Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Home: Part One

I've had a post stirring about my feeling and attitudes towards our home here in Colorado for several months now and yesterday I finally sat down to try to put my thoughts down on (virtual) paper. As I was typing, I realized this is likely going to have to be a series of posts. So I want to start at the beginning. This is long, but I promise you that it's a GREAT story.

Sometime late in the summer of 2003, John and I knew we'd be moving to Colorado for him to co-pastor a church with a college/seminary friend. It was an exciting prospect on many fronts, and we both knew that God was leading us here.

We had looked at houses in Colorado on one of our visits out here and were reeling from sticker shock. Home prices were double, even triple+ what we paid for our very nice home in Arkansas. We knew we'd have to sell ours before we could even consider buying a home in Colorado.

The tricky part was that we couldn't put our home in Arkansas on the market until John announced his resignation from our church. And he wasn't ready to resign until about a month before our desired move day.  All of that meant that the window of time we had to list/sell our home was very small. And not only did we have to sell our home in Arkansas, but we had to find one to buy in Colorado in that same time window. It's fair to say I did my share of freaking out!

In that wait period, we began to get our home ready to sell. I also began to pray that God would send buyers. My specific prayer was that someone would walk up off the street, love our home and buy it.

Fast forward to the Sunday that John shared with our church that our family was moving to Colorado. It was extremely emotional--the kind of day where you're just a big, blubbering, swollen mess. We loved that church and those people so much. We still do. It was a hard, hard day but it felt good to get our news out in the open and to know that we had the support of those who loved us. Whenever anyone asked me how they could pray, I asked them to pray God would sell our house quickly!

Monday was another emotional day for us. John took Tuesday off and while trying to process all of our emotions, we did rote things like clean the oven and the garage with the intent of putting a For Sale by Owner sign in our front yard on Wednesday morning.

Tuesday evening, John went outside to mow. He came back inside a few minutes later with a funny look on his face and said, "Mer, there are some people here who want to look at our house." Huh? What? I was in the middle of bathing three small children and hadn't cleaned up the dinner dishes and was not in a show-my-house state of mind. We asked the nice folks to give us 20 minutes and we did a whirlwind pick-up. The couple came inside, looked things over, and since it was getting dark outside they asked if they could come back the next morning.

It was hard to sleep that night. Up to that point, John and I had thrown around some numbers and settled on an asking price for our home. It was a high number because we wanted to leave room to negotiate.

Well, the sweet little couple came back the next morning to look at our house again. They were from New Mexico but their son and his family lived down the street from us. Their son had recently been diagnosed with MS and they wanted to move closer to his family to be a part of their support system. The town we lived in was a small one and news travels fast in small towns. They'd heard that John had resigned and although there wasn't a For Sale sign in our yard, they thought they'd walk up our sidewalk, ring the doorbell, and ask if our house was for sale.

Here's where the story gets really, really good. Miraculous even.

They loved our house and that very day they made us a cash offer. For our asking price. Later that afternoon we sat around our kitchen table and signed a contract with this sweet couple and because they were paying cash, we set a closing date for two weeks later. After the contract was signed, they asked if we could pray together around the table. Are you believing this?

They knew all about our move to Colorado, and they were so supportive and interested in our ministry here. They were also really taken with our kids. After we signed the contract and prayed, they told us that they knew how cold it got in the winter in Colorado, and right then and there they handed us a fat check and told us that they wanted to bless our kids with really nice winter coats.

Do you know anyone who has a better home-sale story than this??? It's not lost on me that God answered my VERY specific prayer. So if you ever doubt asking for specific things, let this encourage you to be bold!

We went to church later that night and a sweet little old lady named Martha Lou (who I loved very much and who resides in heaven now) came and sat next to me and said, "Meredith, are you sure that it's God's will for you and Brother John (that's what they called him) to move to Colorado?" I got the biggest grin on my face and said, "Well, Miss Martha Lou, God sold our house for us today." And she nodded and said, "Who can argue with that?"

These thoughts struck me in the moments that followed:
The miraculous selling of our home (three days after John resigned!) was so important on so many levels. It gave us the confidence to know that God was really in this. That it was His leading. That we were on the right track. It gave our church family in Arkansas the same assurance. Our own families were sad about us moving so far away from them, but the timing and circumstances of the selling of our home bolstered their faith and confidence too. And it did the same for the church family awaiting us in Colorado.

