Over the course of Thursday, Friday and Saturday we had and lost two contracts on the house we are trying to sell. Through it all, our faith has grown and our resolve to move to Tanzania to follow what we feel is the call God has given us has strengthened. We have a long history of God’s protection through circumstance.
A short story: When Matt and I moved to California in 2006, we left behind a house that we had poured our heart and soul into thinking it would be he first of many house that we would renovate and sell for profit. When we bought that house in Houston in the first months of our marriage the real estate market was on fire and we had visions of grandeur as we watched episodes of House Flipper on HGTV. We finished the last project on that house the same day we pulled out of the driveway on our way to my much dreamed of mountain home, a bright For Sale sign in the front yard and dollar signs in our eyes. In a few weeks time we got a full price offer on the Houston house, we signed the contract and were only a few weeks away from closing when we started working with a Realtor in South Lake Tahoe, California to find our next renovation project. We were confident that we would have the money for a down payment and closing from the sale of our Houston house, even though we were looking at houses in the $250,000 range. We found one we loved, a rundown Alpine style two bedroom with holes in the walls, no flooring and a group of raccoons living in the attack. We were in love, and the house was a steal for merely $224,000. We agreed with the Realtor to make an offer and she set about getting the paperwork ready when we got The Call. The call was our Realtor in Texas letting us know that there was a problem with the buyers financing, but that they should have it worked out in 48 hours, he would keep us posted. The next update was that the buyer had lost his job and his financing had fallen through, he was so sorry, but no deal, no sale, no deposit money. We quickly withdrew our offer on the California shack and waited for another buyer to come up for the Houston house. We waited and waited and waited, but no buyer ever materialized, in fact I do not think the house even had any more showings. After six agonizing months on the market, we decided to put our Houston house up for rent, find a rental to live in and postpone the dream of property ownership in Tahoe. We were crushed, we had moved to Tahoe with the intention of becoming rich house flippers, but the dream never happened. We lived in Tahoe 18 (glorious) months, had our first child, and headed back to Texas, riding a wave of economic devastation from California, watching as houses that had been priced at a quarter of a million dollars dropped to 200,000 then 180,000 then 150,000…..We knew before we even left the state, that God had saved us from financial devastation and being strapped with a house worth half the loan value! I have praised His name many, many times for saving us from our own crazy dreams, knowing His future for our lives did not include flipping houses in California. On a side note, when we put the Houston house up for sale in February of 2013, it sold in 28 days, praise to His name.
Remember how YHWH your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands.
We put our Temple house on the market last week, and in a matter of four days we had two full price offers on the house! We were ecstatic!! The sale of this house will pay for our move to Tanzania, to the life we are confident that God has called us to in His service. We and a group of friends have been praying over the sale of this house for months, and look, in four days we had not one but TWO offers. We picked the one that seemed the most sure, signed the papers, celebrated with Mexican food, it was a good day. That night, in full confidence I posted on Facebook that we were in contract, praise to God. Fifty-two people liked that status, countless people congratulated us on yet another confirmation that God had called us to Tanzania. The next day the Realtor called to let us know that in the last minute the buyer backed out, which was fine, we would contact the other person who made an offer. They thanked us for our call, said they would get back to us, but have not, the time has passed. It has been a hard, emotional 24 hours, some of them dark. We had TWO offers, how could both of them vaporize? Our immediate response was to start making excuses for God, maybe to get a little angry, definitely a little sad and confused. And you know what, God is a big God, and He can handle our emotions, and I am so thankful for that. Today I remember that all of this, not just Tanzania, but all of life, must be lived in the center of His will, for His kingdom, in His timing. It is my job to trust Him that He will sale our house when He is ready and I will walk by faith through every second, knowing in full confidence who is in control and what plan I am following. There is so much rest and peace in knowing that I do not have to think up the next step, devise the next strategy or figure out anything about why something did or did not happen. My glorious obligation is to praise Him, wait for Him, remember what He has done, live in complete thankfulness and watch as my faith becomes sight. When I thought the house sold I felt like I needed to be on my knees with my hands in the air praising Him for what He has done, when the house did not sale, I am still on my knees with my hands in the air praising Him for what He has done. Lord, increase my faith, is my prayer. I hope you pray it with me.