You may remember, back when it became clear that we were going to move, I was more than a little anxious about the fact that we would need to sell our house and find a place to live, like, pronto.
Today I would like to share with you how this actually came to pass. Because it really is worth sharing.
When we put our house on the market, we got a few calls right off the bat. The phone would ring, it would be the realtor saying someone wanted to come and look, and we would go into fire drill mode. “All right kids, hop to it! Toys picked up, dirty clothes in hampers, everything else shoved in closets! GO! NOW!”
As for my part, I would launch into a mad flurry of surface cleaning and spastic vacuuming, and we would all manage to exit the house, with minutes to spare prior to the appointment. We would come back to the house some time later, seeing a realtor’s signature on the paper on our kitchen table, business card tossed there, too. And then we would speculate about who might have just walked through our rooms…what they thought of our paint colors…and our carpet…and the scent of lavender surface cleaner still hanging in the air. Did they like it? Did they hate it? Were we relegated to their “maybe” list, one that was a mile long because there were sixty (sixty!) houses on the market in our area that were our direct competition?
The thought of strangers looking upon my house and all my things with a critical eye was disconcerting. But I hoped that someone would soon arrive to look upon it with an interested eye and open mind. One who needed exactly what our house could offer.
After each appointment and upon each return to the house, we would hope for the best. We would wait to hear the news we were hoping for…that we had a buyer. We wanted that news as soon as we put the sign in the yard, especially as it became clear to us that two house payments in our immediate future would not be good math for us. Not good at all. I’m not sure anybody could consider that good math. Eventually, the time came for us to begin packing for our move in earnest, without a single buyer in sight.
You may also remember, my friends, that we planned an ill-advised trip to the beach prior to the weekend of the move. So as we packed for the beach AND the move, we knew that departing for the beach trip would essentially be the last time we would walk out of that particular house as a family.
Our return from vacation would be to a new home, a new town, new everything.
So, here is the scene on Monday morning, August 1. I am packing bathing suits, inflatables, sunscreen, and Ollie the parakeet, while simultaneously doing the lavender/vacuum thing, in the hope/fear that potential buyers might be coming. My husband is preparing to haul the beach junk out to the minivan, and the kids are bouncing off the walls, naturally having been ready to go hours before. I am literally Windexing the glass on the back door when I hear a knock on the front door.
It’s a realtor I’ve never met who doesn’t have an appointment, but she has a client in the car, and may they please come in and look at the house?
Okay, sure, fine…but we’re about to leave on a trip (and also, incidentally, leave for good and forever)…so can you please come back in, say, 10 minutes, and we’ll be out of your hair? Forever?
Well, certainly…we’ll go look at another house for sale in your neighborhood and then come back.
(Oh, shoot! Wait! What if they like that house better?)
Can’t worry about it now. Just let them go and come back. Must move heaven and earth to get my family into the swagger wagon and on the road to the beach right now. Goodbye, house. Goodbye, town. God, everything else is in Your hands.
We knew He had called us to the new place. But that was all we knew.
Exactly four hours later, the swagger wagon is on final approach to Panama City Beach. My husband and I are having a serious conversation about the house. He’s saying to me, “One day, somebody is going to walk in and they’re going to like it. They’re going to want it. And they’re going to buy it. It only takes one person.”
Shortly thereafter, the cell phone rings. It’s our realtor, practically bubbling over with the news. “You have a contract on your house!” The client from the drop-in visit that morning had been hooked. She was the one.
Upon hearing those words, my husband and I proceed to break out into the happy dance, sitting in our respective seats, while trying to maintain normal phone voices during the conversation and maintain control of the car, all of this to the children’s amusement.
This week, we closed on the sale. And now that the dust has settled and everything is final, it occurred to me what was happening that day in August.
The very day we were leaving, the Lord brought a person across the threshold who was coming. Not a moment too soon, and not a moment too late. It certainly didn’t have to be that way. It could have been a much messier transition, and a much messier transaction. Even if that had been the case, I know He still would have taken care of us somehow.
In Joshua 5, when the Israelites entered Canaan Land, they didn’t need that manna from heaven anymore, the stuff they had been eating for 40 years. The manna stopped, and they ate the produce of Canaan right after that. “The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate the produce of Canaan.” (Joshua 5:11).
They experienced a seamless transition of provision. They were not left to starve. To fend for themselves, with no divine help. To be abandoned. That’s just not how He operates.
So I guess, all things considered, I really shouldn’t be so surprised when He takes care of me.