To Sell {or not to sell} Our House

Someone asked me the other day if I thought we would ever move from this old house.  I pondered briefly what it would be like to move to another house.  Sure, I think I would love more space, more room to spread out and more room for guests.  I so wish we had a fireplace and a garage that is connected to the house!  I think I would love land for the boys to run around on, get dirty and get lost in their little boy world.  I think I could be talked into a change of scenery and a change of pace.  But then, quickly, I remembered.

In 2008, we decided to put this house up for sale.  Our oldest was half-way through her kindergarten year in public school, so we thought six months was plenty of time to have our house listed on the market.  Our motives for moving were completely selfish, but what’s wrong with that?

Although, our daughter was having a good year in public school, the school was, well…not what we had in mind.  It’s a low income school, Title I school.  Although, that is not necessarily a bad thing, it did not meet our expectations.  We wanted newer, bigger and better for our kids.  I mean, that’s not bad to think that way, right?

Our house is old.  It takes lots of energy to keep up with an old house.  I love that, but being pregnant with our third child at that time took that energy right out of me.  I needed a break from the re-do’s, the remodeling, things breaking, cracking and leaking.  I was pretty certain I wanted newer, bigger, and better.

With the sign in our yard and peace in our hearts to proceed, we began looking for our next family home. The hunt was not easy.  There were lots of houses available but something was not right.  None of these homes had “me” written on them.  You see, I’m made to like the old.  I’m wired to appreciate nostalgic.  I thrive when I am creating and re-doing and updating and remodeling.  Everything we were looking at was already done… how boring.  Part of me wanted to enjoy new and fresh and…expensive, but God made me to see beauty in the old, have a vision for the run-down and and the desire to bring life back into the dying {for a fraction of the cost}.

After our house had been on the market a couple of months, we received an offer.  We accepted and moved forward with putting an offer on a house that we liked as well.  I was excited about something new and different.  I was ready for a change.

Just hours before the option period expired, we received a call from our realtor that the offer had been removed.  What. a. blow.  I was so disappointed and mad.  All along we felt that we were not to pursue another option until our house was under contract.

Weren’t we supposed to move?  We were supposed to be “movin on up”?  What about the house we put an offer on?  What about the new school and the new friends and the change?

I sat in my room frustrated for a while.  I finally made myself get out my pen and journal and get these questions out on paper.  Once I did, I was able to hear.  I was finally in a place to hear what God had been saying all along:

Did you tell us to move?  No.  I told you to put your house for sale.  There is a difference.  I had some things to teach you that could only be done this way. 

Don’t you want us to have more and better and bigger?  Yes.  I want you to have the world.  You have limited “more, better and bigger” to the things of this earth.  Your inheritance is your neighborhood, the school, this city and the nations of the world.  More than that, I want you to have an obedient mind, willing spirit and a surrendered heart. 

But I really want my kids to grow up in a better school.  They deserve it, right?  What your children are learning is more valuable than the education you are longing for.  I am rearing your children to be virtuous and sound, a voice for the poor in spirit, healing to the wounded and peace to chaos.  They will learn that every day in this school.  Your children will experience more of this world than you have because of their love and devotion for me. I desire your kids to be my hands and feet at their school.  They will love on and minister to the lost, the broken and the sick every day at school.  I know you love your kids, but whose children are they, really?  My love for them goes deeper than you could ever dream.  I have their best in my plans and my heart.  I have strategically placed your family in this city for my Kingdom’s purposes.  You cannot accomplish all that I have set out for you to accomplish if you leave right now.  I have much to do in you and through you for my good.

I closed my journal and walked away.  I could not process all that He was speaking to my heart.  Although, my flesh had worked its way to the surface of my heart, Father God was so sweet to help me rid the junk that hindered my seeing from His eternal perspective.  We kept our house on the market for the entire six months, although I knew {yet, still unwilling to say} half way in that we would not be moving.

Soon after the deal with the potential buyer had fallen through, KP and I were prophesied over at church one Sunday morning.  This lady did not know us, but was saying things about our situation that only KP and I knew and much of what I had heard from God, but had not known how to communicate with KP.  She said that she wasn’t sure what kind of big decisions we were in the middle of making, but that she heard God say that we were right where we needed to be.  She even used exact words that I heard God speak that day while I jotted them down in my journal.  She said, we were placed right where we were strategically for Kingdom purposes.  She quoted this scripture over us: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and is safe” Proverbs 18:10.  I was shocked.  This was the very scripture I said many times over our home.  Our house is the tallest house on the block.  I have prayed so many times that God would make his glory known here, in this house, so the righteous would run here and feel the safety of of Jesus Christ.

We walked out of church that day not knowing what to say.  Later we talked through what God had shown us both throughout this process.  We concluded that it was time to take our house off the market. It was time to appreciate God’s plan for our family in this city.  Our prayer for all of our children is that they would be light in the dark.  I had no idea that God would be answering that prayer all throughout their life {not just when I thought they could handle it}.  We had returned our kids back to God when they were babies, dedicating them to Him and surrendering our will for them.  The root of this issue in me was trusting God’s love, protection and heart for my kids.  Coming to the place that I knew without a doubt that God was for me and for my family was difficult.  In that place, He showed me time and time again His character.  He is good.  He is faithful.  He is trustworthy.  I wanted things done my way, yet am now so thankful they weren’t.

Over the next few weeks, God reminded both of us how influential our little kindergartener had been at school.  Her teacher told us of the day when she was telling the kids that she had hurt her back and was hurting.  Our girl, raised her hand and ask if she could pray for healing.  The teacher agreed and her back immediately felt better.  God reminded us of the incredible friends He had given to all of us both at school and in our neighborhood.  He reminded us of the lost that live so near that are in desperate need of a Savior.  I can say with confidence {5 years later} how incredibly blessed we are by the school, the teachers, the staff, etc.  We adore that place and am beyond thankful for it.

So, will we ever move?  I don’t know.  I still dream of all the possibilities, but am also completely settled {and hope to never leave this old house…still need to learn from that angle as well}.  For I know God’s plans for me (and my family) are good.  He has plans to prosper us and keep us from harm, to give us a hope and a future.  He is so good.  Regardless of what God asks us to do in the future, my hope is to respond quickly in obedience with pleasure in my heart.

I don’t tell you this in hopes that this will be your story, too.  Your story looks different.  God’s strategic plan for you is purposeful, full, life-giving and good.  You are where you are to carry out His Kingdom plans – no one else can do what He has called you to do!  My encouragement to you is to enjoy.  Enjoy what earthly pleasures the Giver of ALL good things has given you and yearn for those with eternal value.  Enjoy the people in your world and enjoy the purpose in your life.  Seek Him, listen for His voice and run towards the plan He lays out before you.

La maison