In the time that remained, we were able to find a home to buy in Colorado and our closing date was set for just days after our arrival date in Colorado (Part II). Stay tuned...


Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lindsay said...

I remember this story as though it were yesterday and love hearing you retell it, Mer. Eager for other installments as long as it doesn't have you leaving CO and returning to AR. LOL.

Lauren said...

Ohhhhh, too funny!!!! HAHA!!! Here’s what I meant to say…. This was an amazing story of God’s favor and provision for your family and can’t wait for part II :)

Unknown said...

Mer, I LOVE to read these kind of not only encourages you and those around you in the moment, but its a wonderful glimpse in the Lords providence: He cares for us! Yet, how quickly I forget...this story is an awesome reminder.

Looking forward to part 2!

Elizabeth said...

I love the story! I've wondered how your move to CO happened, and it's good to know that God was in it all the way. Hard things can become so easy when you know it's God's plan and He's making it happen. Such a blessing!

Of course, if He wants to give me a miraculous move story very, very soon, I'm all for it! And Colorado is my first choice. NWA is my second:)

Melissa Stover said...

this is great meredith! i love series stories. and i love looking back and seeing how god worked in situations.

Stephanie Kay said...

Thank you for sharing and encouraging me to pray over my own detailed list.

Rebecca said...

Can't wait for the next installment! Love this!

Christy said...

We've seen so many times in our life how God has worked in miraculous ways similar to your story. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to read more!

Anonymous said...

Wow!! I can already tell that I am going to LOVE this story!

It sounds a bit like how God opened all the doors for us to move to AK! Except our gift of a winter coat came by way of a brand new, tags still on, North Face coat for $12 at the Goodwill, in Ben's exact size!

Can't wait to read more.

Michelle @ Lemonade Life said...

You can make this a 10 part series, and I'd read the whole thing! God is so GOOD!! I love hear of His provision for His people. He does answer specific prayers. I have many post of His provision while He was leading us to AR.

dawn said...

Great story, Mer! God is so good.

Can't wait to read more!

Anonymous said...

Great story. I totally agree about being SPECIFIC with prayer and leaving it to God.

Our friends/neighbors were moving out of their house RIGHT NEXT DOOR to us, and I didn't want just any Joe moving in....our neighborhood is a sanctuary and I wanted just the right people in that house. So I started praying. I specifically asked for:

A loving family- where the husband and wife really love each other (didn't want marital feuds going on)

A Christian family

Kids the same age as our kids

and I threw in "Lord if they happen to homeschool, that would be awesome too (since we did).

Who do you think moved in....

ALL OF THE ABOVE!!!!! It was amazing. Every single prayer was answered. I'll never pray the same way again.


Kelly in Michigan

Kathy said...

I loved reading (and rereading) this post and am definitely "staying tuned" for the continuation! Thanks for sharing, Mer.

Betsy said...

Wow! Yep that might win for amazing moving stories! I have a pretty good one too....very similar to yours and I often look back on it to be reminded of God's love and faithfulness in our lives! I can't wait to read part 2!! :)

Kecia said...

Oooh, this is a good one! I'm looking forward to reading more.

Amber said...

I love this story just as much this time as when we lived it with you.

Although I'm misty about remembering the preciousness of that time with you and having to tell y'all goodbye.

But you are so right....God was all over your move. And His orchestration of the selling of your house gave us all such tremendous peace.

We still miss y'all here though! ;)

Michelle said...

I love it. :-) Likewise, 2 years ago when my husband knew we were being calling into a different area of mininstry we put our house on the market (not even knowing where we were going!). It was not as renovated as some in the neighborhood and the housing market had already gone downhill. Well, 6 weeks later the house was sold and were settled into a new little apartment awaiting the next step. Praise Him for working out His plans in our lives!

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Oh my gosh this story is AMAZING! I just read parts 1 & 2. i have chills! Wow! Our God is such a good, good God! This is inspiring me to write about our house journey that we just went through this Spring!

Moriah @ Please Pass the Salt said...

WOW! Can I be on your prayer list?! ;)