Friday, March 23, 2018

going home...

It was only supposed to be fifteen days.
Those fifteen days stretched into twelve weeks.
That turned into seven months.

Time has a funny way of showing you Who's the boss.

When we listed our house for sale in February 2017, we had a plan.
A plan that would provide one extra bedroom for our family of five.
It was a good plan.
One with a contractor and everything.
But, it took six months for our house to sell.
And our good plan withered.
So, we needed a new plan.

First, we looked at some condos.
Maybe our plan would be to build.
I left the tiny condos with anxiety and hives.
I needed more than a maybe.

We looked at some houses.
Seven to be exact.
We found one that seemed perfect.
I even dreamed about it for a week.
Right down to where I would put the Christmas tree.
Plan B was born.
And it was a good plan.
One with the same contractor and everything.

And so began the process of buying a house.
There were two weeks in between the close of the house we were selling and the one we were buying.
We had an agreement in our contract to move all of our life's contents into the house until we could officially move in.
On Wednesday, August 23, all of that changed.
Sitting in the comfort of my parents' kitchen, as our dream unraveled, I wept.
It was a hard loss.
But, we still had to move out of our house.
So, I pulled myself up from that kitchen table and went to work finding a storage unit that would hold our life.
Four days later, on that early Saturday morning, our family and friends showed up and we emptied nine years worth of stuff.
As the last load was being hauled away, I sat in the stillness and remembered it all. 

If those walls could talk.

We made our way to my parents' house.
Sweaty, emotional and weary.
Without a plan.
Which isn't at all like me.
But I needed a minute.
My heart wasn't ready to make a plan.
It was still so very tender from the devastating loss.
I did the only thing I knew to do.
I prayed.
And prayed.
And prayed some more.

Two weeks later, we ran into a friend from church at a Clemson football game.
Standing in line for ice cream, she asked how the move was going.
My teary eyes were covered by sunglasses.
She introduced me to her friend.
Who just so happened to be selling her house without a real estate agent.
She had some investors coming to look at it, but if it didn't work out, she told me we were more than welcome to come by.
We really didn't give it another thought.
Until the very next week, when we were contacted about our potential interest in the house.
We made an appointment to go see the house.
It was just the size we needed.
But it needed some work.
The peace that covered us led us to believe this was God's plan for us.
We made an offer.
They accepted.
And so, Plan C was born.
It, too, was a good plan.
One with the very same contractor.
Paint and flooring were picked out.
Appliances were purchased.
I even started a Pinterest board, for crying out loud.
Closing was set for the Monday after Thanksgiving.
We arrived at the attorney's office giddy with anticipation of finally being homeowners again.
Until, we got a shocking phone call.
And again, we watched everything unravel.
Birthday parties by the pool and family dinners around the large dining room table were nothing more than wishes and dreams.

I quit praying.

Truth be told, I cocooned myself with despair and allowed darkness to swallow me whole.
I wallowed in self-pity and questioned God.
For I was certain we had heard Him.
Why would He allow this to happen again?
Didn't we deserve a house?
Hadn't we been through enough in the past five years?
Why us?

One night, during supper, my little girl asked if Kringle was lost.
Kringle is her elf.
And he always arrives on Thanksgiving night.
It was December 7th.
I sat at my parents' kitchen table and just bawled my eyes out.
Christmas was coming.  Our stockings were packed away.  And I had no idea where the darn elf was hiding.
The next day, I arrived home from work only to find three perfect stockings hanging on my parents' mantle and a complete mess made by Kringle.
He left a note for Harper.
He told her that he had trouble finding her since she was living with her Gigi and Papa for now.
Big sisters have a way of covering you in grace.
And always at just the right time. 

With an upcoming surgery planned and the holidays quickly approaching, we decided to put our search on hold until the first of the year.  We looked at what felt like 259 houses.  In January.
Until February 7.
I sat in a drive way waiting on our realtor.
It was a rainy Wednesday evening and I prayed hard as I waited.
I asked for God to make it known if this was the home for us. To cover us in perfect peace.
To make the process smooth and seamless.
The moment we walked through the door I could feel it.
It hung thick in the air.
Like I could reach out and take hold.


I could hear little feet running through the rooms.
I could smell supper on the stove.
I could taste that first morning coffee sipped from that perfect spot in den.
I could see the Christmas tree.
I could feel the warm sheets as they came out of the dryer.

It was clear that this was His plan.
And that made it perfect.

While the wait has been long and hard, I have learned a lot about God.
About patience and faith.
About waiting and praying.
About obedience and blessing.
About discernment and discipline.

Today, we became homeowners again.
The key felt like gold in our hands.

As we pulled into the driveway of our new home, all the emotions flooded my weary soul.
Crossing the threshold, my heart welcomed the Spirit to reside within these walls.  To take up residence and allow our home to be a beacon of light for all those who enter.  I offered the place we had waited so long for back to Him.  The Giver of all things good.

And you know what happened?

I could almost hear Him say what my heart has longed to hear.

Welcome home.


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