. So now I feel like God has given us a bit of a safety net, but without the home selling, taking the loan is still a great risk. I am then in even more debt with no sign of relief.
The weekend before the move and the third weekend of open houses I was praying for God to rescue us! I was feeling like perhaps it really was more my plans imposed on God than His leading, so my posture had become more of a plea for rescue and less of a confident stepping out in faith. And the possible “out” came! There was an issue with the rental contract, an honest mistake on the landlord’s part, but one that we could take as a way to walk away. On Sunday afternoon, Diane and I talked and prayed and we reaffirmed that it was in fact God’s leading that started all of this and we were going to “step out of the boat” officially. The move was happening Monday morning. It was the final and real step of faith for us. All steps up to this point were acting in faith, but this step was the step that sealed our fates one way or the other.
As I tried to figure out the possible scenarios of ways God’s plan could work out I shared with Diane that God allowed us the way out if our faith was weak, but now as we stepped out we would get multiple offers over asking price. I was fairly sure it was just a fantasy, but it gave me hope to think about it.
Unbeknownst to us, while we were having this discussion, a buyer was touring our home falling in love with it. On Monday just after we finished loading the truck and were driving off, we received a call letting us know they were returning to see it again. That night they prepared a bid that they turned in on Tuesday! And more so, it is over asking price, with no requests for repairs or upgrades, a truly “as is” sale. The only drawback is that it is for a closing in October. But the amount over our price is enough to cover the extra mortgage until then!
So today we sign to accept the offer. Today we see that God has not just rescued us, but in fact has led us to the freedom for which we dreamed. Even though I for a while got distracted from the storm clouds and gave into fear, God showed Himself mighty. I am amazed and humbled and of course relieved. But as I started out with, this is not about a home sale and more about learning to trust. Experiencing not just God’s faithfulness, but God’s creative power to change realities. In just a short time we will be free to honor God in new ways and I am excited for the possibilities to come.