When we decided to sell our rental it felt like we betrayed everyone including ourselves. This was where my mother-in-law grew up and lived until she married my father-in-law. The home my husband learned to live with roommates and the place he proposed marriage. This was the home my sister and brother-in-law lived after they were married and the place our family of four called home when we moved back to California. Memories run deep within those walls for the entire Holly family.
We’ve sold a sentimental home before.
The first home my dad sold me, my first remodel project, the first place my husband and I called home became a rental when we moved to Denver. With the uncertainties that come with starting a family we decided to cash in and pay off our small debt and stash money into savings. That single decision changed the rest of our life. (Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to write about the benefits of living on less money and saying no often but sleeping peacefully.) We could see the market shifting and knew values would sink with the cycle. Before our son entered the world and days before the economy completely collapsed in 2008 my first home closed and to a proud new owner.
Selling our family property feels like a familiar story.
Headed into the unknown, this time with two children, the ability to put a greater down payment on a home theoretically provides a buffer as we establish a new business. (Please pray God blesses my husband’s business. He’s an honest hard-working Realtor who looks out for his clients’ interests before his earnings.)
Before sticking a sign in the front yard we needed to tell our perfect tenants the news. I’m not exaggerating, they’re dream tenants who maintain the home meticulously as if it was their own. Coincidentally, their lease would come to an end at the same time a potential sale could close. God’s timing with the smallest details is incredible!
People have a breaking point and I was nervous. How would they react? Would they get angry and destroy the home? Would they be typical tenants and make it difficult for buyers to view the property? Would they cooperate? It took days of prayer before my courage tank was full enough to make the call. When we spoke they said they expected such news! We reached an agreement for showings and moved on congenially.
Thursday our rental hit the market and I expected a flurry of activity to surround the home. The price point was hot but even with all the work we completed it still needed more. Because inventory was low I didn’t expect the smaller home projects to detour a buyer.
We celebrated Father’s Day 2016 with an open house. To be clear, my husband worked on Father’s Day. What a way to celebrate! Three people came through. Not much, but for Father’s Day, not bad especially since a woman expressed interest and took steps with a lender. We expected to receive an offer from her. Then she stalled out and became silent.
Naturally this collided with snags on our kitchen remodel and a reality sinking in: We need a home there and we didn’t have any offers on the table. Our down payment for a home there was based on the hypothetical proceeds of this single property.
Financially and practically my future seemed tied to this home. I squirmed and became cranky (again). Life felt like walking on water because it felt like I could sink and be swallowed up by the abyss at any moment. A new thought became slightly tangible: This isn’t my problem.
For the first time I did something more frightening than hand the controls to God, I waited expectantly.
Over the many years I’ve chosen to have low expectations if any. The disappointment and hurt that comes with failed expectations are avoided living like this. The problem? We weren’t called to live like that.
God’s character is unchanging and cover-to-cover He commands His people, “Do not worry and do not be afraid.” He calls us to reflect HIS character to the world through our ordinary lives. This is the Christian life, allowing the gospel story to shine through uncertainty and brokenness because we are certain we can expect the best from God.
During this wait God led me into dark caves and out with precious gems. These gems are my modern alters and wells that tell the story of God’s faithfulness throughout my life. Today I carted out a significant gem for my life: Obedience is more than following, it’s expecting.
We didn’t have a buyer, our home was torn apart and money was on the line, but a new peace set in. If God called us there and we acted in obedience I should expect Him to care for the details- every one of them. So should you. It’s terrifying, but once you do it, the world becomes unexplainably different.
Our daughter chooses to listen to a kids praise cd at bedtime and this past week this song seems to be playing at all time. God is good to use subtle encounters to draw our attention back to Him. Simple far reaching truth!
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